Outside, America’s leading active-lifestyle and adventure-travel magazine, has named two Missouri running events to its list of best races for 2014—Quivering Quads in Troy, Mo., and Heart of America Marathon in Columbia, Mo.—more proof that races in and around St. Louis continue to garner recognition around the country.

So, what exactly did the Outside editors have to say? Under the “Test Yourself on the Trail” header, they wrote:

“As the name implies, Quivering Quads (QQ) is a tough one, but the atmosphere is relaxed. “QQ brings the we’re-all-in-this-together vibe of an ultramarathon to the popular 13.1-mile distance,” says race director David Spetnagel. “Racers support each other as they run challenging singletrack, and then celebrate as a group at the finish.” Looping through Cuivre River State Park, the course includes plenty of hills—and they’ll likely be muddy due to spring showers, so wear your knobbiest shoes.”

Under the “Marathons” header, they said:

“Begun in 1960, Heart of America Marathon (HOA) is the fourth-oldest marathon in the country. It’s also among the hardest—partly because of its hills and partly because it’s held on Labor Day in central Missouri, when the average temperature is 75 degrees and the humidity oppressive. But HOA, which usually attracts about 200 runners for its 6 a.m. start, is a classic. “People who come back to run year after year stress that they like its simplicity,” says race director Joe Duncan. “It’s a small-town, down-home tradition—and a relief from big-city commercial marathons.” Bonus: The post-race party and awards ceremony is held at Shakespeare’s Pizza, named best college hangout by Good Morning America.”

Source: http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/running/Race-Report-2014-Outside-Endorsed-Races@gpkg/running/Trail-Races