Some"Bucket List" Running Races around the USA
Sure, you’ve ran on picturesque trails in the past…but check these out. Mountains, forests, ocean-side, even beside a castle – trail blazers and runners of all types can appreciate these gorgeous courses. We’ll enlighten you with sensational races happening throughout the rest of this year and into 2016. From all over the country (and even on an island) the scenery of these 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathon and marathon races will surely make it to your bucket list!
Location: Ithaca, New York
Date: August 22nd, 2015
Type: 7 miles
Okay so you’re probably thinking two things. First off the name of this race is a bit creepy, second off this race can’t be THAT terrible because it’s only 7 miles. Let us explain…the course is on Cayuga Trails past Lucifer’s Falls. It’s beautiful, but is said to be extremely challenging due to slick tracks and stone stairs.
The race is on a Saturday and the goal is to have participating runners camp or stay in cabins in the park to celebrate the trail running community along with the fact that you conquered Lucifer’s Crossing. Details entail a rented out pavilion and one of the country’s best swimming “holes.” If you’re ready for raw adventure, this race could be for you.
MOAB TRAIL MARATHON & HALF MARATHON & 5K
Location: Moab, Utah
Date: November 7th – 21st, 2015
Type: Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K
Have you been to Moab or the Utah arches or gone rafting the Colorado River? Well, it's gorgeous there! Why not run a marathon while visiting one of the many natural wonders of the US. Don't get us wrong, pretty doesn't mean "easy"! This race is known for being tough and hilly. It was even the course for 2012 USATF Trail Marathon National Championship! Parts of the course involve sliding down hills on your butt, climbing ladders, tight single track trails, mud, rain, rivers, pretty much every obstacle you can think of.
There's also 3500 feet of elevation gain and loss, ouch. Let's just say, train for this marathon...unlike our ultramarathon crash training, do NOT crash train for this one! Here's a great trail running in Utah guide from IrunFar.com for more details.
PAUL MITCHELL XTERRA TRAIL RUN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Location: Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii
Date: December 6, 2015 – 9:00 a.m.
Type: 21K, 10K, 5K/Walk
Aloha! One of the most beautiful running courses on the planet, the Kualoa Ranch hosts the Trail Run World Championships each year. Over 2,000 runners from all over the world travel to Hawaii to take part in this breathtaking race (literally). Terrain includes the glistening ocean, mountain cliffs, valleys, and rainforests. This ranch has held the filming of renowned Hollywood movies such as Pearl Harbor, Godzilla, Jurassic Park, Tears of the Sun, and LOST. So this just gives you a little idea of what anremarkable backdrop Kualoa Ranch will be during the race. The 21-kilometer half marathon is known as the world championship course with its diverse landscape. Don’t worry though if you’re not a pro runner – the race is open to everyone, which is why there are several races you can sign up for.
Location: New Orleans
Date: February 28th, 2016
Type: 10K, Half Marathon, or Marathon
The Rock’n’Roll takes place in over 30 cities each year. However the Rock’n’Roll on February 28th is in the heart of New Orleans. Jam out as you run with live music throughout the race. The headliner is yet to be announced, but past entertainers include big names like the Goo Goo Dolls, Train, Pat Benatoar, Brad Paisley, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Get involved in the extraordinary liveliness that a concert brings to a race. The party doesn’t stop when you’re done running either. You get to celebrate your accomplishments and broken PRs with a post-race festival. Nothing can be better than running in a high-energy race with extravagant tunes and dancing your booty off at the finish line with any remaining energy.
DISNEY PRINCESS HALF MARATHON WEEKEND
Location: Walt Disney World Resort, Florida
Date: February 18th – 21st, 2016
Type: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon
Who doesn’t enjoy a little Disney? Be part of the magic!! Bring along the kids and even granny because this charming weekend includes races of all sorts for ALL ages.
Disney Princess Half Marathon: The13.1 mile journey will take you through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
Disney Princess Enchanted 10k: The 10K course travels through Epcot with entertainment and your favorite Disney characters to cheer you on.
Disney Princess 5k: Is open to all little princesses over the age of 5. The course is through Epcot similar to the other races.
Disney brings the post-run festivities as well with a “Happily Ever After Party at Downtown Disney ®.” Perks include music, food (the best part), and tons of Disney merchandise that makes great souvenirs to reminisce your magical race. Here's a great article in Racked about the Disney Princess Half and RunDisney "conquering all of America.
(P.S. if the whole “Princess” theme isn’t your cup of tea, Run Disney has several similar half-marathon weekends centered on Avengers Super Heroes, Disneyland, Disney Wine & Dine, Walt Disney World, Star Wars, and Tinker Bell!)
Catch a little running bug after reading about these diverse races taking place all over the country? It’s understandable that you want to sign up for one immediately, we know we would love to. As fantastic as it would be to travel to one of these epic courses, it’s not always feasible. Expense and busy lives can restrict jumping on a flight and going to one of these bucket list races. Until then, you can always check out local races in your town or near your area. You never know what you will stumble into. Venture on!