Destinations Marathons

Cool Marathon Alert: Avenue of the Giants Marathon

Cool Marathon Alert
Written by Charlie

I am always hearing about some really interesting marathons. Many of them really pique my interest but I cannot run them all. I have begun making posts of these marathons with the disclaimer that these are not marathons that I have necessarily run but are events that really sound of interest to me. Of course I also will show you the best way to reach these marathons! If you do end up running any of the marathons I write about, please let me know what your thoughts were of the event!

Cool Marathon Alert: Avenue of the Giants Marathon

Cool Marathon Alert

I love running in the woods and enjoying nature. Trail races and ultras are a natural place for the runner who loves being around pureness of nature. Sometimes, there are some races that will bring you close to that environment while not making you run 50 miles to enjoy it:). This seems to be one of those marathons!

The Redwood forest looks fabulous in photos! Having never been there myself, I find myself relying on photos to give me the correct height perception of these natural monsters. The photos just do not seem to do their beauty justice. Now imagine running amongst such behemoths for several hours – chances are you will feel very small!

The biggest problem in running a marathon like this would have to be avoiding tripping and falling as you just keep looking up as you run through this forest! 🙂 If you are able to participate in this even, I imagine it would end up being one of the coolest marathon courses you have ever run.

Getting There

Nearest airports:

  • Eureka/Arcata Airport – 60 miles
  • Sacramento International Airport – 238 miles
  • San Francisco International Airport – 241 miles

Eureka Airport is definitely the closest airport and is only served by United. That helps to figure out which miles to use to get there! This also is one of the great destinations in the US where a high value can be assigned to airline miles (round-trip ticket from the NYC area is $520 the weekend of the race!). Availability is really good that weekend on United for award tickets. You can also use US Airways miles to ticket whatever you find on United (though you will have to call US Airways to book an award reservation since it is a partner ticket).

If you chose to make the drive from either Sacramento or San Francisco (about 5 hours), the list of airline possibilities is better.

  • American Airlines – requires 25,000 miles (except during promo times – 17,500 miles)
  • Delta – requires 25,000 miles
  • Southwest – requires various amount of points based on the fare of the ticket
  • United – requires 25,000 miles (20,000 miles if under 750 miles)
  • US Airways – requires 25,000 miles

For hotels, you are not really going to find an award hotel other than Best Western. In this case, it would be better off to use cash to pay for your hotel stay or your Barclay Arrival card  which will allow you to get paid back for payment on travel with points you accrue (I get a commission if you use this link).

Race Details

  • Marathon: Avenue of the Giants Marathon
  • Date: May 4, 2014
  • Time: 7:45AM
  • Place: Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California
  • Races: Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 10K
  • Cost: $60 (Marathon), $50 (half-marathon), $30 (10K)
  • Website: website


If you like nature runs, this should be an absolute must-run. The Redwood trees are some of the most impressive in the world and this race gives you an opportunity to canvas the state park on foot. It should be a great time!


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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.