Emily Faherty – Life by Daily Burn https://dailyburn.com/life Sat, 31 Mar 2018 00:21:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 The 15 Best Spring Marathons in the U.S. https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-spring-marathons/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-spring-marathons/#comments Thu, 25 Jan 2018 16:15:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=24084 The 15 Best Spring Marathons in the U.S.

[caption id="attachment_65188" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Spring Marathons in the U.S. Photos (clockwise from top left): Big Sur International Marathon, Vermont City Marathon, Los Angeles Marathon, Grandma's Marathon — Duluth, Inc.[/caption]

When it comes to spring marathons, the iconic Boston Marathon is always the pinnacle event of the season. But it’s not the only time runners around the country will lace up to cover 26.2 miles by foot and inspire along the way. These top 15 U.S. spring marathons (listed by date, from mid-March to early June, 2017) are all perfect opportunities for runners to prove there’s no such thing as a spring break.

RELATED: Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring

15 Spring Marathons We Love

[caption id="attachment_23693" align="alignnone" width="620"]Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series[/caption]

1. Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon

Location: New Orleans, LA
Date: Sunday March 4, 2018
Keep the Mardi Gras spirit going at the flat and fast Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon. It’s a big (and somewhat easy) tour through the Big Easy — with the party vibes of the French Quarter, the history of Treme and the natural beauty of City Park setting the tone. Like the many other Rock ‘n’ Roll events, expect a highly-organized race with lots of serious and just-for-fun racers. The only question is — will you stop for beignets from Cafe Du Monde before, during or after the run? There’s also a half-marathon, 10K and 5K taking place the same weekend.

RELATED: The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S.

[caption id="attachment_65044" align="alignnone" width="620"]Los Angeles Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Los Angeles Marathon[/caption]

2. Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Join more than 24,000 runners at the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon, one of the largest marathons in the country. The point-to-point, net downhill course starts at Dodger Stadium (the oldest ballpark in the MLB) for a tour across La La Land, and finishes steps from the Santa Monica Pier. Along the way, keep an eye out for star sightings through the city’s vibrant neighborhoods including Echo Park, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and more. Fans of this marathon say it’s the awesome crowd support “from the stadium to the sea” that will make you feel like the real celebrity.

[caption id="attachment_24167" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yuengling Shamrock Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Yuengling Shamrock Marathon[/caption]

3. Yuengling Shamrock Marathon

Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2018
It might not be ideal beach weather, but the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon has welcomed a wee clan of more than 4,000 marathoners to its fast, flat resort town every St. Patrick’s Day weekend since 1973. The BQ (Boston Qualifying) course will take you past historic hotspots like Cape Henry Lighthouse and along the famous beach boardwalk. More than 22,000 other runners and walkers join in the rest of the weekend festivities — a half-marathon, marathon relay, 8K and “Leprechaun Dash.” Celebrate with a jig and a swig at the post-race party with live music, Irish stew and — what else? — ice cold Yuengling.

[caption id="attachment_65045" align="alignnone" width="620"]Boston Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Boston Marathon[/caption]

4. Boston Marathon

Location: Hopkinton, MA
Date: Monday, April 16, 2018
The Boston Marathon is the big leagues. It’s a pilgrimage for runners and often a lifelong quest to even qualify — because you’ve got to be wicked fast. Even after the bombing in 2013, Marathon Monday (which falls on Patriots’ Day each year), continues to feel like a city-wide party. Now celebrating 122 years, it’s the world’s oldest annually contested marathon. The 30,000 runners will once again head out to the starting line in Hopkinton, conquer the challenging Heartbreak Hill and finally, cross the iconic finish line on Boylston Street.

RELATED: How to Run the Boston Marathon Like a Pro

[caption id="attachment_24171" align="alignnone" width="620"]15 Best Spring Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Kemper Mills Fant Photography[/caption]

5. Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon

Location: Roanoke, VA
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018
Like rolling hills? You better if you want to run the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon — hailed as “America’s Toughest Road Marathon” and featured on many race bucket lists. A group of 750 runners will face 7,430 feet of total elevation change over the course (more than any other road marathon in the country), with three huge climbs and descents. So how do runners endure the killer ups and downs? Because they know the most breathtaking views of the region’s mountains and valleys are (of course) best seen from the top. There’s also a half-marathon or 10K option available the same day.

[caption id="attachment_65046" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Derby Festival MiniMarathon/Marathon[/caption]

6. Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon

Location: Louisville, KY
Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018
And they’re off — the 3,000 runners at the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon that is! Once they’re out of the gates, marathoners will take on the BQ course that includes a hilly section through Iroquois Park around mile 12 and a quick trot through the infield of the historic Churchill Downs. Spectators, we suggest you grab a mint julep and place your bets before the finishers come down the final stretch into downtown Louisville. The largest day of road racing in Kentucky history, this weekend also includes a half-marathon and team relay marathon.

[caption id="attachment_65047" align="alignnone" width="620"]Big Sur International Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Big Sur International Marathon[/caption]

7. Big Sur International Marathon

Location: Carmel, CA
Date: Sunday, April 29, 2018
It’s no surprise to see Big Sur International Marathon, the largest rural marathon in the world, on this list. It’s been popular for more than 30 years, thanks to a stunning point-to-point course that runs along scenic Highway 1. It touches seven state parks, crosses the iconic Bixby Bridge and features 13 significant hills in the back half. Perhaps the 4,500 runners are too distracted by the sweeping Pacific Ocean views and Redwood forests to notice? With additional race distances suited for everyone (from the 3K kids run to a 21-miler) and plenty to do around the Monterey Bay area, we’ll add this at the top of our spring getaway list, too.

RELATED: The 30 Best Marathons in the Entire World

[caption id="attachment_65048" align="alignnone" width="620"]New Jersey Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon[/caption]

8. Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon

Location: Monmouth, NJ
Date: Sunday, April 29, 2018
If you’re looking for a fast, flat, beginner-friendly and BQ-friendly race, then, “baby, you were born to run” the Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon. Not without a few sharp turns, this course takes you through a stunning stretch of the Jersey Shore. The race starts at Monmouth Park Racetrack and meanders through some small town neighborhoods before heading south. At the turnaround point, near mile 19 in Asbury Park, you’ll have the Atlantic Ocean views to take your mind off of hitting any walls. The crowds come out to cheer you on in the final stretch — along the boardwalk in Long Branch. The weekend’s events also include a half-marathon, relay and 5K.

RELATED: 5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time

[caption id="attachment_65049" align="alignnone" width="620"]Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Flying Pig Marathon[/caption]

9. Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Date: Sunday, May 6, 2018
It started out as an idea scribbled on a bar napkin by some local runners in 1999. Today the annual Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon has reached new heights as part of one of the largest running events in the country. Nearly 5,000 marathoners will cover the beautiful BQ course which “flies” through the “Queen City” and over the bridges of the Ohio River — all with 150,000 enthusiastic spectators rooting them on. And what other race can claim a bacon stop at mile 15? The weekend also includes a half, relay, 10K, the Flying Piglet kids fun run and more.

RELATED: The 10 Best Races That Are Fit for Foodies

[caption id="attachment_65050" align="alignnone" width="620"]KeyBank Vermont City Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Vermont City Marathon[/caption]

10. KeyBank Vermont City Marathon

Location: Burlington, VT
Date: Sunday, May 27, 2018
If you’re going to run 26.2 miles through Ben & Jerry’s country, you deserve extra scoops at the end of the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon. And that’s not the only treat for the 3,600 marathons who take on the BQ course. The charming streets of downtown Burlington, sparkling waters of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack and Green Mountains set the scene. Shaped like a clover leaf, the race is very spectator-friendly. And runners, you’ll be thankful for them, especially during the epic climb at mile 15, casually referred to the “Assault on Battery.” There’s also a relay option available, if you want to split the distance (and share that ice cream).

RELATED: 15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons

[caption id="attachment_65051" align="alignnone" width="620"]Newport Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Newport Marathon[/caption]

11. Newport Marathon

Location: Newport, OR
Date: Saturday, June 2, 2018
Whether you want to run your first marathon or earn a BQ, you can do it at the Newport Marathon in the heart of Oregon’s central coast. According to race officials, almost half of all 1,000 participants earn personal records (PRs) at the non-profit race. There’s only one catch: You better like oysters, because you’ll be encouraged to slurp ‘em down at miles 11 and 19 of the flat. You’ll also trek through some of the most picturesque neighborhoods and fishing villages along the bay, with only a few gentle rolling hills and one short steep hill (mile 4!) along the way. Then it’s flat to the finish, where runners earn the unique recycled glass medal.

[caption id="attachment_65052" align="alignnone" width="620"]Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon[/caption]

12. Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon

Location: Deadwood, SD
Date: Sunday, June 3, 2018
The Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon has been called the “best kept secret in marathoning.” Well, we can’t wait to tell you about the invigorating point-to-point BQ course of the largest trail marathon in the country. The first 1.5 road miles start in the old mining town of Rochford and lead 500 marathoners to the start of the Mickelson Trail, through the land of the Lakota Sioux. Here they’ll cover a mix of small climbs and flat ground in the first half and a huge stretch of downhill (especially mile 19 to 20) before coming to the end of the trail. It’s not necessarily a fast course, but if you want the thrill of trail running (meadows, forests, babbling brooks and lots of mud) in a marathon setting, this race is for you.

RELATED: 14 Trail Running Adventures to Try Before You Die

[caption id="attachment_65053" align="alignnone" width="620"]Steamboat Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association[/caption]

13. Steamboat Marathon

Location: Steamboat Springs, CO
Date: Sunday, June 3, 2018
For more than 35 years, the Steamboat Marathon’s warm hospitality has welcomed 500 marathoners to experience a beautiful BQ course along the Elk River. The net downhill course, with majestic views of the snowcapped Rockies, isn’t for everyone though. With rolling hills, steep descents and a five-hour time limit, it’s a tough one for walkers or those who aren’t used to altitude. But there’s also a half-marathon and 10K available. Everyone can soak up their accomplishments post-race with a dip in one of the area’s historic hot springs.

RELATED: 15 Races for People Who’d Rather Walk Than Run

[caption id="attachment_65054" align="alignnone" width="620"]Grandma's Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Grandma's Marathon - Duluth, Inc.[/caption]

14. Grandma’s Marathon

Location: Duluth, MN
Date: Saturday, June 16, 2018
How can you say anything bad about Grandma’s? It’s a small town race, with big-time popularity. Since 1977, this annual race has drawn 9,000 marathons to the North Shore of Minnesota. From super organization, to the vast views of Lake Superior along Old Highway 61 (and 32 rivers, creeks and stream crossings along the way), to the enthusiastic crowd support, it’s easy to see why. The point-to-point, waterfront course is pretty flat — just a few gentle hills and one bigger one at mile 22 — so it’s a great choice for beginners, PR-seekers or those who crave a quick swim after the finish line. The weekend’s events also include a half-marathon and 5K.

[caption id="attachment_65055" align="alignnone" width="620"]Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon[/caption]

15. Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon

Location: Anchorage, AK
Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018
With all the extra daylight to spare around the summer solstice, why wouldn’t you run a full marathon in Alaska? For many past participants, the Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon is a destination that’s well worth the trip. The certified course is a mix of bike trails, rocky gravel and paved roads that keep you and about 1,000 other runners guessing. Take in the natural beauty (and maybe a moose sighting or two!) as you meet people from all over the world — all coming together to spend the longest day of the year doing what they love best.

On the selection process: We spent a lot of time reading online participant reviews and soliciting input from our own editorial team, as well as running contacts from around the country. When it came down to the tough choices, we went with picks based on positive reviews, reputation, popularity and the unique value they offer to the runner. We create these lists to not only feature some of the always-popular, bucket list races, but to shine a light on some newer, smaller or challenging races that offer the participant something off the beaten path.

Originally published February 2014. Updated January 2018.

Read More
The Best Fall Marathons in the U.S.
Why I Started Running — And Never Stopped
50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition

The post The 15 Best Spring Marathons in the U.S. appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
The 15 Best Spring Marathons in the U.S.

[caption id="attachment_65188" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Spring Marathons in the U.S. Photos (clockwise from top left): Big Sur International Marathon, Vermont City Marathon, Los Angeles Marathon, Grandma's Marathon — Duluth, Inc.[/caption] When it comes to spring marathons, the iconic Boston Marathon is always the pinnacle event of the season. But it’s not the only time runners around the country will lace up to cover 26.2 miles by foot and inspire along the way. These top 15 U.S. spring marathons (listed by date, from mid-March to early June, 2017) are all perfect opportunities for runners to prove there’s no such thing as a spring break. RELATED: Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring

15 Spring Marathons We Love

[caption id="attachment_23693" align="alignnone" width="620"]Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series[/caption]

1. Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon

Location: New Orleans, LA Date: Sunday March 4, 2018 Keep the Mardi Gras spirit going at the flat and fast Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon. It’s a big (and somewhat easy) tour through the Big Easy — with the party vibes of the French Quarter, the history of Treme and the natural beauty of City Park setting the tone. Like the many other Rock ‘n’ Roll events, expect a highly-organized race with lots of serious and just-for-fun racers. The only question is — will you stop for beignets from Cafe Du Monde before, during or after the run? There’s also a half-marathon, 10K and 5K taking place the same weekend. RELATED: The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. [caption id="attachment_65044" align="alignnone" width="620"]Los Angeles Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Los Angeles Marathon[/caption]

2. Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon

Location: Los Angeles, CA Date: Sunday, March 18, 2018 Join more than 24,000 runners at the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon, one of the largest marathons in the country. The point-to-point, net downhill course starts at Dodger Stadium (the oldest ballpark in the MLB) for a tour across La La Land, and finishes steps from the Santa Monica Pier. Along the way, keep an eye out for star sightings through the city’s vibrant neighborhoods including Echo Park, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and more. Fans of this marathon say it’s the awesome crowd support “from the stadium to the sea” that will make you feel like the real celebrity. [caption id="attachment_24167" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yuengling Shamrock Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Yuengling Shamrock Marathon[/caption]

3. Yuengling Shamrock Marathon

Location: Virginia Beach, VA Date: Sunday, March 18, 2018 It might not be ideal beach weather, but the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon has welcomed a wee clan of more than 4,000 marathoners to its fast, flat resort town every St. Patrick’s Day weekend since 1973. The BQ (Boston Qualifying) course will take you past historic hotspots like Cape Henry Lighthouse and along the famous beach boardwalk. More than 22,000 other runners and walkers join in the rest of the weekend festivities — a half-marathon, marathon relay, 8K and “Leprechaun Dash.” Celebrate with a jig and a swig at the post-race party with live music, Irish stew and — what else? — ice cold Yuengling. [caption id="attachment_65045" align="alignnone" width="620"]Boston Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Boston Marathon[/caption]

4. Boston Marathon

Location: Hopkinton, MA Date: Monday, April 16, 2018 The Boston Marathon is the big leagues. It’s a pilgrimage for runners and often a lifelong quest to even qualify — because you’ve got to be wicked fast. Even after the bombing in 2013, Marathon Monday (which falls on Patriots’ Day each year), continues to feel like a city-wide party. Now celebrating 122 years, it’s the world’s oldest annually contested marathon. The 30,000 runners will once again head out to the starting line in Hopkinton, conquer the challenging Heartbreak Hill and finally, cross the iconic finish line on Boylston Street. RELATED: How to Run the Boston Marathon Like a Pro [caption id="attachment_24171" align="alignnone" width="620"]15 Best Spring Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Kemper Mills Fant Photography[/caption]

5. Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon

Location: Roanoke, VA Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018 Like rolling hills? You better if you want to run the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon — hailed as “America’s Toughest Road Marathon” and featured on many race bucket lists. A group of 750 runners will face 7,430 feet of total elevation change over the course (more than any other road marathon in the country), with three huge climbs and descents. So how do runners endure the killer ups and downs? Because they know the most breathtaking views of the region’s mountains and valleys are (of course) best seen from the top. There’s also a half-marathon or 10K option available the same day. [caption id="attachment_65046" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Derby Festival MiniMarathon/Marathon[/caption]

6. Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon

Location: Louisville, KY Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018 And they’re off — the 3,000 runners at the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon that is! Once they’re out of the gates, marathoners will take on the BQ course that includes a hilly section through Iroquois Park around mile 12 and a quick trot through the infield of the historic Churchill Downs. Spectators, we suggest you grab a mint julep and place your bets before the finishers come down the final stretch into downtown Louisville. The largest day of road racing in Kentucky history, this weekend also includes a half-marathon and team relay marathon. [caption id="attachment_65047" align="alignnone" width="620"]Big Sur International Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Big Sur International Marathon[/caption]

7. Big Sur International Marathon

Location: Carmel, CA Date: Sunday, April 29, 2018 It’s no surprise to see Big Sur International Marathon, the largest rural marathon in the world, on this list. It’s been popular for more than 30 years, thanks to a stunning point-to-point course that runs along scenic Highway 1. It touches seven state parks, crosses the iconic Bixby Bridge and features 13 significant hills in the back half. Perhaps the 4,500 runners are too distracted by the sweeping Pacific Ocean views and Redwood forests to notice? With additional race distances suited for everyone (from the 3K kids run to a 21-miler) and plenty to do around the Monterey Bay area, we’ll add this at the top of our spring getaway list, too. RELATED: The 30 Best Marathons in the Entire World [caption id="attachment_65048" align="alignnone" width="620"]New Jersey Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon[/caption]

8. Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon

Location: Monmouth, NJ Date: Sunday, April 29, 2018 If you’re looking for a fast, flat, beginner-friendly and BQ-friendly race, then, “baby, you were born to run” the Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon. Not without a few sharp turns, this course takes you through a stunning stretch of the Jersey Shore. The race starts at Monmouth Park Racetrack and meanders through some small town neighborhoods before heading south. At the turnaround point, near mile 19 in Asbury Park, you’ll have the Atlantic Ocean views to take your mind off of hitting any walls. The crowds come out to cheer you on in the final stretch — along the boardwalk in Long Branch. The weekend’s events also include a half-marathon, relay and 5K. RELATED: 5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time [caption id="attachment_65049" align="alignnone" width="620"]Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Flying Pig Marathon[/caption]

9. Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

Location: Cincinnati, OH Date: Sunday, May 6, 2018 It started out as an idea scribbled on a bar napkin by some local runners in 1999. Today the annual Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon has reached new heights as part of one of the largest running events in the country. Nearly 5,000 marathoners will cover the beautiful BQ course which “flies” through the “Queen City” and over the bridges of the Ohio River — all with 150,000 enthusiastic spectators rooting them on. And what other race can claim a bacon stop at mile 15? The weekend also includes a half, relay, 10K, the Flying Piglet kids fun run and more. RELATED: The 10 Best Races That Are Fit for Foodies [caption id="attachment_65050" align="alignnone" width="620"]KeyBank Vermont City Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Vermont City Marathon[/caption]

10. KeyBank Vermont City Marathon

Location: Burlington, VT Date: Sunday, May 27, 2018 If you’re going to run 26.2 miles through Ben & Jerry’s country, you deserve extra scoops at the end of the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon. And that’s not the only treat for the 3,600 marathons who take on the BQ course. The charming streets of downtown Burlington, sparkling waters of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack and Green Mountains set the scene. Shaped like a clover leaf, the race is very spectator-friendly. And runners, you’ll be thankful for them, especially during the epic climb at mile 15, casually referred to the “Assault on Battery.” There’s also a relay option available, if you want to split the distance (and share that ice cream). RELATED: 15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons [caption id="attachment_65051" align="alignnone" width="620"]Newport Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Newport Marathon[/caption]

11. Newport Marathon

Location: Newport, OR Date: Saturday, June 2, 2018 Whether you want to run your first marathon or earn a BQ, you can do it at the Newport Marathon in the heart of Oregon’s central coast. According to race officials, almost half of all 1,000 participants earn personal records (PRs) at the non-profit race. There’s only one catch: You better like oysters, because you’ll be encouraged to slurp ‘em down at miles 11 and 19 of the flat. You’ll also trek through some of the most picturesque neighborhoods and fishing villages along the bay, with only a few gentle rolling hills and one short steep hill (mile 4!) along the way. Then it’s flat to the finish, where runners earn the unique recycled glass medal. [caption id="attachment_65052" align="alignnone" width="620"]Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon[/caption]

12. Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon

Location: Deadwood, SD Date: Sunday, June 3, 2018 The Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon has been called the “best kept secret in marathoning.” Well, we can’t wait to tell you about the invigorating point-to-point BQ course of the largest trail marathon in the country. The first 1.5 road miles start in the old mining town of Rochford and lead 500 marathoners to the start of the Mickelson Trail, through the land of the Lakota Sioux. Here they’ll cover a mix of small climbs and flat ground in the first half and a huge stretch of downhill (especially mile 19 to 20) before coming to the end of the trail. It’s not necessarily a fast course, but if you want the thrill of trail running (meadows, forests, babbling brooks and lots of mud) in a marathon setting, this race is for you. RELATED: 14 Trail Running Adventures to Try Before You Die [caption id="attachment_65053" align="alignnone" width="620"]Steamboat Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association[/caption]

13. Steamboat Marathon

Location: Steamboat Springs, CO Date: Sunday, June 3, 2018 For more than 35 years, the Steamboat Marathon’s warm hospitality has welcomed 500 marathoners to experience a beautiful BQ course along the Elk River. The net downhill course, with majestic views of the snowcapped Rockies, isn’t for everyone though. With rolling hills, steep descents and a five-hour time limit, it’s a tough one for walkers or those who aren’t used to altitude. But there’s also a half-marathon and 10K available. Everyone can soak up their accomplishments post-race with a dip in one of the area’s historic hot springs. RELATED: 15 Races for People Who’d Rather Walk Than Run [caption id="attachment_65054" align="alignnone" width="620"]Grandma's Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Grandma's Marathon - Duluth, Inc.[/caption]

14. Grandma’s Marathon

Location: Duluth, MN Date: Saturday, June 16, 2018 How can you say anything bad about Grandma’s? It’s a small town race, with big-time popularity. Since 1977, this annual race has drawn 9,000 marathons to the North Shore of Minnesota. From super organization, to the vast views of Lake Superior along Old Highway 61 (and 32 rivers, creeks and stream crossings along the way), to the enthusiastic crowd support, it’s easy to see why. The point-to-point, waterfront course is pretty flat — just a few gentle hills and one bigger one at mile 22 — so it’s a great choice for beginners, PR-seekers or those who crave a quick swim after the finish line. The weekend’s events also include a half-marathon and 5K. [caption id="attachment_65055" align="alignnone" width="620"]Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon - Best Spring Marathons Photo: Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon[/caption]

15. Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon

Location: Anchorage, AK Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018 With all the extra daylight to spare around the summer solstice, why wouldn’t you run a full marathon in Alaska? For many past participants, the Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon is a destination that’s well worth the trip. The certified course is a mix of bike trails, rocky gravel and paved roads that keep you and about 1,000 other runners guessing. Take in the natural beauty (and maybe a moose sighting or two!) as you meet people from all over the world — all coming together to spend the longest day of the year doing what they love best. On the selection process: We spent a lot of time reading online participant reviews and soliciting input from our own editorial team, as well as running contacts from around the country. When it came down to the tough choices, we went with picks based on positive reviews, reputation, popularity and the unique value they offer to the runner. We create these lists to not only feature some of the always-popular, bucket list races, but to shine a light on some newer, smaller or challenging races that offer the participant something off the beaten path. Originally published February 2014. Updated January 2018. Read More The Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. Why I Started Running — And Never Stopped 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition

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The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-marathons-fall/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-marathons-fall/#comments Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:10:35 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=16585 The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S.

[caption id="attachment_64716" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. Photos (clockwise from top left): St. George Marathon, Donald Miralle / Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, NYRR, Bank of America Chicago Marathon[/caption]

For many of us, summer means lazy beach vacations, barbecues and a break from schoolwork. But for runners around the world, it’s also time to jump-start fall marathon training. Where will these aspiring marathoners, who sweat it out during the hot and humid months, run the 26.2-mile distance in the fall? Look no further than our list of the country’s 15 best fall marathons. Many of these popular races fill up fast, so mark your calendars early! (Note: The below races are listed by date, starting in September.)

RELATED: The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S.

15 Fall Marathons for Your Best Race Yet

[caption id="attachment_64663" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Air Force Marathon in Dayton, Ohio Photo: Air Force Marathon[/caption]

1. Air Force Marathon

Location: Dayton, OH
Date: Saturday, September 15, 2018
Marathoners will hopefully feel light on their feet (and a bit of patriotic pride) at the Air Force Marathon. They’ll fly through a mostly flat 26.2-mile certified loop of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, starting and finishing at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Awesome jet flyovers kick off the day and enthusiastic volunteers line the course, as runners — military personnel and civilians alike — race past historical aviation sites like the Wright Brothers Memorial Monument. The race weekend also includes half-marathon, 10K and 5K events.

RELATED: The 30 Best Marathons in the Entire World

[caption id="attachment_64664" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Guthrie Wineglass Marathon in Corning, New York Photo: A.D. Wheeler / Wineglass Marathon[/caption]

2. Guthrie Wineglass Marathon

Location: Corning, NY
Date: Sunday, September 30, 2018
Just try to guess what’s waiting at the finish line for the runners, who take on the Wineglass Marathon. For more than 35 years, this Boston Qualifier has grown at a rapid rate, selling out with 2,700 participants in 2017. Maybe it’s the flat and fast point-to-point course from Bath to Corning, NY. Maybe it’s the picturesque autumn colors. Or maybe it’s that wine country of the Finger Lakes region is right at your fingertips post-race. The weekend’s events also include a half-marathon, 8K and 5K.

[caption id="attachment_64665" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - St George Marathon in St. George, Utah Photo: St. George Marathon[/caption]

3. St. George Marathon

Location: St. George, UT
Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018
Scenic. Fast. Fun. Those are three words that come to mind when we think about the St. George Marathon. Nearly 8,000 runners sign up for the early morning wake-up call that will take them through the red rock canyons to the starting line at 5,240 feet above sea level. But don’t worry — there are plenty of toasty bonfires to keep you warm while catching the sunrise over the Pine Valley mountains. The certified course is net downhill, so it can be super speedy, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Watch out for the killer Veyo Hill around mile 7.

RELATED: 14 Trail Running Adventures to Try Before You Die

[caption id="attachment_64666" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Chicago Marathon in Chicago, Illinois Photo: Bank of America Chicago Marathon[/caption]

4. Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Location: Chicago, IL
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018
Founded in 1977, the Chicago Marathon had 4,200 participants in its first year (not to mention an incredible $5 entry fee). Today, the Windy City welcomes 45,000 runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries around the world, including many elite runners, to the World Marathon Majors event. The renowned flat and fast course has many turns, and cruises through 29 different neighborhoods with a start and finish in the historic Grant Park. Call us crazy, but we like to think that even the elites indulge in deep dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs after the race.

[caption id="attachment_64667" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis, Minnesota Photo: CT Ryan Photography / Twin Cities In Motion[/caption]

5. Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

Location: Minneapolis, MN
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018
When it comes to big city races, you might as well double down. At the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, the “most beautiful urban marathon in America,” runners get two cities for the price of one! More than 9,800 participants make their way from the U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis all the way to the State Capitol in St. Paul. Along the way, they’ll pass sparkling lakes, tree-lined streets, the riverbanks of the Mississippi, rolling hills and of course, some 300,000 cheering spectators. The weekend’s events also include 10-mile, 10K and 5K races.

[caption id="attachment_64668" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Portland Marathon in Portland, Oregon Photo: Portland Marathon[/caption]

6. Portland Marathon

Location: Portland, OR
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018
For more than 40 years, Portland has welcomed runners to its city with open arms. So it’s no surprise that the Portland Marathon is continually hailed as a fun, friendly and well-organized race. This fast BQ-certified course starts and ends in downtown Portland, crosses the St. John Bridge, and features 31 turns with great views of the city. There are plenty of serious runners in the field, but the race is also known for being especially walker-friendly. There’s also a half-marathon the same weekend if 13.1 miles is more your speed.

[caption id="attachment_64669" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, Pennsylvania Photo: Steamtown Marathon[/caption]

7. Steamtown Marathon

Location: Scranton, PA
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018
Yes, this is the same Scranton, PA that was home to Pam, Jim and the rest of The Office for nine seasons. Runners flock to the Steamtown Marathon for that small town charm and the opportunity to share the course with only 3,000 runners. Oh, and did we mention the net elevation drop of 955 feet? On average, around 25 percent of finishers qualify for the Boston Marathon. It’s also gotten rave reviews for its scenic course (with a 2.2-mile trail section), friendly volunteers and crowds, and some hilarious weekly emails from the race director leading up to the race — which can all help you forget about your screaming quads on the downhills.

RELATED: 5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time

[caption id="attachment_64670" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Baltimore Marathon in Baltimore, Maryland Photo: Baltimore Running Festival[/caption]

8. Baltimore Marathon

Location: Baltimore, MD
Date: Saturday, October 20, 2018
The third weekend in October is a full-on running festival taking over Charm City. In addition to the Baltimore Marathon, there’s a half-marathon, team relay, 5K, .05K and quirky challenges like the “BaltiMORON-a-thon” for those crazy enough to run a half and 5K the same day. At the spectator-friendly 26.2 event, expect a sea of runners to fill the city neighborhoods of Federal Hill and Fells Point before flowing into a new finish line area, right in Inner Harbor — where the crab cakes and Natty Boh await!

[caption id="attachment_64671" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Baystate Marathon in Lowell, Massachusetts Photo: Baystate Marathon[/caption]

9. Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon

Location: Lowell, MA
Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018
The Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon, located only 30 miles outside of Boston, is clear in its intentions. “For runners, by runners,” it wants to help you qualify for the Boston Marathon. Its no-nonsense approach to the race is what’s most appealing to the more than 1,000 finishers. And the double loop course is fast AF — 30 percent of the field earned a BQ in 2017! There is also a flat, fast half-marathon offered the same day.

RELATED: The 15 Fastest Fall Marathons to Earn a BQ

[caption id="attachment_16705" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. Photo: Marine Corps Marathon[/caption]

10. Marine Corps Marathon

Location: Washington, D.C.
Date: Sunday, October 28, 2018
Often called the “People’s Marathon,” the Marine Corps Marathon doesn’t offer any prize money to the top finishers. And it’s so popular, it now uses a lottery entry system every March. For more than 40 years, thousands of runners have taken on this unique tour of the nation’s capitol, passing by monumental D.C. sights like the Jefferson Memorial, the National Mall and Arlington National Cemetery. But more rewarding than the miles, participants agree, are the Marines along the course who cheer runners on and place the finishing medals around their necks.

[caption id="attachment_64672" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - TCS New York City Marathon in New York, New York Photo: NYRR[/caption]

11. TCS New York City Marathon

Location: New York, NY
Date: Sunday, November 4, 2018
Ready for the big stage? The TCS New York City Marathon is the world’s largest marathon, featuring 26.2 miles through all five boroughs of the Big Apple. It’s notoriously difficult to get into the race via lottery (though you can sign up more easily through a charity team or with a qualified time). From hearing Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” at the starting line in Staten Island to pushing through the final stretch of the famous finish in Central Park, the marathoners who do get a bib will chase after some of the most iconic miles in marathon history.

RELATED: How to Run (And Watch!) the NYC Marathon Like a Pro

[caption id="attachment_16708" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Anthem Richmond Marathon in RIchmond, Virginia Photo: Sports Backers[/caption]

12. Anthem Richmond Marathon

Location: Richmond, VA
Date: Saturday, November 10, 2018
First-time marathoners who may feel intimidated by some of the big city races on this list should check out the Anthem Richmond Marathon. It’s not called “America’s Friendliest Marathon” for nothing! There are "junk food stations" at miles 16 and 22, a few wet washcloth stops, energy-boosting “party zones,” and a post-race pizza and beer party on Brown’s Island. The 41th annual race loops through historic neighborhoods, along the James River and downhill to the finish line in the heart of the city. It also features a half-marathon, 8K and kids’ run all on the same day.

RELATED: 13 Race Day Tips for Newbie Runners

[caption id="attachment_64673" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon in Las Vegas, Nevada Photo: Donald Miralle / Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series[/caption]

13. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon

Location: Las Vegas, NV
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2018
Think you need sexy stilettos for a night out in Las Vegas? Guess again. All you need for the nighttime Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon are your sneakers (and maybe a headlamp). The flat course runs straight through the flashy Las Vegas Strip to the tunes of live bands. After conquering 26.2 miles of Sin City, marathoners are invited to celebrate at an after-party. And yes, you can still leave those high heels at home. There’s also a half-marathon, 10K, 5K and even a “run through wedding” event over the weekend.

[caption id="attachment_64674" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - California International Marathon in Sacramento, California Photo: California International Marathon[/caption]

14. California International Marathon

Location: Sacramento, CA
Date: Sunday, December 2, 2018
For 35 years, the California International Marathon has offered a little something for everyone. The self-proclaimed “fastest course in the West” is a favorite among first timers, as well as those seeking a marathon PR or BQ time. The gentle rolling hills, very few turns, near-perfect running weather and beautiful fall foliage don’t hurt either. More than 9,000 runners will take on 26.2 point-to-point, feel-good miles through the City of Trees, but there is also a four-person relay and a 2.62-mile fun run the same day.

RELATED: The 15 Best Destination Half-Marathons in the World

[caption id="attachment_64675" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Honolulu Marathon in Honolulu, Hawaii Photo: Honolulu Marathon[/caption]

15. Honolulu Marathon

Location: Honolulu, HI
Date: Sunday, December 9, 2018
How does an early December escape to paradise sound? The only catch is you have to start running the Honolulu Marathon at 5 a.m.! Don’t worry, fireworks and a gorgeous sunrise will help light the way. The mostly flat race starts in downtown Honolulu, passes through Waikiki and goes up and around Diamond Head. Say aloha to the most amazing mountain and ocean views, and generally a rainbow or two. At the beachfront finish line, you’ll be rewarded with a medal, a lei of shells, and “malasada” (Hawaiian fried dough). The race is one of the largest in the county — with no time limit or cap on participants — and there’s also a 10K and mile event the same weekend.

Originally posted August 12, 2013. Updated January 8, 2018.

Read More
50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition
Why I Started Running — And Never Stopped
How to Score Perfect Running Form Like the Pros

The post The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S.

[caption id="attachment_64716" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. Photos (clockwise from top left): St. George Marathon, Donald Miralle / Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, NYRR, Bank of America Chicago Marathon[/caption] For many of us, summer means lazy beach vacations, barbecues and a break from schoolwork. But for runners around the world, it’s also time to jump-start fall marathon training. Where will these aspiring marathoners, who sweat it out during the hot and humid months, run the 26.2-mile distance in the fall? Look no further than our list of the country’s 15 best fall marathons. Many of these popular races fill up fast, so mark your calendars early! (Note: The below races are listed by date, starting in September.) RELATED: The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S.

15 Fall Marathons for Your Best Race Yet

[caption id="attachment_64663" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Air Force Marathon in Dayton, Ohio Photo: Air Force Marathon[/caption]

1. Air Force Marathon

Location: Dayton, OH Date: Saturday, September 15, 2018 Marathoners will hopefully feel light on their feet (and a bit of patriotic pride) at the Air Force Marathon. They’ll fly through a mostly flat 26.2-mile certified loop of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, starting and finishing at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Awesome jet flyovers kick off the day and enthusiastic volunteers line the course, as runners — military personnel and civilians alike — race past historical aviation sites like the Wright Brothers Memorial Monument. The race weekend also includes half-marathon, 10K and 5K events. RELATED: The 30 Best Marathons in the Entire World [caption id="attachment_64664" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Guthrie Wineglass Marathon in Corning, New York Photo: A.D. Wheeler / Wineglass Marathon[/caption]

2. Guthrie Wineglass Marathon

Location: Corning, NY Date: Sunday, September 30, 2018 Just try to guess what’s waiting at the finish line for the runners, who take on the Wineglass Marathon. For more than 35 years, this Boston Qualifier has grown at a rapid rate, selling out with 2,700 participants in 2017. Maybe it’s the flat and fast point-to-point course from Bath to Corning, NY. Maybe it’s the picturesque autumn colors. Or maybe it’s that wine country of the Finger Lakes region is right at your fingertips post-race. The weekend’s events also include a half-marathon, 8K and 5K. [caption id="attachment_64665" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - St George Marathon in St. George, Utah Photo: St. George Marathon[/caption]

3. St. George Marathon

Location: St. George, UT Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018 Scenic. Fast. Fun. Those are three words that come to mind when we think about the St. George Marathon. Nearly 8,000 runners sign up for the early morning wake-up call that will take them through the red rock canyons to the starting line at 5,240 feet above sea level. But don’t worry — there are plenty of toasty bonfires to keep you warm while catching the sunrise over the Pine Valley mountains. The certified course is net downhill, so it can be super speedy, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Watch out for the killer Veyo Hill around mile 7. RELATED: 14 Trail Running Adventures to Try Before You Die [caption id="attachment_64666" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Chicago Marathon in Chicago, Illinois Photo: Bank of America Chicago Marathon[/caption]

4. Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Location: Chicago, IL Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018 Founded in 1977, the Chicago Marathon had 4,200 participants in its first year (not to mention an incredible $5 entry fee). Today, the Windy City welcomes 45,000 runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries around the world, including many elite runners, to the World Marathon Majors event. The renowned flat and fast course has many turns, and cruises through 29 different neighborhoods with a start and finish in the historic Grant Park. Call us crazy, but we like to think that even the elites indulge in deep dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs after the race. [caption id="attachment_64667" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis, Minnesota Photo: CT Ryan Photography / Twin Cities In Motion[/caption]

5. Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

Location: Minneapolis, MN Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018 When it comes to big city races, you might as well double down. At the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, the “most beautiful urban marathon in America,” runners get two cities for the price of one! More than 9,800 participants make their way from the U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis all the way to the State Capitol in St. Paul. Along the way, they’ll pass sparkling lakes, tree-lined streets, the riverbanks of the Mississippi, rolling hills and of course, some 300,000 cheering spectators. The weekend’s events also include 10-mile, 10K and 5K races. [caption id="attachment_64668" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Portland Marathon in Portland, Oregon Photo: Portland Marathon[/caption]

6. Portland Marathon

Location: Portland, OR Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018 For more than 40 years, Portland has welcomed runners to its city with open arms. So it’s no surprise that the Portland Marathon is continually hailed as a fun, friendly and well-organized race. This fast BQ-certified course starts and ends in downtown Portland, crosses the St. John Bridge, and features 31 turns with great views of the city. There are plenty of serious runners in the field, but the race is also known for being especially walker-friendly. There’s also a half-marathon the same weekend if 13.1 miles is more your speed. [caption id="attachment_64669" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, Pennsylvania Photo: Steamtown Marathon[/caption]

7. Steamtown Marathon

Location: Scranton, PA Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018 Yes, this is the same Scranton, PA that was home to Pam, Jim and the rest of The Office for nine seasons. Runners flock to the Steamtown Marathon for that small town charm and the opportunity to share the course with only 3,000 runners. Oh, and did we mention the net elevation drop of 955 feet? On average, around 25 percent of finishers qualify for the Boston Marathon. It’s also gotten rave reviews for its scenic course (with a 2.2-mile trail section), friendly volunteers and crowds, and some hilarious weekly emails from the race director leading up to the race — which can all help you forget about your screaming quads on the downhills. RELATED: 5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time [caption id="attachment_64670" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Baltimore Marathon in Baltimore, Maryland Photo: Baltimore Running Festival[/caption]

8. Baltimore Marathon

Location: Baltimore, MD Date: Saturday, October 20, 2018 The third weekend in October is a full-on running festival taking over Charm City. In addition to the Baltimore Marathon, there’s a half-marathon, team relay, 5K, .05K and quirky challenges like the “BaltiMORON-a-thon” for those crazy enough to run a half and 5K the same day. At the spectator-friendly 26.2 event, expect a sea of runners to fill the city neighborhoods of Federal Hill and Fells Point before flowing into a new finish line area, right in Inner Harbor — where the crab cakes and Natty Boh await! [caption id="attachment_64671" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Baystate Marathon in Lowell, Massachusetts Photo: Baystate Marathon[/caption]

9. Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon

Location: Lowell, MA Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018 The Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon, located only 30 miles outside of Boston, is clear in its intentions. “For runners, by runners,” it wants to help you qualify for the Boston Marathon. Its no-nonsense approach to the race is what’s most appealing to the more than 1,000 finishers. And the double loop course is fast AF — 30 percent of the field earned a BQ in 2017! There is also a flat, fast half-marathon offered the same day. RELATED: The 15 Fastest Fall Marathons to Earn a BQ [caption id="attachment_16705" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. Photo: Marine Corps Marathon[/caption]

10. Marine Corps Marathon

Location: Washington, D.C. Date: Sunday, October 28, 2018 Often called the “People’s Marathon,” the Marine Corps Marathon doesn’t offer any prize money to the top finishers. And it’s so popular, it now uses a lottery entry system every March. For more than 40 years, thousands of runners have taken on this unique tour of the nation’s capitol, passing by monumental D.C. sights like the Jefferson Memorial, the National Mall and Arlington National Cemetery. But more rewarding than the miles, participants agree, are the Marines along the course who cheer runners on and place the finishing medals around their necks. [caption id="attachment_64672" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - TCS New York City Marathon in New York, New York Photo: NYRR[/caption]

11. TCS New York City Marathon

Location: New York, NY Date: Sunday, November 4, 2018 Ready for the big stage? The TCS New York City Marathon is the world’s largest marathon, featuring 26.2 miles through all five boroughs of the Big Apple. It’s notoriously difficult to get into the race via lottery (though you can sign up more easily through a charity team or with a qualified time). From hearing Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” at the starting line in Staten Island to pushing through the final stretch of the famous finish in Central Park, the marathoners who do get a bib will chase after some of the most iconic miles in marathon history. RELATED: How to Run (And Watch!) the NYC Marathon Like a Pro [caption id="attachment_16708" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Anthem Richmond Marathon in RIchmond, Virginia Photo: Sports Backers[/caption]

12. Anthem Richmond Marathon

Location: Richmond, VA Date: Saturday, November 10, 2018 First-time marathoners who may feel intimidated by some of the big city races on this list should check out the Anthem Richmond Marathon. It’s not called “America’s Friendliest Marathon” for nothing! There are "junk food stations" at miles 16 and 22, a few wet washcloth stops, energy-boosting “party zones,” and a post-race pizza and beer party on Brown’s Island. The 41th annual race loops through historic neighborhoods, along the James River and downhill to the finish line in the heart of the city. It also features a half-marathon, 8K and kids’ run all on the same day. RELATED: 13 Race Day Tips for Newbie Runners [caption id="attachment_64673" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon in Las Vegas, Nevada Photo: Donald Miralle / Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series[/caption]

13. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon

Location: Las Vegas, NV Date: Sunday, November 11, 2018 Think you need sexy stilettos for a night out in Las Vegas? Guess again. All you need for the nighttime Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon are your sneakers (and maybe a headlamp). The flat course runs straight through the flashy Las Vegas Strip to the tunes of live bands. After conquering 26.2 miles of Sin City, marathoners are invited to celebrate at an after-party. And yes, you can still leave those high heels at home. There’s also a half-marathon, 10K, 5K and even a “run through wedding” event over the weekend. [caption id="attachment_64674" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - California International Marathon in Sacramento, California Photo: California International Marathon[/caption]

14. California International Marathon

Location: Sacramento, CA Date: Sunday, December 2, 2018 For 35 years, the California International Marathon has offered a little something for everyone. The self-proclaimed “fastest course in the West” is a favorite among first timers, as well as those seeking a marathon PR or BQ time. The gentle rolling hills, very few turns, near-perfect running weather and beautiful fall foliage don’t hurt either. More than 9,000 runners will take on 26.2 point-to-point, feel-good miles through the City of Trees, but there is also a four-person relay and a 2.62-mile fun run the same day. RELATED: The 15 Best Destination Half-Marathons in the World [caption id="attachment_64675" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. - Honolulu Marathon in Honolulu, Hawaii Photo: Honolulu Marathon[/caption]

15. Honolulu Marathon

Location: Honolulu, HI Date: Sunday, December 9, 2018 How does an early December escape to paradise sound? The only catch is you have to start running the Honolulu Marathon at 5 a.m.! Don’t worry, fireworks and a gorgeous sunrise will help light the way. The mostly flat race starts in downtown Honolulu, passes through Waikiki and goes up and around Diamond Head. Say aloha to the most amazing mountain and ocean views, and generally a rainbow or two. At the beachfront finish line, you’ll be rewarded with a medal, a lei of shells, and “malasada” (Hawaiian fried dough). The race is one of the largest in the county — with no time limit or cap on participants — and there’s also a 10K and mile event the same weekend. Originally posted August 12, 2013. Updated January 8, 2018. Read More 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition Why I Started Running — And Never Stopped How to Score Perfect Running Form Like the Pros

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The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/the-50-best-half-marathons-in-the-u-s/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/the-50-best-half-marathons-in-the-u-s/#respond Thu, 04 Jan 2018 16:15:47 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=23370 Best Half-Marathons

The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S.

If it seems like everywhere you look someone is running a half-marathon, that’s because it’s becoming increasingly true. According to Running USA, 1.9 million runners finished a half-marathon in the U.S. in 2016, with a record 2,800 half-marathon events in the country that year. While running 13.1 miles can still sound plenty intimidating, many runners see it as a way to work toward a full marathon, or as a more feasible (and still impressive!) goal to check off the bucket list. With the proper training (around 16 weeks for beginners), anyone really can run a half-marathon.

Whether you’re a running newbie or a seasoned pro who wants to run a half in every state of the nation, we’ve narrowed down the thousands of options. Trust us, these 50 half-marathons (listed in alphabetical order by state) are well worth the training and registration fees. You’ll know it as soon as you cross that 13.1-mile finish line!

RELATED: Daily Burn Audio Workouts: Take a Trainer on Your Run

The Best Half-Marathons Across the Country

[caption id="attachment_64478" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Best 50 Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Mercedes-Benz Half Marathon in Birmingham, Alabama Photo: Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend[/caption]

1. Alabama

Mercedes-Benz Half Marathon
Location: Birmingham, AL
Date: Sunday, February 11, 2018
Four thousand runners will take on this popular half-marathon course through Alabama’s largest city. Scan for sights on-the-go including the Birmingham Museum of Art, 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the very hilly Highland Park neighborhood around mile 8. Registration fee: $70-$120

[caption id="attachment_23720" align="alignnone" width="620"]Mayor’s Midnight Sun Half Marathon Photo: goseawolves.com[/caption]

2. Alaska

Anchorage Mayor’s Half-Marathon
Location: Anchorage, AK
Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018
Celebrate the extra daylight hours of the summer solstice at Alaska’s largest half-marathon. With stunning views of Mt. McKinley on the clearest days, you’ll experience the wilderness and tough trails of the Last Frontier — in a whole new light. Registration fee: $60-$100

RELATED: 9 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Running

[caption id="attachment_23721" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sedona Half Marathon Photo: Sedona Half Marathon[/caption]

3. Arizona

Sedona Half Marathon
Location: Sedona, AZ
Date: Saturday, February 3, 2018
The 4,590 feet above sea level elevation may make it hard to catch your breath at this challenging half-marathon. The scenic red rocks and gorgeous valleys along the 13.1 miles of paved and dirt roads are worth the extra effort, and may also take your breath away. Registration fee: $50-$80

[caption id="attachment_64479" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - 
Little Rock Half Marathon Photo: Little Rock Marathon[/caption]

4. Arkansas

Little Rock Half Marathon
Location: Little Rock, AR
Date: Sunday, March 4, 2018
Up to 4,600 runners will trek through downtown Little Rock and along the Arkansas River to earn the “appropriately large” (at 4 ½ inches and 11 ounces!) finisher’s medal. It’s one of the state’s most popular running events with a fun, new theme each year and a new 2018 course. Registration fee: $70-$125

RELATED: Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring

[caption id="attachment_64480" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon in Sonoma, California Photo: Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon[/caption]

5. California

Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon
Location: Sonoma, CA
Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018
Like running? Love wine? Those are the only requirements for this point-to-point half-marathon through the rolling vineyards of California wine country. It starts at Cuvaison Estate Wines and ends with tastings in Sonoma Plaza. But don’t worry, there’s also a special wine stop around mile 10! Registration fee: $180 for individuals and $175 for team participants; sold out

[caption id="attachment_23724" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Golden Leaf Half Marathon[/caption]

6. Colorado

Golden Leaf Half Marathon
Location: Snowmass Village, CO
Date: Saturday, September 22, 2018
Hailed by magazines like Colorado Runner and Trail Runner, this Snowmass Village-to-Aspen half-marathon attracts 1,000 serious runners and leaf peepers alike. Expect major elevation changes and tough backcountry trails through the Rocky Mountain ski areas, all surrounded by the brilliant colors of the fall foliage season. Registration fee: $80

RELATED: 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition

[caption id="attachment_64481" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Faxon Law Fairfield Half Marathon in Fairfield, Connecticut Photo: Faxon Law Fairfield Road Races[/caption]

7. Connecticut

Faxon Law Fairfield Half Marathon
Location: Fairfield, CT
Date: Sunday, June 3, 2018
This beachfront half-marathon has been a popular annual event since 1981. These days, up to 4,000 runners come out to Jennings Beach each year. You’ll race along Long Island Sound, over a few bridges and past the impressive area homes on this out-and-back course. Registration fee: $40-$65

[caption id="attachment_23689" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Dave Frederick / A Simple Running Log[/caption]

8. Delaware

Rehoboth Beach Seashore Half Marathon
Location: Rehoboth Beach, DE
Date: Saturday, December 8, 2018
It may be a chilly, little winter race but this coastal half-marathon has a lot of charm. The out-and-back course starts and finishes on the beach town’s historic boardwalk and features a stretch along the Junction and Breakwater Trail, which used to serve as a railroad line. Registration fee: $90-$160

RELATED: 13 Race Day Tips for Newbie Runners

[caption id="attachment_23725" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Disney Sports[/caption]

9. Florida

Disney Princess Half Marathon
Location: Orlando, FL
Date: Sunday, February 25, 2018
Show off your sparkliest tiara and join Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and the rest of the Disney princesses (plus some 13,000 other runners) at this magical 13.1-mile run. You never know which of your favorite characters might be hanging around Cinderella’s Castle, Magic Kingdom® Park and Epcot®, so be sure to bring a camera! Registration fee: $160-$195; sold out

[caption id="attachment_64486" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon in Atlanta, Georgia Photo: Atlanta Track Club[/caption]

10. Georgia

Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon
Location: Atlanta, GA
Date: Thursday, November 22, 2018
Get a head start on burning off the gravy-soaked calories with this popular Thanksgiving Day race. You’ll have to make your way past Atlanta landmarks like Centennial Olympic Park before getting to the finish line — and the turkey and pie! Registration fee: $60

RELATED: The 10 Best Races That Are Fit for Foodies

[caption id="attachment_64487" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half Marathons in the U.S. - The Hapalua Half Marathon in Waikiki, Hawaii Photo: The Hapalua - Hawaii's Half Marathon[/caption]

11. Hawaii

The Hapalua
Location: Waikiki, HI
Date: Sunday, April 8, 2018
Its name means “half” in Hawaiian so it’s no surprise this five-year-old race (organized by the same team behind the Honolulu Marathon) already considers itself the half-marathon to run in the Aloha State. The 13.1 miles of paradise on Oahu’s south shore includes a loop around Diamond Head, Honolulu’s most famous volcano. Registration fee: $85-$180

[caption id="attachment_64492" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - 
Race to Robie Creek Half Marathon in Boise, Idaho Photo: Sawtooth Photo Pros[/caption]

12. Idaho

Race to Robie Creek Half Marathon
Location: Boise, ID
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018
Considered the “toughest half-marathon in the Northwest,” this race has been a spring tradition in the Boise foothills for more than 40 years. Keep your head up as you climb, climb and climb some more — all the way to Aldape Summit, for an elevation gain of 2,072 feet in the course. Registration fee: $55

RELATED: 15 Best Destination Half-Marathons in the World

[caption id="attachment_16701" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Chicago Half Marathon[/caption]

13. Illinois

Chicago Half Marathon
Location: Chicago, IL
Date: Sunday, September 23, 2018
Take an exclusive tour of the Windy City (by foot) at the only race in Chicago that shuts down the busy Lake Shore Drive completely. This traffic-free stretch offers runners views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan, but you’ll also get to visit Jackson Park and Hyde Park along the way. Registration fee: $75-$135

[caption id="attachment_23691" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: 500festival[/caption]

14. Indiana

OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018
Start your engines for one of the largest half-marathons in the country, with more than 24,000 participants! Just don’t waste all of your fuel on the lap around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the halfway point. There’s still the “Victory Mile” to the finish line on New York Street in downtown Indy. Registration fee: $72-$100

RELATED: Why I Started Running — And Never Stopped

[caption id="attachment_64517" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Dam to Dam Half Marathon in Des Moines, Iowa Photo: Dam to Dam[/caption]

15. Iowa

Dam to Dam Half Marathon
Location: Storm Lake, IA
Date: Saturday, June 2, 2018
This year marks the last (damn) time 8,000 runners will run this flat and fast half-marathon from one dam outside the city to another in the downtown Des Moines. Along the way, they'll pass through Birdland Park, along the Meredith Trail and over the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge as a fond farewell to the beloved 39-year-old fall race. Registration fee: $40-$60

[caption id="attachment_64503" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - 
Garmin Half Marathon in Olathe, Kansas Photo: Dan Hutchins / Garmin Marathon[/caption]

16. Kansas

Garmin Half Marathon
Location: Olathe, KS
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018
There’s no place like… Kansas for a half-marathon that’s fit for fans of The Wizard of Oz. Fly through the speedy, flat race (with a few wicked rolling hills) alongside some costumed Dorothys and Cowardly Lions. The loop course also travels along some historic wagon trails early settlers used to go west to California, Oregon and Santa Fe. Registration fee: $70-$120

RELATED: The 9 Best Fun Runs You Can Do With Your Dog

[caption id="attachment_23692" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Run the Bluegrass[/caption]

17. Kentucky

Run the Bluegrass
Location: Lexington, KY
Date: Saturday, March 31, 2018
Join 5,000 runners and horse racing enthusiasts for one of “America’s prettiest half-marathons” through the picturesque Thoroughbred Farms of Kentucky. The rural race starts at Keeneland Race Course, where the 2003 film Seabiscuit was filmed. While there may not be many spectators, expect plenty of horses that’ll motivate you to keep trottin’. Registration fee: $90-$125

[caption id="attachment_23693" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series[/caption]

18. Louisiana

Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon
Location: New Orleans, LA
Date: Sunday, March 4, 2018
Put on your party pants (and beads) to hightail it from downtown New Orleans, to the beautiful Garden District, back through the world-famous French Quarter and to the finish in New Orleans City Park. The Rock ‘n’ Roll race series is known for its high-energy entertainment, so you’ll love running to the tunes of local Big Easy jazz. Registration fee: $90-$100

RELATED: Need Running Motivation? 20 Epic 'Runspo' Instagrams

[caption id="attachment_23694" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Gameface Media[/caption]

19. Maine

Shipyard Old Port Half
Location: Portland, ME
Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018
It’s like you’re running through a New England postcard (with 3,500 other runners) at this coastal half-marathon through Portland. If the nautical sights of sailboats, lobster boats and tiny little islands all around Casco Bay aren’t enough, how does Shipyard Brewing Company beer at the finish line sound? Registration fee: $59

[caption id="attachment_23695" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Baltimore Half Marathon[/caption]

20. Maryland

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Baltimore Half Marathon
Location: Baltimore, MD
Date: Saturday, October 20, 2018
More than 11,000 runners come out each year for a loop around Charm City at this popular urban half-marathon. You’ll pass Patterson Park, climb the hills up to Lake Montebello and run by Johns Hopkins University before cruising into the new finish line at the iconic Inner Harbor. Registration fee: $80-$130

[caption id="attachment_23696" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Run to Remember Boston[/caption]

21. Massachusetts

Run to Remember Boston
Location: Boston, MA
Date: Sunday, May 27, 2018
For more than 10 years, this half-marathon honors Boston’s fallen law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty and takes thousands of runners on a trip around downtown Boston. The race starts and ends at the Seaport World Trade Center, and includes city landmarks like the Charles River, Massachusetts State House and Boston Common. Registration fee: $100-$120

RELATED: The Most Popular Running Routes in All 50 States

[caption id="attachment_23697" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Detroit Marathon[/caption]

22. Michigan

Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank International Half-Marathon
Location: Detroit, MI
Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018
Technically, this may be one of the best half-marathons in the U.S. and Canada. So bring your passport, because this fast race will motor through mostly flat urban streets and cross the Detroit River (and international border) twice via the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. Registration fee: $90-$115

[caption id="attachment_23718" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Jeff Frey & Associates / Grandma’s Marathon[/caption]

23. Minnesota

Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon
Location: Duluth, MN
Date: Saturday, June 16, 2018
The half-marathon counterpart of the beloved Grandma’s Marathon, this 13.1-mile race covers the second half of the gorgeous course. The point-to-point run is named after a local Olympian and follows Old Highway 61 along the beautiful, shimmering waters of Lake Superior. Registration fee: $95

[caption id="attachment_23698" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Mississippi River Half Marathon[/caption]

24. Mississippi

Mississippi River Half Marathon
Location: Greenville, MS
Date: Saturday, February 10, 2018
Imagine the mighty views as you run right up and over the Mississippi River on the Highway 82 Bridge at the start of this point-to-point half-marathon. In fact, it’s the only actual hill in the entire course! In its sixth year, the race continues to make new additions—like this year’s Arkansas side half-marathon. Registration fee: $60-$105

[caption id="attachment_23699" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Karen Martinez[/caption]

25. Missouri

GO! St. Louis Half Marathon
Location: Louis, MO
Date: Sunday, April 8, 2018
The runner’s high comes early in this half-marathon, which hosts 12,000 runners. Catch a straight-on view of The Lou’s Gateway Arch in the first few miles. Hear the roar of the crowd outside Busch Stadium, home of the Cardinals, at mile 5. And smell the hops from Anheuser-Busch Brewery right around the halfway mark. And Registration fee: $55-$110

RELATED: 12 Secrets from the Pros to Run a Personal Best

[caption id="attachment_23729" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Missoula Marathon[/caption]

26. Montana

Missoula Half Marathon
Location: Missoula, MT
Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018
Often called the “Hub of Five Valleys,” Missoula hosts 4,000 runners in its scenic, high-elevation Rocky Mountain town. Though it’s not completely closed to traffic, this rural point-to-point half-marathon starts in the countryside, travels along the Bitterroot River and rolls into the downtown area for a memorable finish. Registration fee: $77-$127

[caption id="attachment_23730" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Gary Dougherty[/caption]

27. Nebraska

Lincoln Half Marathon
Location: Lincoln, NE
Date: Sunday, May 6, 2018
Join thousands of Cornhuskers (and maybe some out-of-towners) for this popular 40-year half-marathon in the heart of the Great Plains. The flat and fast course starts and ends at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and passes the historic State Capitol in the first mile out. Registration fee: $60

[caption id="attachment_23842" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Pond5[/caption]

28. Nevada

Twilight Red Rock Half Marathon
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2018
Seventeen miles west of the glitzy Las Vegas strip, experience Red Rock Canyon’s colorful sandstone, Joshua trees and Mojave Desert vistas under the moonlight at this nighttime (BYO-headlamp!) half-marathon. There will be a new course this year, but the same sunset start time that night runners love. Registration: $75-$90

[caption id="attachment_64504" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Big Lake Half Marathon in Alton, New Hampshire Photo: Loco Races[/caption]

29. New Hampshire

Big Lake Half Marathon
Location: Alton, NH
Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018
Need to escape city life? With the glistening waters of Lake Winnipesaukee and the majestic views of the White Mountains, this small annual half-marathon is fit for nature lovers. The “lollipop loop” course runs right along the lake, over many rolling hills and among the nearby cozy vacation cottages. Registration fee: $49-$79

[caption id="attachment_23700" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: RunAPalooza[/caption]

30. New Jersey

Asbury Park Half Marathon
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018
Greetings from Asbury Park, home of a true Jersey Shore half-marathon! (No, not the TV show.) This flat and fast race is in the land of Bruce Springsteen, with local icon Tillie as its funny-faced mascot. You’ll run through the area beach towns, along the historic boardwalk and finish with the “RunAPalooza” post-race party at Convention Hall. Registration fee: $50-$65

RELATED: The Strength Training Workout Every Runner Needs

[caption id="attachment_23701" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon[/caption]

31. New Mexico

Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Date: Sunday, September 16, 2018
Surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains, you can’t beat the vistas at this point-to-point half-marathon in the Rio Grande Valley. Unless of course, if it was also downhill. And it is! After a short two-mile climb, you’ll drop 1,300 feet overall, passing other sites like Camel Rock and the open-air Sante Fe Opera House. Registration fee: $55-$75

[caption id="attachment_23702" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: NYRR[/caption]

32. New York

United Airlines NYC Half
Location: New York, NY
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Elite runners lead a pack of more than 20,000 runners through 13.1 miles of the Big Apple. With a new course in 2018, you’ll start in Brooklyn, cross the Manhattan Bridge, and head north along the East River to the tourist-filled Times Square, before finishing with four miles in the world famous Central Park. This tour definitely beats any double-decker bus! Registration fee: $130-$145

[caption id="attachment_23704" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Southern Fried Half Marathon[/caption]

33. North Carolina

Southern Fried Half Marathon
Location: Nags Head, NC
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2018
We love the sound of this point-to-point half-marathon — especially with the promise of southern fried sweet taters at the finish line! To earn ‘em, you (and more than 4,000 other runners) will take on the second half of the Outer Banks Marathon course, from the Nags Head sand dunes to the enchanting coastal village of Manteo. Registration fee: $60-$75

[caption id="attachment_23719" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Fargo Marathon[/caption]

34. North Dakota

Fargo Half Marathon
Location: Fargo, ND
Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018
With only a few hundred at the very first half-marathon in 2002, up to 6,500 runners now take to the streets of North Dakota’s largest city each spring. Starting and finishing inside the Fargodome (smile for the jumbotron!), the flat and fast course travels through the “Gateway to the West” and feels like a giant dance party with live bands at every mile. Registration fee: $65-$85

[caption id="attachment_64506" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Capital City Half Marathon in Columbus, Ohio Photo: The Capital City Half Marathon[/caption]

35. Ohio

OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon
Location: Columbus, OH
Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018
This 15th annual race promises a whopping 14,500 runners “the best tour of Columbus on two feet” with a new course for 2018. The loop course hits city hotspots like The Ohio State University campus, the Short North Arts District, German Village and downtown Columbus. It also promises a pizza and margaritas at the finish line. Who can argue with that? Registration fee: $60-$115

[caption id="attachment_23706" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - 
The Williams Route 66 Half Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma Photo: Route 66 Marathon[/caption]

36. Oklahoma

The Williams Route 66 Half Marathon
Location: Tulsa, OK
Date: Sunday, November 18, 2018
This beloved, high-energy race rocks the streets of downtown Tulsa. Get ready for a fast (though pretty hilly first half) run among Art Deco architecture, bustling neighborhoods and a cross over the famous Route 66 — twice! Registration fee: $90-$105

RELATED: 15 Races for People Who'd Rather Walk Than Run

[caption id="attachment_23707" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Eugene Half Marathon in Eugene, Oregon Photo: Eugene Marathon[/caption]

37. Oregon

Eugene Half Marathon
Location: Eugene, OR
Date: Sunday, April 29, 2018
What better place for a speedy PR than TrackTown USA itself? Along the course you’ll see the Willamette River and the historic Hayward Field Track, home to Olympic trials, countless record-breaking events and the old stomping grounds of legends like Steve Prefontaine. Finish strong on those last 200 yards on the track — just like Pre himself! Registration fee: $70-$120

[caption id="attachment_64507" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Philadelphia Half Marathon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Photo: Philadelphia Marathon[/caption]

38. Pennsylvania

Dietz & Watson Philadelphia Half Marathon
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Date: Sunday, November 20, 2016
Do the steps at the starting line look familiar? That’s because they’re the same steps Rocky sprinted! You can become a champ too with 13.1 miles through Philly’s historic streets of Old City, the high-energy of Center City and the fall trails along the Schuylkill River, before rounding the corner back to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Registration fee: $60-$115

RELATED: Is Your Race Training Giving You Anxiety?

[caption id="attachment_23709" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Liz Cardoso / Global Click Photography[/caption]

39. Rhode Island

Amica Newport Half Marathon
Location: Newport, RI
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018
You’ll hardly notice all the rolling hills with so much to look at during this picture-perfect oceanside race. The half-marathon, voted best in the Northeast by Competitor magazine in 2016, starts at Easton’s Beach and makes its way around Fort Adams State Park and past the larger-than-life Bellevue Avenue mansions. Registration fee: $65-$85

[caption id="attachment_23786" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S.: Kiawah Island Golf Resort Photo: Kiawah Island Golf Resort[/caption]

40. South Carolina

Kiawah Island Golf Resort Half Marathon
Location: Kiawah Island, SC
Date: Saturday, December 8, 2018
How does an early winter runcation sound? Plan a getaway to this luxurious golf resort for a relaxing retreat and its 41st annual half-marathon. The flat-as-can-be race attracts more than 3,000 to run around the island community, among oak, maple and pine tree-lined streets and scenic marshlands. Just save a little energy to hit the links, too. Registration: $60-$115

[caption id="attachment_23843" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Action Sports Images[/caption]

41. South Dakota

Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon
Location: Hill City, SD
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018
The colossal Crazy Horse Memorial directs you to the start of this half-marathon through the Black Hills country. After a very short stretch uphill, the course is nearly all downhill for the remainder of the race, as it leads runners to the limestone and gravel trails of the scenic George S. Mickelson Trail. Registration fee: $65-$90

[caption id="attachment_64508" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - 
St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee Photo: Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series[/caption]

42. Tennessee

St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon
Location: Nashville, TN
Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018
Leave the headphones at home for 13.1 miles through Music City! On-course rock and country tunes will carry 18,000 of y’all from the honky tonks of Broadway to Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans. Just save some energy for the two-steppin’ at the post-race party. Registration fee: $90-$100

RELATED: 13 Awesome Podcasts to Get You Through a Long Run

[caption id="attachment_23711" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Mario Cantu[/caption]

43. Texas

Austin Half Marathon
Location: Austin, TX
Date: Sunday, February 18, 2018
Up to 12,000 runners get to see what keeps Austin weird at this urban half-marathon. You’ll pass Lady Bird Lake, Congress Avenue, the Colorado River and the Texas State Capitol. But it’s the extraordinary crowd support from friendly Austinites, Longhorns and local entertainment that makes this race most memorable. Registration fee: $70-$140

[caption id="attachment_23712" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Salt Lake City Marathon[/caption]

44. Utah

Alaska Airlines Salt Lake City Half Marathon
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018
The snow-capped Wasatch Mountains and budding flowers create a beautiful contrast at this annual springtime half. The point-to-point race starts at Olympic Legacy Bridge at the University of Utah, which served as the 2002 Winter Olympic Athlete Village. Maybe the slightly downhill course will help you make it to a medal podium, too! Registration fee: $70-$140

RELATED: Carb Loading for Runners: How to Prep for Race Day

[caption id="attachment_23875" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Nancy Nutitle-McMenemy[/caption]

45. Vermont

Covered Bridges Half Marathon
Location: Woodstock, VT
Date: Sunday, June 3, 2018
How does such a small town race sell out 2,300 spots in 30 minutes? It might have something to do with the classic New England point-to-point course, with popular ski areas, open farmland, shimmering rivers and covered bridges along the way. Bonus: Age group winners take home Vermont maple syrup and cheese as prizes! Registration fee: $75; sold out

[caption id="attachment_64509" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - 
Markel Richmond Half Marathon in Richmond, Virginia Photo: Richmond Marathon[/caption]

46. Virginia

 Markel Richmond Half Marathon
Location: Richmond, VA
Date: Saturday, November 10, 2018
Get the whole family together for this first-timer-friendly younger sibling of the Anthem Richmond Marathon (always a favorite fall race). There are plenty of downtown city sites, residential tree-lined streets, a loop in Bryan Park and even a sweet junk food mile stop (think gummy bears and cookies!) to keep you smiling along the way. Registration fee: $60-$115

[caption id="attachment_23715" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Adrenaline Event Photography[/caption]

47. Washington

Bellingham Bay Half Marathon
Location: Bellingham, WA
Date: Sunday, September 30, 2018
Down by the bay (Bellingham Bay, of course), you’ll find a tranquil half-marathon that offers more than 1,000 runners impressive mountain and seaside views. The waterfront course captures the sights, sounds and smells of the Pacific Northwest, courtesy of San Juan Island and Mount Baker vistas, short trails and small bridge crossings. Registration fee: $70

[caption id="attachment_23716" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Hatfield McCoy Marathon[/caption]

48. West Virginia

The Hatfield McCoy Half Marathon
Location: Matewan, WV
Date: Saturday, June 9, 2018
There are two important choices to make in this 15th annual half. Which of the course options will you run? And, are you a Hatfield or a McCoy? Read up on this famous American family feud before taking on the scenic course(s) near the Blackberry Mountains and Tug River. No matter which side you’re on, you’ll feel like family. Registration fee: $60-$85

RELATED: 7 Common Fears for Runners (and How to Overcome Them)

[caption id="attachment_23717" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Race-Brewers[/caption]

49. Wisconsin

Brewers Mini-Marathon
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Date: Saturday, September 22, 2018
In just a few years, this half-marathon has become a fall tradition — especially for baseball fans. The hilly course passes the Harley Davidson Museum and runs through Miller Valley, but runners finish with a trip ‘round the outer track of Miller Park, where they’ll earn a voucher for a free Milwaukee Brewers spring home game. Registration fee: $65-$110

[caption id="attachment_64510" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Hole Half Marathon in Jackson, Wyoming Photo: Jackson Hole Marathon[/caption]

50. Wyoming

Hole Half Marathon
Location: Jackson, WY
Date: Saturday, September 1, 2018
Discover the thrill of adventure at a destination half-marathon in the heart of the Jackson Hole valleys. It’s small, quiet and somewhat serene, but the point-to-point course’s jaw-dropping mountain views of Grand Teton and the brilliant, natural colors sure pack a punch. Registration fee: $89-$125

Originally published January 2014. Updated January 2018. 

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Best Half-Marathons

The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S.
If it seems like everywhere you look someone is running a half-marathon, that’s because it’s becoming increasingly true. According to Running USA, 1.9 million runners finished a half-marathon in the U.S. in 2016, with a record 2,800 half-marathon events in the country that year. While running 13.1 miles can still sound plenty intimidating, many runners see it as a way to work toward a full marathon, or as a more feasible (and still impressive!) goal to check off the bucket list. With the proper training (around 16 weeks for beginners), anyone really can run a half-marathon. Whether you’re a running newbie or a seasoned pro who wants to run a half in every state of the nation, we’ve narrowed down the thousands of options. Trust us, these 50 half-marathons (listed in alphabetical order by state) are well worth the training and registration fees. You’ll know it as soon as you cross that 13.1-mile finish line! RELATED: Daily Burn Audio Workouts: Take a Trainer on Your Run

The Best Half-Marathons Across the Country

[caption id="attachment_64478" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Best 50 Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Mercedes-Benz Half Marathon in Birmingham, Alabama Photo: Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend[/caption]

1. Alabama

Mercedes-Benz Half Marathon Location: Birmingham, AL Date: Sunday, February 11, 2018 Four thousand runners will take on this popular half-marathon course through Alabama’s largest city. Scan for sights on-the-go including the Birmingham Museum of Art, 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the very hilly Highland Park neighborhood around mile 8. Registration fee: $70-$120 [caption id="attachment_23720" align="alignnone" width="620"]Mayor’s Midnight Sun Half Marathon Photo: goseawolves.com[/caption]

2. Alaska

Anchorage Mayor’s Half-Marathon Location: Anchorage, AK Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018 Celebrate the extra daylight hours of the summer solstice at Alaska’s largest half-marathon. With stunning views of Mt. McKinley on the clearest days, you’ll experience the wilderness and tough trails of the Last Frontier — in a whole new light. Registration fee: $60-$100 RELATED: 9 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Running [caption id="attachment_23721" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sedona Half Marathon Photo: Sedona Half Marathon[/caption]

3. Arizona

Sedona Half Marathon Location: Sedona, AZ Date: Saturday, February 3, 2018 The 4,590 feet above sea level elevation may make it hard to catch your breath at this challenging half-marathon. The scenic red rocks and gorgeous valleys along the 13.1 miles of paved and dirt roads are worth the extra effort, and may also take your breath away. Registration fee: $50-$80 [caption id="attachment_64479" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - 
Little Rock Half Marathon Photo: Little Rock Marathon[/caption]

4. Arkansas

Little Rock Half Marathon Location: Little Rock, AR Date: Sunday, March 4, 2018 Up to 4,600 runners will trek through downtown Little Rock and along the Arkansas River to earn the “appropriately large” (at 4 ½ inches and 11 ounces!) finisher’s medal. It’s one of the state’s most popular running events with a fun, new theme each year and a new 2018 course. Registration fee: $70-$125 RELATED: Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring [caption id="attachment_64480" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon in Sonoma, California Photo: Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon[/caption]

5. California

Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon Location: Sonoma, CA Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018 Like running? Love wine? Those are the only requirements for this point-to-point half-marathon through the rolling vineyards of California wine country. It starts at Cuvaison Estate Wines and ends with tastings in Sonoma Plaza. But don’t worry, there’s also a special wine stop around mile 10! Registration fee: $180 for individuals and $175 for team participants; sold out [caption id="attachment_23724" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Golden Leaf Half Marathon[/caption]

6. Colorado

Golden Leaf Half Marathon Location: Snowmass Village, CO Date: Saturday, September 22, 2018 Hailed by magazines like Colorado Runner and Trail Runner, this Snowmass Village-to-Aspen half-marathon attracts 1,000 serious runners and leaf peepers alike. Expect major elevation changes and tough backcountry trails through the Rocky Mountain ski areas, all surrounded by the brilliant colors of the fall foliage season. Registration fee: $80 RELATED: 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition [caption id="attachment_64481" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Faxon Law Fairfield Half Marathon in Fairfield, Connecticut Photo: Faxon Law Fairfield Road Races[/caption]

7. Connecticut

Faxon Law Fairfield Half Marathon Location: Fairfield, CT Date: Sunday, June 3, 2018 This beachfront half-marathon has been a popular annual event since 1981. These days, up to 4,000 runners come out to Jennings Beach each year. You’ll race along Long Island Sound, over a few bridges and past the impressive area homes on this out-and-back course. Registration fee: $40-$65 [caption id="attachment_23689" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Dave Frederick / A Simple Running Log[/caption]

8. Delaware

Rehoboth Beach Seashore Half Marathon Location: Rehoboth Beach, DE Date: Saturday, December 8, 2018 It may be a chilly, little winter race but this coastal half-marathon has a lot of charm. The out-and-back course starts and finishes on the beach town’s historic boardwalk and features a stretch along the Junction and Breakwater Trail, which used to serve as a railroad line. Registration fee: $90-$160 RELATED: 13 Race Day Tips for Newbie Runners [caption id="attachment_23725" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Disney Sports[/caption]

9. Florida

Disney Princess Half Marathon Location: Orlando, FL Date: Sunday, February 25, 2018 Show off your sparkliest tiara and join Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and the rest of the Disney princesses (plus some 13,000 other runners) at this magical 13.1-mile run. You never know which of your favorite characters might be hanging around Cinderella’s Castle, Magic Kingdom® Park and Epcot®, so be sure to bring a camera! Registration fee: $160-$195; sold out [caption id="attachment_64486" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon in Atlanta, Georgia Photo: Atlanta Track Club[/caption]

10. Georgia

Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon Location: Atlanta, GA Date: Thursday, November 22, 2018 Get a head start on burning off the gravy-soaked calories with this popular Thanksgiving Day race. You’ll have to make your way past Atlanta landmarks like Centennial Olympic Park before getting to the finish line — and the turkey and pie! Registration fee: $60 RELATED: The 10 Best Races That Are Fit for Foodies [caption id="attachment_64487" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half Marathons in the U.S. - The Hapalua Half Marathon in Waikiki, Hawaii Photo: The Hapalua - Hawaii's Half Marathon[/caption]

11. Hawaii

The Hapalua Location: Waikiki, HI Date: Sunday, April 8, 2018 Its name means “half” in Hawaiian so it’s no surprise this five-year-old race (organized by the same team behind the Honolulu Marathon) already considers itself the half-marathon to run in the Aloha State. The 13.1 miles of paradise on Oahu’s south shore includes a loop around Diamond Head, Honolulu’s most famous volcano. Registration fee: $85-$180 [caption id="attachment_64492" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - 
Race to Robie Creek Half Marathon in Boise, Idaho Photo: Sawtooth Photo Pros[/caption]

12. Idaho

Race to Robie Creek Half Marathon Location: Boise, ID Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018 Considered the “toughest half-marathon in the Northwest,” this race has been a spring tradition in the Boise foothills for more than 40 years. Keep your head up as you climb, climb and climb some more — all the way to Aldape Summit, for an elevation gain of 2,072 feet in the course. Registration fee: $55 RELATED: 15 Best Destination Half-Marathons in the World [caption id="attachment_16701" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Chicago Half Marathon[/caption]

13. Illinois

Chicago Half Marathon Location: Chicago, IL Date: Sunday, September 23, 2018 Take an exclusive tour of the Windy City (by foot) at the only race in Chicago that shuts down the busy Lake Shore Drive completely. This traffic-free stretch offers runners views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan, but you’ll also get to visit Jackson Park and Hyde Park along the way. Registration fee: $75-$135 [caption id="attachment_23691" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: 500festival[/caption]

14. Indiana

OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Location: Indianapolis, IN Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018 Start your engines for one of the largest half-marathons in the country, with more than 24,000 participants! Just don’t waste all of your fuel on the lap around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the halfway point. There’s still the “Victory Mile” to the finish line on New York Street in downtown Indy. Registration fee: $72-$100 RELATED: Why I Started Running — And Never Stopped [caption id="attachment_64517" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Dam to Dam Half Marathon in Des Moines, Iowa Photo: Dam to Dam[/caption]

15. Iowa

Dam to Dam Half Marathon Location: Storm Lake, IA Date: Saturday, June 2, 2018 This year marks the last (damn) time 8,000 runners will run this flat and fast half-marathon from one dam outside the city to another in the downtown Des Moines. Along the way, they'll pass through Birdland Park, along the Meredith Trail and over the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge as a fond farewell to the beloved 39-year-old fall race. Registration fee: $40-$60 [caption id="attachment_64503" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - 
Garmin Half Marathon in Olathe, Kansas Photo: Dan Hutchins / Garmin Marathon[/caption]

16. Kansas

Garmin Half Marathon Location: Olathe, KS Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018 There’s no place like… Kansas for a half-marathon that’s fit for fans of The Wizard of Oz. Fly through the speedy, flat race (with a few wicked rolling hills) alongside some costumed Dorothys and Cowardly Lions. The loop course also travels along some historic wagon trails early settlers used to go west to California, Oregon and Santa Fe. Registration fee: $70-$120 RELATED: The 9 Best Fun Runs You Can Do With Your Dog [caption id="attachment_23692" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Run the Bluegrass[/caption]

17. Kentucky

Run the Bluegrass Location: Lexington, KY Date: Saturday, March 31, 2018 Join 5,000 runners and horse racing enthusiasts for one of “America’s prettiest half-marathons” through the picturesque Thoroughbred Farms of Kentucky. The rural race starts at Keeneland Race Course, where the 2003 film Seabiscuit was filmed. While there may not be many spectators, expect plenty of horses that’ll motivate you to keep trottin’. Registration fee: $90-$125 [caption id="attachment_23693" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series[/caption]

18. Louisiana

Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon Location: New Orleans, LA Date: Sunday, March 4, 2018 Put on your party pants (and beads) to hightail it from downtown New Orleans, to the beautiful Garden District, back through the world-famous French Quarter and to the finish in New Orleans City Park. The Rock ‘n’ Roll race series is known for its high-energy entertainment, so you’ll love running to the tunes of local Big Easy jazz. Registration fee: $90-$100 RELATED: Need Running Motivation? 20 Epic 'Runspo' Instagrams [caption id="attachment_23694" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Gameface Media[/caption]

19. Maine

Shipyard Old Port Half Location: Portland, ME Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018 It’s like you’re running through a New England postcard (with 3,500 other runners) at this coastal half-marathon through Portland. If the nautical sights of sailboats, lobster boats and tiny little islands all around Casco Bay aren’t enough, how does Shipyard Brewing Company beer at the finish line sound? Registration fee: $59 [caption id="attachment_23695" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Baltimore Half Marathon[/caption]

20. Maryland

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Baltimore Half Marathon Location: Baltimore, MD Date: Saturday, October 20, 2018 More than 11,000 runners come out each year for a loop around Charm City at this popular urban half-marathon. You’ll pass Patterson Park, climb the hills up to Lake Montebello and run by Johns Hopkins University before cruising into the new finish line at the iconic Inner Harbor. Registration fee: $80-$130 [caption id="attachment_23696" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Run to Remember Boston[/caption]

21. Massachusetts

Run to Remember Boston Location: Boston, MA Date: Sunday, May 27, 2018 For more than 10 years, this half-marathon honors Boston’s fallen law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty and takes thousands of runners on a trip around downtown Boston. The race starts and ends at the Seaport World Trade Center, and includes city landmarks like the Charles River, Massachusetts State House and Boston Common. Registration fee: $100-$120 RELATED: The Most Popular Running Routes in All 50 States [caption id="attachment_23697" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Detroit Marathon[/caption]

22. Michigan

Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank International Half-Marathon Location: Detroit, MI Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018 Technically, this may be one of the best half-marathons in the U.S. and Canada. So bring your passport, because this fast race will motor through mostly flat urban streets and cross the Detroit River (and international border) twice via the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. Registration fee: $90-$115 [caption id="attachment_23718" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Jeff Frey & Associates / Grandma’s Marathon[/caption]

23. Minnesota

Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Location: Duluth, MN Date: Saturday, June 16, 2018 The half-marathon counterpart of the beloved Grandma’s Marathon, this 13.1-mile race covers the second half of the gorgeous course. The point-to-point run is named after a local Olympian and follows Old Highway 61 along the beautiful, shimmering waters of Lake Superior. Registration fee: $95 [caption id="attachment_23698" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Mississippi River Half Marathon[/caption]

24. Mississippi

Mississippi River Half Marathon Location: Greenville, MS Date: Saturday, February 10, 2018 Imagine the mighty views as you run right up and over the Mississippi River on the Highway 82 Bridge at the start of this point-to-point half-marathon. In fact, it’s the only actual hill in the entire course! In its sixth year, the race continues to make new additions—like this year’s Arkansas side half-marathon. Registration fee: $60-$105 [caption id="attachment_23699" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Karen Martinez[/caption]

25. Missouri

GO! St. Louis Half Marathon Location: Louis, MO Date: Sunday, April 8, 2018 The runner’s high comes early in this half-marathon, which hosts 12,000 runners. Catch a straight-on view of The Lou’s Gateway Arch in the first few miles. Hear the roar of the crowd outside Busch Stadium, home of the Cardinals, at mile 5. And smell the hops from Anheuser-Busch Brewery right around the halfway mark. And Registration fee: $55-$110 RELATED: 12 Secrets from the Pros to Run a Personal Best [caption id="attachment_23729" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Missoula Marathon[/caption]

26. Montana

Missoula Half Marathon Location: Missoula, MT Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018 Often called the “Hub of Five Valleys,” Missoula hosts 4,000 runners in its scenic, high-elevation Rocky Mountain town. Though it’s not completely closed to traffic, this rural point-to-point half-marathon starts in the countryside, travels along the Bitterroot River and rolls into the downtown area for a memorable finish. Registration fee: $77-$127 [caption id="attachment_23730" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Gary Dougherty[/caption]

27. Nebraska

Lincoln Half Marathon Location: Lincoln, NE Date: Sunday, May 6, 2018 Join thousands of Cornhuskers (and maybe some out-of-towners) for this popular 40-year half-marathon in the heart of the Great Plains. The flat and fast course starts and ends at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and passes the historic State Capitol in the first mile out. Registration fee: $60 [caption id="attachment_23842" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Pond5[/caption]

28. Nevada

Twilight Red Rock Half Marathon Location: Las Vegas, NV Date: Saturday, October 13, 2018 Seventeen miles west of the glitzy Las Vegas strip, experience Red Rock Canyon’s colorful sandstone, Joshua trees and Mojave Desert vistas under the moonlight at this nighttime (BYO-headlamp!) half-marathon. There will be a new course this year, but the same sunset start time that night runners love. Registration: $75-$90 [caption id="attachment_64504" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Big Lake Half Marathon in Alton, New Hampshire Photo: Loco Races[/caption]

29. New Hampshire

Big Lake Half Marathon Location: Alton, NH Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018 Need to escape city life? With the glistening waters of Lake Winnipesaukee and the majestic views of the White Mountains, this small annual half-marathon is fit for nature lovers. The “lollipop loop” course runs right along the lake, over many rolling hills and among the nearby cozy vacation cottages. Registration fee: $49-$79 [caption id="attachment_23700" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: RunAPalooza[/caption]

30. New Jersey

Asbury Park Half Marathon Location: Asbury Park, NJ Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018 Greetings from Asbury Park, home of a true Jersey Shore half-marathon! (No, not the TV show.) This flat and fast race is in the land of Bruce Springsteen, with local icon Tillie as its funny-faced mascot. You’ll run through the area beach towns, along the historic boardwalk and finish with the “RunAPalooza” post-race party at Convention Hall. Registration fee: $50-$65 RELATED: The Strength Training Workout Every Runner Needs [caption id="attachment_23701" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon[/caption]

31. New Mexico

Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon Location: Santa Fe, NM Date: Sunday, September 16, 2018 Surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains, you can’t beat the vistas at this point-to-point half-marathon in the Rio Grande Valley. Unless of course, if it was also downhill. And it is! After a short two-mile climb, you’ll drop 1,300 feet overall, passing other sites like Camel Rock and the open-air Sante Fe Opera House. Registration fee: $55-$75 [caption id="attachment_23702" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: NYRR[/caption]

32. New York

United Airlines NYC Half Location: New York, NY Date: Sunday, March 18, 2018 Elite runners lead a pack of more than 20,000 runners through 13.1 miles of the Big Apple. With a new course in 2018, you’ll start in Brooklyn, cross the Manhattan Bridge, and head north along the East River to the tourist-filled Times Square, before finishing with four miles in the world famous Central Park. This tour definitely beats any double-decker bus! Registration fee: $130-$145 [caption id="attachment_23704" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Southern Fried Half Marathon[/caption]

33. North Carolina

Southern Fried Half Marathon Location: Nags Head, NC Date: Sunday, November 11, 2018 We love the sound of this point-to-point half-marathon — especially with the promise of southern fried sweet taters at the finish line! To earn ‘em, you (and more than 4,000 other runners) will take on the second half of the Outer Banks Marathon course, from the Nags Head sand dunes to the enchanting coastal village of Manteo. Registration fee: $60-$75 [caption id="attachment_23719" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Fargo Marathon[/caption]

34. North Dakota

Fargo Half Marathon Location: Fargo, ND Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018 With only a few hundred at the very first half-marathon in 2002, up to 6,500 runners now take to the streets of North Dakota’s largest city each spring. Starting and finishing inside the Fargodome (smile for the jumbotron!), the flat and fast course travels through the “Gateway to the West” and feels like a giant dance party with live bands at every mile. Registration fee: $65-$85 [caption id="attachment_64506" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Capital City Half Marathon in Columbus, Ohio Photo: The Capital City Half Marathon[/caption]

35. Ohio

OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon Location: Columbus, OH Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018 This 15th annual race promises a whopping 14,500 runners “the best tour of Columbus on two feet” with a new course for 2018. The loop course hits city hotspots like The Ohio State University campus, the Short North Arts District, German Village and downtown Columbus. It also promises a pizza and margaritas at the finish line. Who can argue with that? Registration fee: $60-$115 [caption id="attachment_23706" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - 
The Williams Route 66 Half Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma Photo: Route 66 Marathon[/caption]

36. Oklahoma

The Williams Route 66 Half Marathon Location: Tulsa, OK Date: Sunday, November 18, 2018 This beloved, high-energy race rocks the streets of downtown Tulsa. Get ready for a fast (though pretty hilly first half) run among Art Deco architecture, bustling neighborhoods and a cross over the famous Route 66 — twice! Registration fee: $90-$105 RELATED: 15 Races for People Who'd Rather Walk Than Run [caption id="attachment_23707" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Eugene Half Marathon in Eugene, Oregon Photo: Eugene Marathon[/caption]

37. Oregon

Eugene Half Marathon Location: Eugene, OR Date: Sunday, April 29, 2018 What better place for a speedy PR than TrackTown USA itself? Along the course you’ll see the Willamette River and the historic Hayward Field Track, home to Olympic trials, countless record-breaking events and the old stomping grounds of legends like Steve Prefontaine. Finish strong on those last 200 yards on the track — just like Pre himself! Registration fee: $70-$120 [caption id="attachment_64507" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Philadelphia Half Marathon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Photo: Philadelphia Marathon[/caption]

38. Pennsylvania

Dietz & Watson Philadelphia Half Marathon Location: Philadelphia, PA Date: Sunday, November 20, 2016 Do the steps at the starting line look familiar? That’s because they’re the same steps Rocky sprinted! You can become a champ too with 13.1 miles through Philly’s historic streets of Old City, the high-energy of Center City and the fall trails along the Schuylkill River, before rounding the corner back to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Registration fee: $60-$115 RELATED: Is Your Race Training Giving You Anxiety? [caption id="attachment_23709" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Liz Cardoso / Global Click Photography[/caption]

39. Rhode Island

Amica Newport Half Marathon Location: Newport, RI Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018 You’ll hardly notice all the rolling hills with so much to look at during this picture-perfect oceanside race. The half-marathon, voted best in the Northeast by Competitor magazine in 2016, starts at Easton’s Beach and makes its way around Fort Adams State Park and past the larger-than-life Bellevue Avenue mansions. Registration fee: $65-$85 [caption id="attachment_23786" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S.: Kiawah Island Golf Resort Photo: Kiawah Island Golf Resort[/caption]

40. South Carolina

Kiawah Island Golf Resort Half Marathon Location: Kiawah Island, SC Date: Saturday, December 8, 2018 How does an early winter runcation sound? Plan a getaway to this luxurious golf resort for a relaxing retreat and its 41st annual half-marathon. The flat-as-can-be race attracts more than 3,000 to run around the island community, among oak, maple and pine tree-lined streets and scenic marshlands. Just save a little energy to hit the links, too. Registration: $60-$115 [caption id="attachment_23843" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Action Sports Images[/caption]

41. South Dakota

Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon Location: Hill City, SD Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018 The colossal Crazy Horse Memorial directs you to the start of this half-marathon through the Black Hills country. After a very short stretch uphill, the course is nearly all downhill for the remainder of the race, as it leads runners to the limestone and gravel trails of the scenic George S. Mickelson Trail. Registration fee: $65-$90 [caption id="attachment_64508" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - 
St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee Photo: Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series[/caption]

42. Tennessee

St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon Location: Nashville, TN Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018 Leave the headphones at home for 13.1 miles through Music City! On-course rock and country tunes will carry 18,000 of y’all from the honky tonks of Broadway to Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans. Just save some energy for the two-steppin’ at the post-race party. Registration fee: $90-$100 RELATED: 13 Awesome Podcasts to Get You Through a Long Run [caption id="attachment_23711" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Mario Cantu[/caption]

43. Texas

Austin Half Marathon Location: Austin, TX Date: Sunday, February 18, 2018 Up to 12,000 runners get to see what keeps Austin weird at this urban half-marathon. You’ll pass Lady Bird Lake, Congress Avenue, the Colorado River and the Texas State Capitol. But it’s the extraordinary crowd support from friendly Austinites, Longhorns and local entertainment that makes this race most memorable. Registration fee: $70-$140 [caption id="attachment_23712" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Salt Lake City Marathon[/caption]

44. Utah

Alaska Airlines Salt Lake City Half Marathon Location: Salt Lake City, UT Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018 The snow-capped Wasatch Mountains and budding flowers create a beautiful contrast at this annual springtime half. The point-to-point race starts at Olympic Legacy Bridge at the University of Utah, which served as the 2002 Winter Olympic Athlete Village. Maybe the slightly downhill course will help you make it to a medal podium, too! Registration fee: $70-$140 RELATED: Carb Loading for Runners: How to Prep for Race Day [caption id="attachment_23875" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Nancy Nutitle-McMenemy[/caption]

45. Vermont

Covered Bridges Half Marathon Location: Woodstock, VT Date: Sunday, June 3, 2018 How does such a small town race sell out 2,300 spots in 30 minutes? It might have something to do with the classic New England point-to-point course, with popular ski areas, open farmland, shimmering rivers and covered bridges along the way. Bonus: Age group winners take home Vermont maple syrup and cheese as prizes! Registration fee: $75; sold out [caption id="attachment_64509" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - 
Markel Richmond Half Marathon in Richmond, Virginia Photo: Richmond Marathon[/caption]

46. Virginia

 Markel Richmond Half Marathon Location: Richmond, VA Date: Saturday, November 10, 2018 Get the whole family together for this first-timer-friendly younger sibling of the Anthem Richmond Marathon (always a favorite fall race). There are plenty of downtown city sites, residential tree-lined streets, a loop in Bryan Park and even a sweet junk food mile stop (think gummy bears and cookies!) to keep you smiling along the way. Registration fee: $60-$115 [caption id="attachment_23715" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Adrenaline Event Photography[/caption]

47. Washington

Bellingham Bay Half Marathon Location: Bellingham, WA Date: Sunday, September 30, 2018 Down by the bay (Bellingham Bay, of course), you’ll find a tranquil half-marathon that offers more than 1,000 runners impressive mountain and seaside views. The waterfront course captures the sights, sounds and smells of the Pacific Northwest, courtesy of San Juan Island and Mount Baker vistas, short trails and small bridge crossings. Registration fee: $70 [caption id="attachment_23716" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Hatfield McCoy Marathon[/caption]

48. West Virginia

The Hatfield McCoy Half Marathon Location: Matewan, WV Date: Saturday, June 9, 2018 There are two important choices to make in this 15th annual half. Which of the course options will you run? And, are you a Hatfield or a McCoy? Read up on this famous American family feud before taking on the scenic course(s) near the Blackberry Mountains and Tug River. No matter which side you’re on, you’ll feel like family. Registration fee: $60-$85 RELATED: 7 Common Fears for Runners (and How to Overcome Them) [caption id="attachment_23717" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. Photo: Race-Brewers[/caption]

49. Wisconsin

Brewers Mini-Marathon Location: Milwaukee, WI Date: Saturday, September 22, 2018 In just a few years, this half-marathon has become a fall tradition — especially for baseball fans. The hilly course passes the Harley Davidson Museum and runs through Miller Valley, but runners finish with a trip ‘round the outer track of Miller Park, where they’ll earn a voucher for a free Milwaukee Brewers spring home game. Registration fee: $65-$110 [caption id="attachment_64510" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. - Hole Half Marathon in Jackson, Wyoming Photo: Jackson Hole Marathon[/caption]

50. Wyoming

Hole Half Marathon Location: Jackson, WY Date: Saturday, September 1, 2018 Discover the thrill of adventure at a destination half-marathon in the heart of the Jackson Hole valleys. It’s small, quiet and somewhat serene, but the point-to-point course’s jaw-dropping mountain views of Grand Teton and the brilliant, natural colors sure pack a punch. Registration fee: $89-$125 Originally published January 2014. Updated January 2018.  Read More 20-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout to Get Fit, Fast How to Score Perfect Running Form Like the Pros The 10 Best Running Tours to Explore the World

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The 30 Best Thanksgiving Turkey Trots https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-turkey-trots-thanksgiving/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-turkey-trots-thanksgiving/#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 16:15:03 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=21307 Best Turkey Trots in the US

The 30 Best Thanksgiving Turkey Trots

If you think the only race that happens on Thanksgiving Day is seeing who gets a second helping of pumpkin pie first, guess again. Before lifting a fork, watching football, and taking a post-turkey snooze, hundreds of thousands of Americans start their holiday by giving thanks — with a turkey trot.

Because It’s Hot to Trot

These popular running events, traditionally held before the feast on Thanksgiving morning, have grown tremendously in recent years. More than 960,000 people throughout the country finished a Thanksgiving day race in 2016, compared to nearly 901,000 in 2015, according to Running USA. Turkey trots are typically tied to a charitable cause, have a flair for costumed fun, and sometimes give out turkeys and pies to top finishers! Plus, experts say light cardio is one of the best remedies for those inevitable hangovers from Thanksgiving Eve partying. But the turkey trot’s most appetizing draw is obvious. Run a race in the morning and trotters can feel guilt-free about gobbling down later on!

Of course, with an average Thanksgiving Day meal weighing in somewhere between 3,000 and 4,500 calories, you’d have to run a full marathon (and then some) to really burn it all off. There are unfortunately no turkey trot marathons at this time, but runners around the country agree that even a few miles is the best way to kick off the holiday.

RELATED: 263 Races for Every Distance and Destination

The Best Turkey Trots in America

Lucky for you (and your love of pumpkin pie), it’s easy to find a local race of your own! To get you and your flock of friends and family inspired, here are 20 of the most popular turkey trots in the U.S. all taking place on Thursday, November 24, 2016.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Dana Point Turkey Trot Photo: Dana Point Turkey Trot[/caption]

1. Dana Point Turkey Trot

Location: Dana Point, CA
You’ll find one of the country’s largest and most scenic turkey trots right in the heart of the OC. Established in 1977, the Dana Point Turkey Trot encourages its 11,000 runners to “run the race before you stuff your face.” Benefitting the Dana Point Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9934, among other charities, the event includes a 5K, 10K and a “Gobble Wobble” one-mile run for kids.

[caption id="attachment_21642" align="alignnone" width="620"]Silicon Valley Turkey Trot Photo: Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot[/caption]

2. Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot

Location: San Jose, CA
The Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot has raised $6.9 million since its start for local charities including the Healthier Kids Foundation Santa Clara CountySecond Harvest Food Bank and more. Last year, 24,901 people participated — a long way from the 1,900 participants its first year! Elite runners, weekend warriors and kids alike join in the fun cruising through the flat and fast downtown area. There is a 10K for runners and wheelchair athletes, a 5K and multiple kids’ runs. In addition to an epic costume competition, this turkey trot also gives out prizes in categories like “Fittest Firm” and “Quickest Cop/Fastest Firefighter.”

RELATED: How Much Exercise It Takes to Burn Off A Thanksgiving Feast

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Run to Feed the Hungry Photo: Run to Feed the Hungry[/caption]

3. Run to Feed the Hungry

Location: Sacramento, CA
With all proceeds going toward the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, the 24th annual Run to Feed the Hungry will host more than 29,000 runners and walkers at this year’s 10K and 5K. (Last year, this race became the largest T-Day run in the country, with 29,002 runners.) The loop courses start near the Sacramento State campus and run through the cozy tree-lined streets of East Sacramento, with plenty of music and lots of spectators who take a break from the kitchen to come out and cheer.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Turkey Trail Trot XI Photo: Turkey Trail Trot XI[/caption]

4. Turkey Trail Trot XI

Location: San Francisco, CA
At the quirky Turkey Trail Trot XI, don’t be surprised to see a giant costumed turkey leading the pack of participants in silly costumes of their own. Benefitting the Lowell High Track & Field team, the cross-country course in Golden Gate Park features a 5-mile trot, 3-mile “Pilgrim Promenade” (aka a walk) and 100-meter kids’ “Gobbler Chase.”  The winners of the races will take home prizes of turkeys, Schubert’s Bakery pies and plenty of wine!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Mile High United Way Turkey Trot Photo: Mile High United Way Turkey Trot[/caption]

5. Mile High United Way Turkey Trot

Location: Denver, CO
Celebrating its 43rd year, the Mile High United Way Turkey Trot is the top fundraiser for the United Way. More than 20,000 people head to Denver's Washington Park for the 4-mile race or 1/4-mile family fun run. Those of drinking age can enjoy the craft beer garden party (featuring local breweries like Great Divide) at the finish line.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Manchester Road Race Photo: tfxc[/caption]

6. Manchester Road Race

Location: Manchester, CT
What began on a rainy day in 1927 with just 12 runners is now one of New England’s most famous road races and the largest race in Connecticut. The Manchester Road Race’s (almost) 5-mile course attracts up to 15,000 runners, including Olympians, locals and at least one Runner’s World editor, as well as nearly 20,000 spectators each year. Last year, it donated more than $100,000 to charities including the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

[caption id="attachment_45484" align="alignnone" width="620"]Atlanta Track Club Thanksgiving Half Photo: Atlanta Track Club[/caption]

7. Atlanta Half Marathon

Location: Atlanta, GA
Overachievers, this one’s for you! The Atlanta Half Marathon will definitely blast more calories, compared to most of the other trots on our list.  Did you know Atlanta originally hosted a Thanksgiving Day full marathon from 1981 to 2009? These days, you’ll have to settle for the still-awesome 13.1-mile course. It winds its way past city landmarks like Centennial Olympic Park and Piedmont Park. The Atlanta tradition also includes a 5K, one-miler and 50-meter dash.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]New-Orleans-Road-Race Photo: Run Turkey Trot[/caption]

8. New Orleans Athletic Club Turkey Day Race

Location: New Orleans, LA
The New Orleans Track Club has been hosting the annual New Orleans Athletic Club Turkey Day Race for 110 years. One of the oldest and continuously held non-marathon races in the country, the 5-mile run and half-mile race for kids benefit Spina Bifida of Greater New Orleans. Join more than 2,000 runners in a trek to the finish line at Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park, named after Francis Thomas "Tad" Gormley, the race’s original founder.

RELATED: What's Really in Tofurky and Other Vegetarian Turkey?

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="600"]Feaster-Five Photo: DMSE SPORTS[/caption]

9. Feaster Five Road Race

Location: Andover, MA
Dessert comes early at the 30th annual Feaster Five Road Race, where runners are rewarded with an apple pie at the finish line! Running legends like Bill RodgersJoan Benoit Samuelson and Team Hoyt have all raced toward that pie, and more than 10,000 other participants will take on the 5-mile, 5K and kids’ fun runs (100-600 yards for ages 4-12) this year. Proceeds from the turkey trot benefit local charities including the Merrimack Valley YMCA, Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm and the Bellesini Academy.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim 5K Photo: Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim 5K[/caption]

10. Plymouth Turkey Trot and Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim 5K

Location: Plymouth, MA
We don’t think the Pilgrims started the first Thanksgiving with a running race. But in present-day Plymouth, the place where it all began, they start with two turkey trots! Both collect food donations to support the Greater Plymouth Food Warehouse. There’s the (hilly) five-mile Plymouth Turkey Trot, which takes runners past historic landmarks like Plymouth Rock (where the race starts), Forefathers Monument and the Mayflower II. This year, they also added a three-mile course. And then there's the seventh annual flat and fast Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim 5K course which includes a stretch on Old Sanswich Road, the oldest road in America. Run both and you get — what else? — a giant turkey trophy in honor of your “Second Helping” accomplishment!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fifth-Third-Turkey-Trot Photo: RunMichigan[/caption]

11. Strategic Staffing Solutions Turkey Trot

Location: Detroit, MI
More than 21,000 Detroiters will lace up for this trot, which kicks off the city's T-Day parade. Now in its 35th year, it offers a 10K run, 5K run/walk, a "Mashed Potato Mile" and a "Dumbstruck Double," which includes both the 10K and 5K distances. This year, they also added another two-race deal to the fun, dubbed the "Cranberry Combo" — it includes tackling the one-miler and 5K.

RELATED: Skip the Sweatpants: Your Pre-Thanksgiving Detox Plan

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fast-Before-the-Feast Photo: Run Turkey Trot[/caption]

12. Fast Before the Feast

Location: White Bear Lake, MN
Some runners might have personal racing goals for the 10K, 5K and fun run at the Fast Before the Feast. But there’s another lofty goal for all participants this year — to donate 10,000 pounds of food to the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf and Hugo Good Neighbors Food Shelf. Since its start, the race has donated more than 29,000 pounds of food to these local charities. The mostly flat neighborhood courses are really secondary to those donations. Bring ‘em and trotters are guaranteed free Caribou Coffee treats at the finish line and entries into the thousands of dollars’ worth of door prizes.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Charlotte-Southpark-Turkey-Trot Photo: Richard / Old NC Runner Blog[/caption]

13. Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot

Location: Charlotte, NC
The 29th annual Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot is one of the city’s longest-running events and Thanksgiving Day traditions. It’s so popular, the field has to be capped at 11,000 participants for the 8K, 5K, 1-mile and 26.2-yard “Tot Trot.” Finishers of the loop course around South Charlotte go home with a special medal. And whoever wins the costume contest goes home with some awards, too. The event supports charitable partners including the McClintock Partners in Education and the Christ Lutheran Church in Charlotte.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam Photo: Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam[/caption]

14. Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam Turkey Trot

Location: Las Vegas, NV
Eighteen miles off the Las Vegas strip, there’s a turkey trot that runs along Lake Mead and along the Historic Railroad Trailhead. It has not one, not two, but six tunnels on the menu before making its way to the Hoover Dam! The Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam Turkey Trot is now in its ninth year with participants competing in a 12K, 5K and 1-mile stroll. This year, they want runners to take it a step further: Now participants can sign up for the half marathon option.

RELATED: The 5K Training Plan You Can Totally Do

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Buffalo Niagra YMCA Turkey Trot Photo: Buffalo Niagra YMCA[/caption]

15. Buffalo Niagara YMCA Turkey Trot

Location: Buffalo, NY
Created in 1896, the Buffalo Niagara YMCA Turkey Trot is the oldest consecutively run footrace in North America. Not even a record-breaking snowstorm in 2002 kept runners off the streets of Buffalo! This year, expect 14,000 runners (the cap) and walkers to come dressed to impress, ready to take on the 8K course and the sixth annual costume contest. The event supports local YMCA programs.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Western and Southern Thanksgiving Day Race Photo: Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day Race[/caption]

16. Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day Race

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Runners brave freezing temps at Paul Brown Stadium, home to the Cincinnati Bengals, for the annual Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day Race and McDonald's Kids Run. This year marks the 107th annual running of the 10K event, making it the oldest road race of any kind in the Midwest, the sixth oldest race in the country and perhaps the only turkey trot around to cross the Ohio River — twice! The race proceeds go toward the Ronald McDonald HouseGirls on the Run, the UC Barrett Cancer Center and many other charities.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Ohio River Turkey Trot Photo: Ohio River Road Runners Club[/caption]

17. Ohio River Road Runners Club Turkey Trot

Location: Miamisburg, OH
It’s been around for 39 years now, but the Ohio River Road Runners Club Turkey Trot introduced a brand new course just last year. Why? To accommodate its growing number of 10,000-plus participants! New this year: a comfy hoodie that comes with your registration fee, a step up from the typical T-shirt. The event is the largest 5-mile race in the eastern half of the U.S., but also hosts a 1-mile non-timed run for the more casual trotter.

RELATED: The 10 Best Races That Are Fit for Foodies

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Run-for-the-Diamonds Photo: Best Road Races[/caption]

18. Run for the Diamonds

Location: Berwick, PA
We’re still not sure what diamonds have to do with Thanksgiving, but the bling sure gets 2,000 runners up and at ‘em! The top seven male and female winners of the challenging 9-mile Run for Diamonds (the fourth oldest road race in America), take home diamond rings and diamond pendants, respectively. And for those who miss out on the prized jewels, there’s always free post-race pizza to look forward to!

[caption id="attachment_21609" align="alignnone" width="620"]Arlington Turkey Trot Photo: arlingtonturkeytrot.org[/caption]

19. Arlington Turkey Trot

Location: Arlington, TX
Texas sports fans will love the eighth annual Arlington Turkey Trot, which gives runners a chance to race past Rangers Ballpark and Cowboys Stadium on the out-and-back 5K loop. There were more than 1,000 timed runners participate in the trot and even more toe the line for the “Puffin’ and Stuffin’” one-mile fun run. Winners get a free pair of sneakers and race proceeds support The Shoe Bank, a local charity that provides shoes for 25,000 people in need each year.

[caption id="attachment_21750" align="alignnone" width="620"]Capital One Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot Photo: Dallas YMCA[/caption]

20. Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot

Location: Dallas, TX
Also benefitting the YMCA, the Dallas Turkey Trot really proves that everything’s bigger in Texas. The 50th annual race expects nearly 40,000 runners for its 8-mile run and 5K run/walk, making it one of the largest multi-event races in the country. (And if you can't make it to Dallas, you can also join in virtually.) This trot attracts elite runners and regular ol’ birds alike. In fact, in 2011, it set a world record for the largest gathering of people dressed as turkeys.

RELATED: 15 Races for People Who'd Rather Walk Than Run

[caption id="attachment_45277" align="alignnone" width="620"]Boise Turkey Trot 5K Photo: Life Time Turkey Trots[/caption]

21. Turkey Day 5K Boise

Location: Boise, IA
With races in five locations across the country, the Life Time Turkey Day 5K is all about family and friends kicking off the holiday together in a healthy, happy way. (Besides Boise, the race also happens in Chicago, Miami, Minneapolis and Phoenix.) The Boise course, which is fast and flat, is ideal for runners and walkers alike. Bring canned foods to the start area — they’ll be donated to the pantries of Boise Rescue Mission and City Light Home for Women and Children — and you’ll be entered into a special prize lottery, just for doing good.

[caption id="attachment_45279" align="alignnone" width="620"]Feathers and Feast Trail Half Marathon Turkey Trot Photo: Feast and Feathers Half-Marathon[/caption]

22. Feast and Feathers Trail Half-Marathon/10K/5K

Location: Omaha, NE
Weekend warriors will flock to this trail half, but thanks to the 10K and 5K distances, anyone can join in on the action. In fact, even kids can join the fun with the Lil Gobbler Trot — a free race, as long as you bring five cans of food to benefit the Food Bank of Heartland. Of course the 5K loop is easiest, but the half provides some of the best views of Cunningham Lake (and extra room for stuffing).

[caption id="attachment_45280" align="alignnone" width="620"]Knoxville Turkey Trot Photo: Eli Johnson Photography / Fleet Feet Sports Knoxville[/caption]

23. Hot to Trot 10K/5K/Fun Run

Location: Knoxville, TN
Held annually by sportswear shop Fleet Feet Knoxville, this race is all about community. Not only was there a friendly contest for runners to design this year’s official logo, local handmade pottery will serve as trophies. Also, all proceeds benefit A Hand Up For Women, a charity that focuses on mentorship, education and development for girls and women.

[caption id="attachment_45281" align="alignnone" width="620"]Naperville Turkey Trot Photo: Naperville Lions[/caption]

24. Naperville Turkey Trot

Location: Naperville, IL
Organized by the local Lions Club, this flat course is great for those looking to nab a PR. Now in it’s 20th year, 7,500 runners are expected to hit the course this Thanksgiving. And because you deserve a delicious breakfast after a solid run, there’s a pancake feast served afterwards — free of charge.

[caption id="attachment_45278" align="alignnone" width="620"]DC Turkey Trot for Hunger Photo: Trot for Hunger[/caption]

25. Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger

Location: Washington, DC
Raise money and awareness for DC’s homeless population by registering for the 16th annual Trot for Hunger, where race proceeds help thousands of families in the DC area. Things kick off first for the kids’ one-mile Fun Run, then the 5K, all starting from Freedom Plaza. You have the option to run with a chip or without, so use the day to PR or just shake out your legs on a good powerwalk.

RELATED: 11 Incredible Charity Races That Give Back

[caption id="attachment_45284" align="alignnone" width="620"]Pensacola Turkey Trot for Thought Photo: Pensacola Turkey Trot for Thought[/caption]

26. Pensacola Beach Trot for Thought

Location: Pensacola Beach, FL
With a gorgeous, coastal course, the Trot for Thought is easily the most relaxing and scenic 5K — you run right between the serene shorelines of the Santa Rosa Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. Proceeds from the race benefit brain cancer research by the Preston Robert Tisch Tumor Center at Duke University. Oh, and this race is dog-friendly — just make sure your pooch is up for 3.1 miles beforehand!

[caption id="attachment_45283" align="alignnone" width="620"]Oklahoma City Turkey Trot Photo: Oklahoma City Turkey Trot[/caption]

27. Oklahoma City Turkey Tracks 5K 

Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Run around downtown Oklahoma City for this 5K or one-mile Fun Run. But before you start stepping, be sure to drop off a new, unwrapped gift with the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation drop. Organizers hope to give 1,000 Christmas toys to needy children in the Oklahoma City area.

[caption id="attachment_45285" align="alignnone" width="620"]15th Annual Turkey Trek Photo: Turkey Trek[/caption]

28. 15th Annual Turkey Trek

Location: Albuquerque, NM
If you’ve ever seen epic photos from the annual hot-air balloon festival, you know Balloon Park, which serves as a border for this Turkey Trek. With a 5K run, a fitness walk and a Fun Run, the whole family can get involved in a race that meets his or her individual fitness level. Even more fun: a costume contest with a male, female and kid winner.

[caption id="attachment_45276" align="alignnone" width="620"]Bay St Louis Turkey Trot Photo: Bay St Louis Turkey Trot[/caption]

29. Fit First Turkey Trot

Location: Bay St. Louis, MS
Only in its fifth year, this Trot is all about our furry friends, as every race participant (and spectator!) is asked to bring canned pet food, treat or toy for donation. In addition, all proceeds will benefit the local animal shelter. Let’s face it: Although pets are such an important part of the family, Thanksgiving may be the one day we forget that. This Turkey Trot is the perfect reminder.

[caption id="attachment_45282" align="alignnone" width="620"]North Dakota CFA Turkey Trot Photo: CFA North Dakota[/caption]

30. CFA North Dakota Turkey Trot

Location: Bismarck, ND
Fun, frosty beards and snowy streets aside, this Turkey Trot is an important one as it is held by (and all proceeds go toward) the Cystic Fibrosis Association of North Dakota. With a 10K run, 5K run, 5K walk and a fun walk, there's a race for everyone in the fam. Just make sure you dress for the weather — recent years have been frigid and snowy.

Not within trotting distance of any of the races listed above? Check out the race directories on Active.com or Running in the USA to find a Thanksgiving Day turkey trot near you.

Read More
The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S.
Why I Started Running — and Never Stopped
50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition

Originally posted on November 25, 2013. Updated November 2017. 

The post The 30 Best Thanksgiving Turkey Trots appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Best Turkey Trots in the US

The 30 Best Thanksgiving Turkey Trots If you think the only race that happens on Thanksgiving Day is seeing who gets a second helping of pumpkin pie first, guess again. Before lifting a fork, watching football, and taking a post-turkey snooze, hundreds of thousands of Americans start their holiday by giving thanks — with a turkey trot.

Because It’s Hot to Trot

These popular running events, traditionally held before the feast on Thanksgiving morning, have grown tremendously in recent years. More than 960,000 people throughout the country finished a Thanksgiving day race in 2016, compared to nearly 901,000 in 2015, according to Running USA. Turkey trots are typically tied to a charitable cause, have a flair for costumed fun, and sometimes give out turkeys and pies to top finishers! Plus, experts say light cardio is one of the best remedies for those inevitable hangovers from Thanksgiving Eve partying. But the turkey trot’s most appetizing draw is obvious. Run a race in the morning and trotters can feel guilt-free about gobbling down later on! Of course, with an average Thanksgiving Day meal weighing in somewhere between 3,000 and 4,500 calories, you’d have to run a full marathon (and then some) to really burn it all off. There are unfortunately no turkey trot marathons at this time, but runners around the country agree that even a few miles is the best way to kick off the holiday. RELATED: 263 Races for Every Distance and Destination

The Best Turkey Trots in America

Lucky for you (and your love of pumpkin pie), it’s easy to find a local race of your own! To get you and your flock of friends and family inspired, here are 20 of the most popular turkey trots in the U.S. all taking place on Thursday, November 24, 2016. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Dana Point Turkey Trot Photo: Dana Point Turkey Trot[/caption]

1. Dana Point Turkey Trot

Location: Dana Point, CA You’ll find one of the country’s largest and most scenic turkey trots right in the heart of the OC. Established in 1977, the Dana Point Turkey Trot encourages its 11,000 runners to “run the race before you stuff your face.” Benefitting the Dana Point Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9934, among other charities, the event includes a 5K, 10K and a “Gobble Wobble” one-mile run for kids. [caption id="attachment_21642" align="alignnone" width="620"]Silicon Valley Turkey Trot Photo: Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot[/caption]

2. Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot

Location: San Jose, CA The Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot has raised $6.9 million since its start for local charities including the Healthier Kids Foundation Santa Clara CountySecond Harvest Food Bank and more. Last year, 24,901 people participated — a long way from the 1,900 participants its first year! Elite runners, weekend warriors and kids alike join in the fun cruising through the flat and fast downtown area. There is a 10K for runners and wheelchair athletes, a 5K and multiple kids’ runs. In addition to an epic costume competition, this turkey trot also gives out prizes in categories like “Fittest Firm” and “Quickest Cop/Fastest Firefighter.” RELATED: How Much Exercise It Takes to Burn Off A Thanksgiving Feast [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Run to Feed the Hungry Photo: Run to Feed the Hungry[/caption]

3. Run to Feed the Hungry

Location: Sacramento, CA With all proceeds going toward the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, the 24th annual Run to Feed the Hungry will host more than 29,000 runners and walkers at this year’s 10K and 5K. (Last year, this race became the largest T-Day run in the country, with 29,002 runners.) The loop courses start near the Sacramento State campus and run through the cozy tree-lined streets of East Sacramento, with plenty of music and lots of spectators who take a break from the kitchen to come out and cheer. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Turkey Trail Trot XI Photo: Turkey Trail Trot XI[/caption]

4. Turkey Trail Trot XI

Location: San Francisco, CA At the quirky Turkey Trail Trot XI, don’t be surprised to see a giant costumed turkey leading the pack of participants in silly costumes of their own. Benefitting the Lowell High Track & Field team, the cross-country course in Golden Gate Park features a 5-mile trot, 3-mile “Pilgrim Promenade” (aka a walk) and 100-meter kids’ “Gobbler Chase.”  The winners of the races will take home prizes of turkeys, Schubert’s Bakery pies and plenty of wine! [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Mile High United Way Turkey Trot Photo: Mile High United Way Turkey Trot[/caption]

5. Mile High United Way Turkey Trot

Location: Denver, CO Celebrating its 43rd year, the Mile High United Way Turkey Trot is the top fundraiser for the United Way. More than 20,000 people head to Denver's Washington Park for the 4-mile race or 1/4-mile family fun run. Those of drinking age can enjoy the craft beer garden party (featuring local breweries like Great Divide) at the finish line. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Manchester Road Race Photo: tfxc[/caption]

6. Manchester Road Race

Location: Manchester, CT What began on a rainy day in 1927 with just 12 runners is now one of New England’s most famous road races and the largest race in Connecticut. The Manchester Road Race’s (almost) 5-mile course attracts up to 15,000 runners, including Olympians, locals and at least one Runner’s World editor, as well as nearly 20,000 spectators each year. Last year, it donated more than $100,000 to charities including the Muscular Dystrophy Association. [caption id="attachment_45484" align="alignnone" width="620"]Atlanta Track Club Thanksgiving Half Photo: Atlanta Track Club[/caption]

7. Atlanta Half Marathon

Location: Atlanta, GA Overachievers, this one’s for you! The Atlanta Half Marathon will definitely blast more calories, compared to most of the other trots on our list.  Did you know Atlanta originally hosted a Thanksgiving Day full marathon from 1981 to 2009? These days, you’ll have to settle for the still-awesome 13.1-mile course. It winds its way past city landmarks like Centennial Olympic Park and Piedmont Park. The Atlanta tradition also includes a 5K, one-miler and 50-meter dash. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]New-Orleans-Road-Race Photo: Run Turkey Trot[/caption]

8. New Orleans Athletic Club Turkey Day Race

Location: New Orleans, LA The New Orleans Track Club has been hosting the annual New Orleans Athletic Club Turkey Day Race for 110 years. One of the oldest and continuously held non-marathon races in the country, the 5-mile run and half-mile race for kids benefit Spina Bifida of Greater New Orleans. Join more than 2,000 runners in a trek to the finish line at Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park, named after Francis Thomas "Tad" Gormley, the race’s original founder. RELATED: What's Really in Tofurky and Other Vegetarian Turkey? [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="600"]Feaster-Five Photo: DMSE SPORTS[/caption]

9. Feaster Five Road Race

Location: Andover, MA Dessert comes early at the 30th annual Feaster Five Road Race, where runners are rewarded with an apple pie at the finish line! Running legends like Bill RodgersJoan Benoit Samuelson and Team Hoyt have all raced toward that pie, and more than 10,000 other participants will take on the 5-mile, 5K and kids’ fun runs (100-600 yards for ages 4-12) this year. Proceeds from the turkey trot benefit local charities including the Merrimack Valley YMCA, Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm and the Bellesini Academy. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim 5K Photo: Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim 5K[/caption]

10. Plymouth Turkey Trot and Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim 5K

Location: Plymouth, MA We don’t think the Pilgrims started the first Thanksgiving with a running race. But in present-day Plymouth, the place where it all began, they start with two turkey trots! Both collect food donations to support the Greater Plymouth Food Warehouse. There’s the (hilly) five-mile Plymouth Turkey Trot, which takes runners past historic landmarks like Plymouth Rock (where the race starts), Forefathers Monument and the Mayflower II. This year, they also added a three-mile course. And then there's the seventh annual flat and fast Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim 5K course which includes a stretch on Old Sanswich Road, the oldest road in America. Run both and you get — what else? — a giant turkey trophy in honor of your “Second Helping” accomplishment! [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fifth-Third-Turkey-Trot Photo: RunMichigan[/caption]

11. Strategic Staffing Solutions Turkey Trot

Location: Detroit, MI More than 21,000 Detroiters will lace up for this trot, which kicks off the city's T-Day parade. Now in its 35th year, it offers a 10K run, 5K run/walk, a "Mashed Potato Mile" and a "Dumbstruck Double," which includes both the 10K and 5K distances. This year, they also added another two-race deal to the fun, dubbed the "Cranberry Combo" — it includes tackling the one-miler and 5K. RELATED: Skip the Sweatpants: Your Pre-Thanksgiving Detox Plan [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fast-Before-the-Feast Photo: Run Turkey Trot[/caption]

12. Fast Before the Feast

Location: White Bear Lake, MN Some runners might have personal racing goals for the 10K, 5K and fun run at the Fast Before the Feast. But there’s another lofty goal for all participants this year — to donate 10,000 pounds of food to the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf and Hugo Good Neighbors Food Shelf. Since its start, the race has donated more than 29,000 pounds of food to these local charities. The mostly flat neighborhood courses are really secondary to those donations. Bring ‘em and trotters are guaranteed free Caribou Coffee treats at the finish line and entries into the thousands of dollars’ worth of door prizes. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Charlotte-Southpark-Turkey-Trot Photo: Richard / Old NC Runner Blog[/caption]

13. Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot

Location: Charlotte, NC The 29th annual Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot is one of the city’s longest-running events and Thanksgiving Day traditions. It’s so popular, the field has to be capped at 11,000 participants for the 8K, 5K, 1-mile and 26.2-yard “Tot Trot.” Finishers of the loop course around South Charlotte go home with a special medal. And whoever wins the costume contest goes home with some awards, too. The event supports charitable partners including the McClintock Partners in Education and the Christ Lutheran Church in Charlotte. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam Photo: Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam[/caption]

14. Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam Turkey Trot

Location: Las Vegas, NV Eighteen miles off the Las Vegas strip, there’s a turkey trot that runs along Lake Mead and along the Historic Railroad Trailhead. It has not one, not two, but six tunnels on the menu before making its way to the Hoover Dam! The Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam Turkey Trot is now in its ninth year with participants competing in a 12K, 5K and 1-mile stroll. This year, they want runners to take it a step further: Now participants can sign up for the half marathon option. RELATED: The 5K Training Plan You Can Totally Do [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Buffalo Niagra YMCA Turkey Trot Photo: Buffalo Niagra YMCA[/caption]

15. Buffalo Niagara YMCA Turkey Trot

Location: Buffalo, NY Created in 1896, the Buffalo Niagara YMCA Turkey Trot is the oldest consecutively run footrace in North America. Not even a record-breaking snowstorm in 2002 kept runners off the streets of Buffalo! This year, expect 14,000 runners (the cap) and walkers to come dressed to impress, ready to take on the 8K course and the sixth annual costume contest. The event supports local YMCA programs. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Western and Southern Thanksgiving Day Race Photo: Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day Race[/caption]

16. Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day Race

Location: Cincinnati, OH Runners brave freezing temps at Paul Brown Stadium, home to the Cincinnati Bengals, for the annual Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day Race and McDonald's Kids Run. This year marks the 107th annual running of the 10K event, making it the oldest road race of any kind in the Midwest, the sixth oldest race in the country and perhaps the only turkey trot around to cross the Ohio River — twice! The race proceeds go toward the Ronald McDonald HouseGirls on the Run, the UC Barrett Cancer Center and many other charities. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Ohio River Turkey Trot Photo: Ohio River Road Runners Club[/caption]

17. Ohio River Road Runners Club Turkey Trot

Location: Miamisburg, OH It’s been around for 39 years now, but the Ohio River Road Runners Club Turkey Trot introduced a brand new course just last year. Why? To accommodate its growing number of 10,000-plus participants! New this year: a comfy hoodie that comes with your registration fee, a step up from the typical T-shirt. The event is the largest 5-mile race in the eastern half of the U.S., but also hosts a 1-mile non-timed run for the more casual trotter. RELATED: The 10 Best Races That Are Fit for Foodies [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Run-for-the-Diamonds Photo: Best Road Races[/caption]

18. Run for the Diamonds

Location: Berwick, PA We’re still not sure what diamonds have to do with Thanksgiving, but the bling sure gets 2,000 runners up and at ‘em! The top seven male and female winners of the challenging 9-mile Run for Diamonds (the fourth oldest road race in America), take home diamond rings and diamond pendants, respectively. And for those who miss out on the prized jewels, there’s always free post-race pizza to look forward to! [caption id="attachment_21609" align="alignnone" width="620"]Arlington Turkey Trot Photo: arlingtonturkeytrot.org[/caption]

19. Arlington Turkey Trot

Location: Arlington, TX Texas sports fans will love the eighth annual Arlington Turkey Trot, which gives runners a chance to race past Rangers Ballpark and Cowboys Stadium on the out-and-back 5K loop. There were more than 1,000 timed runners participate in the trot and even more toe the line for the “Puffin’ and Stuffin’” one-mile fun run. Winners get a free pair of sneakers and race proceeds support The Shoe Bank, a local charity that provides shoes for 25,000 people in need each year. [caption id="attachment_21750" align="alignnone" width="620"]Capital One Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot Photo: Dallas YMCA[/caption]

20. Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot

Location: Dallas, TX Also benefitting the YMCA, the Dallas Turkey Trot really proves that everything’s bigger in Texas. The 50th annual race expects nearly 40,000 runners for its 8-mile run and 5K run/walk, making it one of the largest multi-event races in the country. (And if you can't make it to Dallas, you can also join in virtually.) This trot attracts elite runners and regular ol’ birds alike. In fact, in 2011, it set a world record for the largest gathering of people dressed as turkeys. RELATED: 15 Races for People Who'd Rather Walk Than Run [caption id="attachment_45277" align="alignnone" width="620"]Boise Turkey Trot 5K Photo: Life Time Turkey Trots[/caption]

21. Turkey Day 5K Boise

Location: Boise, IA With races in five locations across the country, the Life Time Turkey Day 5K is all about family and friends kicking off the holiday together in a healthy, happy way. (Besides Boise, the race also happens in Chicago, Miami, Minneapolis and Phoenix.) The Boise course, which is fast and flat, is ideal for runners and walkers alike. Bring canned foods to the start area — they’ll be donated to the pantries of Boise Rescue Mission and City Light Home for Women and Children — and you’ll be entered into a special prize lottery, just for doing good. [caption id="attachment_45279" align="alignnone" width="620"]Feathers and Feast Trail Half Marathon Turkey Trot Photo: Feast and Feathers Half-Marathon[/caption]

22. Feast and Feathers Trail Half-Marathon/10K/5K

Location: Omaha, NE Weekend warriors will flock to this trail half, but thanks to the 10K and 5K distances, anyone can join in on the action. In fact, even kids can join the fun with the Lil Gobbler Trot — a free race, as long as you bring five cans of food to benefit the Food Bank of Heartland. Of course the 5K loop is easiest, but the half provides some of the best views of Cunningham Lake (and extra room for stuffing). [caption id="attachment_45280" align="alignnone" width="620"]Knoxville Turkey Trot Photo: Eli Johnson Photography / Fleet Feet Sports Knoxville[/caption]

23. Hot to Trot 10K/5K/Fun Run

Location: Knoxville, TN Held annually by sportswear shop Fleet Feet Knoxville, this race is all about community. Not only was there a friendly contest for runners to design this year’s official logo, local handmade pottery will serve as trophies. Also, all proceeds benefit A Hand Up For Women, a charity that focuses on mentorship, education and development for girls and women. [caption id="attachment_45281" align="alignnone" width="620"]Naperville Turkey Trot Photo: Naperville Lions[/caption]

24. Naperville Turkey Trot

Location: Naperville, IL Organized by the local Lions Club, this flat course is great for those looking to nab a PR. Now in it’s 20th year, 7,500 runners are expected to hit the course this Thanksgiving. And because you deserve a delicious breakfast after a solid run, there’s a pancake feast served afterwards — free of charge. [caption id="attachment_45278" align="alignnone" width="620"]DC Turkey Trot for Hunger Photo: Trot for Hunger[/caption]

25. Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger

Location: Washington, DC Raise money and awareness for DC’s homeless population by registering for the 16th annual Trot for Hunger, where race proceeds help thousands of families in the DC area. Things kick off first for the kids’ one-mile Fun Run, then the 5K, all starting from Freedom Plaza. You have the option to run with a chip or without, so use the day to PR or just shake out your legs on a good powerwalk. RELATED: 11 Incredible Charity Races That Give Back [caption id="attachment_45284" align="alignnone" width="620"]Pensacola Turkey Trot for Thought Photo: Pensacola Turkey Trot for Thought[/caption]

26. Pensacola Beach Trot for Thought

Location: Pensacola Beach, FL With a gorgeous, coastal course, the Trot for Thought is easily the most relaxing and scenic 5K — you run right between the serene shorelines of the Santa Rosa Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. Proceeds from the race benefit brain cancer research by the Preston Robert Tisch Tumor Center at Duke University. Oh, and this race is dog-friendly — just make sure your pooch is up for 3.1 miles beforehand! [caption id="attachment_45283" align="alignnone" width="620"]Oklahoma City Turkey Trot Photo: Oklahoma City Turkey Trot[/caption]

27. Oklahoma City Turkey Tracks 5K 

Location: Oklahoma City, OK Run around downtown Oklahoma City for this 5K or one-mile Fun Run. But before you start stepping, be sure to drop off a new, unwrapped gift with the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation drop. Organizers hope to give 1,000 Christmas toys to needy children in the Oklahoma City area. [caption id="attachment_45285" align="alignnone" width="620"]15th Annual Turkey Trek Photo: Turkey Trek[/caption]

28. 15th Annual Turkey Trek

Location: Albuquerque, NM If you’ve ever seen epic photos from the annual hot-air balloon festival, you know Balloon Park, which serves as a border for this Turkey Trek. With a 5K run, a fitness walk and a Fun Run, the whole family can get involved in a race that meets his or her individual fitness level. Even more fun: a costume contest with a male, female and kid winner. [caption id="attachment_45276" align="alignnone" width="620"]Bay St Louis Turkey Trot Photo: Bay St Louis Turkey Trot[/caption]

29. Fit First Turkey Trot

Location: Bay St. Louis, MS Only in its fifth year, this Trot is all about our furry friends, as every race participant (and spectator!) is asked to bring canned pet food, treat or toy for donation. In addition, all proceeds will benefit the local animal shelter. Let’s face it: Although pets are such an important part of the family, Thanksgiving may be the one day we forget that. This Turkey Trot is the perfect reminder. [caption id="attachment_45282" align="alignnone" width="620"]North Dakota CFA Turkey Trot Photo: CFA North Dakota[/caption]

30. CFA North Dakota Turkey Trot

Location: Bismarck, ND Fun, frosty beards and snowy streets aside, this Turkey Trot is an important one as it is held by (and all proceeds go toward) the Cystic Fibrosis Association of North Dakota. With a 10K run, 5K run, 5K walk and a fun walk, there's a race for everyone in the fam. Just make sure you dress for the weather — recent years have been frigid and snowy. Not within trotting distance of any of the races listed above? Check out the race directories on Active.com or Running in the USA to find a Thanksgiving Day turkey trot near you. Read More The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. Why I Started Running — and Never Stopped 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition Originally posted on November 25, 2013. Updated November 2017. 

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The 12 Most Epic Mud Runs in the World https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-mud-runs/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-mud-runs/#comments Sat, 13 Aug 2016 12:05:03 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=18938 The 12 Most Epic Mud Runs in the World

The 12 Most Epic Mud Runs

In 2010, Margaret Schlachter saw a Facebook friend post about a new mud and obstacle run called the Spartan Race. She thought it looked like fun and signed up on a whim.

“It was only a few miles and I didn't even like to run,” she says. “So I figured, ‘Great! I can rest at the obstacles in between.’” Schlachter finished in the top 10 of that race and proceeded to run home to sign up for more. Today, she holds the title of the first professional female obstacle course racer, along with ultramarathoner, coach, founder of Dirt in Your Skirt and author of Obstacle Race Training: How to Beat Any Course, Compete Like a Champion and Change Your Life.

So why are so many people like Schlachter signing up to willingly roll around in the mud, wade through ice water, leap over fire, scale giant walls, army crawl under barbed wire and even get electrocuted — for “fun?” To most participants, mud runs are about the camaraderie of teamwork rather than the thrill of a new personal record. And to many of the muddiest runners, connecting to your primal nature can become addicting, too.

RELATED: Get Spartan Fit With Daily Burn's New Training Program

Rob DeCillis, C.S.C.S, trainer and mud run expert who coaches athletes through obstaclecourseracing.com, recalls his very first mud run, also a 2010 Spartan Race. “I went and got absolutely killed,” he says. “And I fell absolutely in love with it.” Now with 50 races under his belt, DeCillis says he craves the competition.

“When you get smacked in the face with a huge challenge and you fail, you will want to take it on again,” he says. “It gets under your skin if you can't do something.”

Now before you too fall head over heels (into a big ol’ pile of mud that is), it’s important to find out which mud run is best for you. The following 12 races are tests of your endurance, mental fortitude and your aversion to getting dirty. Depending on how far you want to run, the types of obstacles you want to try (or avoid!), or just how muddy you’d like to be when you cross the finish line, we’ve got plenty of fun and filthy options for you to choose from (in no particular order).

[caption id="attachment_51654" align="alignnone" width="620"]Spartan Race - Best Mud Runs Photo: @spartanrace[/caption]

1. Spartan Race
The personal favorite race series of both Schlachter and DeCillis — which is now featured on an NBC show — the Spartan Race series is no joke. It was voted the best obstacle race by Outside magazine in 2012 and is now international, with races in countries like Taiwan, Chile and Indonesia. Maybe that’s because it has a little something (heavy on the mud) for everyone.

Option one is the Spartan Sprint; a three-plus mile, 20-plus obstacle course. Or, choose to do the Spartan Super; an 8-plus mile, 25-plus obstacle giant. Then there’s the Spartan Beast, featuring 12-plus miles and 30-plus obstacles. Only 80 percent of the participants actually complete the Beast. And finally — brace yourselves — there’s the Ultra Beast, which is about marathon distance (more than 26 miles) and has more than 60 obstacles.

RELATED: The 10 Most Iconic Spartan Races in the U.S.

According to Spartan Race, “Every Spartan Race is a baptism. The Ultra Beast is considered an exorcism.” There’s even the Reebok Spartan Race World Championships each year to wrap up the season. The courses are constantly changing and none of the events reveal their obstacles prior to the race, to keep you on your toes. But we can guarantee there will be a lot of muddy pits, dark tunnels and rope climbs. Oh, and if you skip any obstacles, you have to do burpees instead. The choice is yours.
Cost: $69-$235
Ages: 14+
Register: spartanrace.com (Use promo code DAILYBURN for 15% off your next Spartan Race.)

[caption id="attachment_19001" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Dirty Girl Mud Run Photo: Dirty Girl Mud Run[/caption]

2. Dirty Girl Mud Run
The Dirty Girl Mud Run, a women-only 5K, promises plenty of pink and lots of PMS or “pretty messy stuff.” Schlachter says no matter your running background, 5Ks “are a good gateway to see if you like the race style, without committing yourself to three or four hours of torture.” At any of the nearly 20 Dirty Girl events in the country, runners are untimed and encouraged to only complete the obstacles they’re comfortable with. So grab a team of ladies and tackle tubes and tunnels, slides and ladders and mazes and nets on your way to the finish line, where you’ll receive a Dirty Girl finisher medal. This year alone, the race series has raised $150,000 for Bright Pink, a national charity dedicated to the prevention and early detection and breast and ovarian cancer in women. Even better, Dirty Girl has given out 3,500 free entries to cancer survivors.
Cost: $55-$100
Ages: 14+
Register: godirtygirl.com

[caption id="attachment_19002" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Muddy Buddy Adventure Series Photo: Muddy Buddy Adventure Series[/caption]

3. Muddy Buddy Adventure Series
Have a favorite running pal? Time to test your teamwork! The Muddy Buddy Adventure Series, which began in 1999 and benefits the Prostate Cancer Foundation, is currently in nine U.S. cities with three different races to choose from. The Muddy Buddy Mud Run is three to four and a half miles with eight to 10 military-style obstacles including slides, rope climbs and a 50-foot mud pit at the finish line. The catch? You and your buddy must stay together at all times — you literally have to hug each other to get through one particular obstacle. There’s also the Muddy Buddy Bike and Run, where teams of two (one mountain bike only) cover six to seven miles and five obstacles. Finally, the littlest mud enthusiasts can participate in the Mini Muddy Buddy which has up to four fun obstacles for kids to try.
Cost: $20-$90
Ages: 12+ for Mud Run; 14+ for Bike and Run; 4-11 for Mini
Register: muddybuddy.competitor.com

[caption id="attachment_51659" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Zombie Mud Run Photo: The Zombie Mud Run[/caption]

4. The Zombie Mud Run
Oh, you know, just your standard mud run — with zombies! The Zombie Mud Run races are fit for fans of The Walking Dead or anyone who needs the fear of blood-thirsty zombies chasing them to motivate them over and through obstacles. Participants have the choice of registering for the 5K race as either a runner or as a zombie — full makeup transformation included! The obstacles include mud slides, electric shocks and a maze with zombies lurking around every corner hoping to steal the runners’ flags (which, we guess equates to eating their brains). To “survive” the race, runners must keep at least one flag intact when they cross the finish line. Then, they can head to the Human Salvation Party.
Cost: $25-$40 for zombies; $55-$85 for the undead
Ages: 13+
Register: thezombiemudrun.com

[caption id="attachment_19005" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Mudderella Photo: Mudderella[/caption]

5. Mudderella
Designed by women, for women (though men are allowed to join in the muddy fun by invite), the Mudderella events are from a different type of fairytale. They are, after all, under the Tough Mudder umbrella. The five to seven mile races, located in the U.S., Canada and Australia, encourage runners to “Own Your Strong” through 12 to 15 obstacles including mud crawls under barbed wire, hay bales, an icy dip and a few muddy piggy-back rides. After earning a purple headband at the finish line, there’s a high-energy post-race party with showers, food, music and some well-earned ShockTop beer — all while supporting the Futures Without Violence charity.
Cost: $60-$140
Ages: 18+ (16- and 17-year-olds can participate with a chaperone)
Register: mudderella.com

[caption id="attachment_51664" align="alignnone" width="620"]Warrior Dash Photo: @warriordash[/caption]

6. Warrior Dash
With 2.5 million people participating since it began in 2009, Warrior Dash is the largest of the obstacle race series, and Schlachter and DeCillis agree it’s a fun choice for beginner and intermediate mud runners. This series has also raised more than $13.4 million for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital since the start. But what does it take to earn the coveted Viking warrior helmet, turkey leg and stein of beer waiting at the finish line? Trek through three to four muddy miles of at least 12 intense obstacles that take you over barricades, up cargo nets and through the fire of the “Warrior Roast,” where burning flames lick your heels. At the post-race party, there are also awards for craziest costume and best beard, so gentlemen, start your stubble.
Cost: $35-$90
Ages: 10+
Register: warriordash.com

[caption id="attachment_51667" align="alignnone" width="620"]Civilian Military Combine Photo: @cmcrace[/caption]

7. Civilian Military Combine
Many mud runs feature military-style obstacles, but the Civilian Military Combine (CMC) invites ordinary folks to join the ranks for a day. A course designed by a top obstacle race director and an experienced Crossfit coach, ensures that this race series is a true test of endurance and overall fitness. But before runners even start to think about the five-mile event, they must first make it through “the PIT,” a high-intensity AMRAP (as many repetitions as possible) workout that consists of kettlebell swings, box jumps, burpees or barbell exercises. The CMC also supports the U.S. Army MWR, which provides stress-relieving and strength-building services to soldiers, civilians, families and military retirees.
Cost: $65-$140
Ages: 4+ (kids have their own PIT and course)
Register: civilianmilitarycombine.com

[caption id="attachment_19007" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Rugged Maniac Photo: Rugged Maniac[/caption]

8. Rugged Maniac
The Rugged Maniac is comprised of unforgiving terrain with more than 20 obstacles (more per mile than Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash) including hanging mud tires to traverse, 12-foot walls to scale and a 50-foot water slide to survive. Off the course, there’s beach volleyball and a mechanical bull. Tired from the race? Stick to the after-party with live bands, food and beer and plenty of cold showers to hose off. The Rugged Maniac series also offers prizes (like free race entry and season passes) exclusively to Rugged Maniacs who raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Cost: $48-$119
Ages: 14+
Register: ruggedmaniac.com

[caption id="attachment_19008" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Mac Stone Photo: Mac Stone[/caption]

9. Savage Race
The average six-mile Savage Race holds the title for the most obstacles per mile. Traveling to multiple U.S. cities nationwide, the downright barbaric events have competitive and non-competitive waves, but all runners will go up against the “Colossus,” the fastest 43-foot slide with a near vertical drop. That’s in addition to hauling giant logs in “Lumberjack Lane,” taking your chances on the “Nutt Smasher” balance beam (sorry, fellas) and crawling under the “Me So Thorny” barbed wires. Finishing teams will enjoy a post-race barbecue with beer, music and awards for the most savage costumes, while knowing they helped raise money for charities including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Autism Speaks and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Cost: $66-$116
Ages: 14+
Register: savagerace.com

[caption id="attachment_51669" align="alignnone" width="620"]Tough Mudder Photo: @tough_mudder[/caption]

10. Tough Mudder
We’re sure you’ve heard of this race before — or at least seen some of your friends sporting the signature orange headbands (and a lot of mud) in photos. The 10- to 12-mile Tough Mudder has events on five continents and has raised more than $10 million to date for charity, including organizations like Team Rubicon in the U.S. and Wounded Warriors Canada. Teams must overcome more than 20 military-style obstacles, including swinging off a 12-foot platform, swimming in ice water and conquering a field of live wire.

Unsurprisingly, only 78 percent of entrants actually complete each course. But if they do, they are greeted at the finish line with a beer and live music. There are even on-site tattoo artists to get inked with the official Tough Mudder logo. Want to try a Tough Mudder, but need a shorter distance to start? They now offer the a 5-mile Tough Mudder Half, where you'll still get plenty of mud, plus fire, ice and electricity.
Cost: $90-$155
Ages: 18+
Register: toughmudder.com

[caption id="attachment_18998" align="alignnone" width="620"]+ Photo: Michael Epstein Sports Production[/caption]

11. Down and Dirty Obstacle Race
According to DeCillis, Down and Dirty has the best mud. “I don’t know what they do to it, but it’s like a black, cakey mud and there is no way to not get dirty,” he says. Dirt-loving beginners may also enjoy the choice between two distances — 5K or 10K — and not having a time limit. Benefitting Operation Gratitude, both courses feature more than 20 obstacles, including balance beams, eight-foot ladder walls and heavy sand bags to lug. After getting the dog tag finisher medal, you can rinse off at the post-race party or join the challenging pull-up contest.
Cost: $40-$110
Ages: 13+ for 5K; 14+ for 10K
Register: downanddirtyobstaclerace.com

[caption id="attachment_51670" align="alignnone" width="620"]BattleFrog Obstacle Race Series Photo: @battlefrogseries[/caption]

12. BattleFrog Obstacle Race Series
Navy SEALs helped design the at least 25 obstacles on this course, so you know it's going to be test your strength. Expect 12-foot walls, jungle gym swings, inverted ladders and rope climbs. And you might want to re-think skipping any activities. If you do, you have to drop and give 'em ten 8-count bodybuilders aka beefed-up burpees that require full push-ups and plank jacks. If you want to run farther than the typical BattleFrog Open (8k or about 5 miles), sign up for the BattleFrog Xtreme, which means you can run the route as many time as you want in one day. You can also opt to compete for some cash prizes — we're talking anywhere from $3,000 all the way up to $40,000 — if you choose the BattleFrog Elite option.
Cost: $45-$89
Ages: 18+ for BattleFrog Open; 13+ BattleFrog Xtreme; 16+ BattleFrog Elite
Register: battlefrogseries.com

No matter which of these 12 races you choose, Schlachter says most mud runners cross the finish line a changed person, regardless of the amount of mud caked on their face.

“Something clicks in their brains out there on the course when they have to go up against something they were afraid to try,” she says. “But once they do, they walk away with the ability to apply that courage and confidence to their everyday lives.”

Additional reporting by Mallory Creveling. 

Originally published September 2013. Updated August 2016.

The post The 12 Most Epic Mud Runs in the World appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The 12 Most Epic Mud Runs in the World

The 12 Most Epic Mud Runs
In 2010, Margaret Schlachter saw a Facebook friend post about a new mud and obstacle run called the Spartan Race. She thought it looked like fun and signed up on a whim. “It was only a few miles and I didn't even like to run,” she says. “So I figured, ‘Great! I can rest at the obstacles in between.’” Schlachter finished in the top 10 of that race and proceeded to run home to sign up for more. Today, she holds the title of the first professional female obstacle course racer, along with ultramarathoner, coach, founder of Dirt in Your Skirt and author of Obstacle Race Training: How to Beat Any Course, Compete Like a Champion and Change Your Life. So why are so many people like Schlachter signing up to willingly roll around in the mud, wade through ice water, leap over fire, scale giant walls, army crawl under barbed wire and even get electrocuted — for “fun?” To most participants, mud runs are about the camaraderie of teamwork rather than the thrill of a new personal record. And to many of the muddiest runners, connecting to your primal nature can become addicting, too. RELATED: Get Spartan Fit With Daily Burn's New Training Program Rob DeCillis, C.S.C.S, trainer and mud run expert who coaches athletes through obstaclecourseracing.com, recalls his very first mud run, also a 2010 Spartan Race. “I went and got absolutely killed,” he says. “And I fell absolutely in love with it.” Now with 50 races under his belt, DeCillis says he craves the competition. “When you get smacked in the face with a huge challenge and you fail, you will want to take it on again,” he says. “It gets under your skin if you can't do something.” Now before you too fall head over heels (into a big ol’ pile of mud that is), it’s important to find out which mud run is best for you. The following 12 races are tests of your endurance, mental fortitude and your aversion to getting dirty. Depending on how far you want to run, the types of obstacles you want to try (or avoid!), or just how muddy you’d like to be when you cross the finish line, we’ve got plenty of fun and filthy options for you to choose from (in no particular order). [caption id="attachment_51654" align="alignnone" width="620"]Spartan Race - Best Mud Runs Photo: @spartanrace[/caption] 1. Spartan Race The personal favorite race series of both Schlachter and DeCillis — which is now featured on an NBC show — the Spartan Race series is no joke. It was voted the best obstacle race by Outside magazine in 2012 and is now international, with races in countries like Taiwan, Chile and Indonesia. Maybe that’s because it has a little something (heavy on the mud) for everyone. Option one is the Spartan Sprint; a three-plus mile, 20-plus obstacle course. Or, choose to do the Spartan Super; an 8-plus mile, 25-plus obstacle giant. Then there’s the Spartan Beast, featuring 12-plus miles and 30-plus obstacles. Only 80 percent of the participants actually complete the Beast. And finally — brace yourselves — there’s the Ultra Beast, which is about marathon distance (more than 26 miles) and has more than 60 obstacles. RELATED: The 10 Most Iconic Spartan Races in the U.S. According to Spartan Race, “Every Spartan Race is a baptism. The Ultra Beast is considered an exorcism.” There’s even the Reebok Spartan Race World Championships each year to wrap up the season. The courses are constantly changing and none of the events reveal their obstacles prior to the race, to keep you on your toes. But we can guarantee there will be a lot of muddy pits, dark tunnels and rope climbs. Oh, and if you skip any obstacles, you have to do burpees instead. The choice is yours. Cost: $69-$235 Ages: 14+ Register: spartanrace.com (Use promo code DAILYBURN for 15% off your next Spartan Race.) [caption id="attachment_19001" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Dirty Girl Mud Run Photo: Dirty Girl Mud Run[/caption] 2. Dirty Girl Mud Run The Dirty Girl Mud Run, a women-only 5K, promises plenty of pink and lots of PMS or “pretty messy stuff.” Schlachter says no matter your running background, 5Ks “are a good gateway to see if you like the race style, without committing yourself to three or four hours of torture.” At any of the nearly 20 Dirty Girl events in the country, runners are untimed and encouraged to only complete the obstacles they’re comfortable with. So grab a team of ladies and tackle tubes and tunnels, slides and ladders and mazes and nets on your way to the finish line, where you’ll receive a Dirty Girl finisher medal. This year alone, the race series has raised $150,000 for Bright Pink, a national charity dedicated to the prevention and early detection and breast and ovarian cancer in women. Even better, Dirty Girl has given out 3,500 free entries to cancer survivors. Cost: $55-$100 Ages: 14+ Register: godirtygirl.com [caption id="attachment_19002" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Muddy Buddy Adventure Series Photo: Muddy Buddy Adventure Series[/caption] 3. Muddy Buddy Adventure Series Have a favorite running pal? Time to test your teamwork! The Muddy Buddy Adventure Series, which began in 1999 and benefits the Prostate Cancer Foundation, is currently in nine U.S. cities with three different races to choose from. The Muddy Buddy Mud Run is three to four and a half miles with eight to 10 military-style obstacles including slides, rope climbs and a 50-foot mud pit at the finish line. The catch? You and your buddy must stay together at all times — you literally have to hug each other to get through one particular obstacle. There’s also the Muddy Buddy Bike and Run, where teams of two (one mountain bike only) cover six to seven miles and five obstacles. Finally, the littlest mud enthusiasts can participate in the Mini Muddy Buddy which has up to four fun obstacles for kids to try. Cost: $20-$90 Ages: 12+ for Mud Run; 14+ for Bike and Run; 4-11 for Mini Register: muddybuddy.competitor.com [caption id="attachment_51659" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Zombie Mud Run Photo: The Zombie Mud Run[/caption] 4. The Zombie Mud Run Oh, you know, just your standard mud run — with zombies! The Zombie Mud Run races are fit for fans of The Walking Dead or anyone who needs the fear of blood-thirsty zombies chasing them to motivate them over and through obstacles. Participants have the choice of registering for the 5K race as either a runner or as a zombie — full makeup transformation included! The obstacles include mud slides, electric shocks and a maze with zombies lurking around every corner hoping to steal the runners’ flags (which, we guess equates to eating their brains). To “survive” the race, runners must keep at least one flag intact when they cross the finish line. Then, they can head to the Human Salvation Party. Cost: $25-$40 for zombies; $55-$85 for the undead Ages: 13+ Register: thezombiemudrun.com [caption id="attachment_19005" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Mudderella Photo: Mudderella[/caption] 5. Mudderella Designed by women, for women (though men are allowed to join in the muddy fun by invite), the Mudderella events are from a different type of fairytale. They are, after all, under the Tough Mudder umbrella. The five to seven mile races, located in the U.S., Canada and Australia, encourage runners to “Own Your Strong” through 12 to 15 obstacles including mud crawls under barbed wire, hay bales, an icy dip and a few muddy piggy-back rides. After earning a purple headband at the finish line, there’s a high-energy post-race party with showers, food, music and some well-earned ShockTop beer — all while supporting the Futures Without Violence charity. Cost: $60-$140 Ages: 18+ (16- and 17-year-olds can participate with a chaperone) Register: mudderella.com [caption id="attachment_51664" align="alignnone" width="620"]Warrior Dash Photo: @warriordash[/caption] 6. Warrior Dash With 2.5 million people participating since it began in 2009, Warrior Dash is the largest of the obstacle race series, and Schlachter and DeCillis agree it’s a fun choice for beginner and intermediate mud runners. This series has also raised more than $13.4 million for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital since the start. But what does it take to earn the coveted Viking warrior helmet, turkey leg and stein of beer waiting at the finish line? Trek through three to four muddy miles of at least 12 intense obstacles that take you over barricades, up cargo nets and through the fire of the “Warrior Roast,” where burning flames lick your heels. At the post-race party, there are also awards for craziest costume and best beard, so gentlemen, start your stubble. Cost: $35-$90 Ages: 10+ Register: warriordash.com [caption id="attachment_51667" align="alignnone" width="620"]Civilian Military Combine Photo: @cmcrace[/caption] 7. Civilian Military Combine Many mud runs feature military-style obstacles, but the Civilian Military Combine (CMC) invites ordinary folks to join the ranks for a day. A course designed by a top obstacle race director and an experienced Crossfit coach, ensures that this race series is a true test of endurance and overall fitness. But before runners even start to think about the five-mile event, they must first make it through “the PIT,” a high-intensity AMRAP (as many repetitions as possible) workout that consists of kettlebell swings, box jumps, burpees or barbell exercises. The CMC also supports the U.S. Army MWR, which provides stress-relieving and strength-building services to soldiers, civilians, families and military retirees. Cost: $65-$140 Ages: 4+ (kids have their own PIT and course) Register: civilianmilitarycombine.com [caption id="attachment_19007" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Rugged Maniac Photo: Rugged Maniac[/caption] 8. Rugged Maniac The Rugged Maniac is comprised of unforgiving terrain with more than 20 obstacles (more per mile than Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash) including hanging mud tires to traverse, 12-foot walls to scale and a 50-foot water slide to survive. Off the course, there’s beach volleyball and a mechanical bull. Tired from the race? Stick to the after-party with live bands, food and beer and plenty of cold showers to hose off. The Rugged Maniac series also offers prizes (like free race entry and season passes) exclusively to Rugged Maniacs who raise money for the American Cancer Society. Cost: $48-$119 Ages: 14+ Register: ruggedmaniac.com [caption id="attachment_19008" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Mac Stone Photo: Mac Stone[/caption] 9. Savage Race The average six-mile Savage Race holds the title for the most obstacles per mile. Traveling to multiple U.S. cities nationwide, the downright barbaric events have competitive and non-competitive waves, but all runners will go up against the “Colossus,” the fastest 43-foot slide with a near vertical drop. That’s in addition to hauling giant logs in “Lumberjack Lane,” taking your chances on the “Nutt Smasher” balance beam (sorry, fellas) and crawling under the “Me So Thorny” barbed wires. Finishing teams will enjoy a post-race barbecue with beer, music and awards for the most savage costumes, while knowing they helped raise money for charities including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Autism Speaks and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Cost: $66-$116 Ages: 14+ Register: savagerace.com [caption id="attachment_51669" align="alignnone" width="620"]Tough Mudder Photo: @tough_mudder[/caption] 10. Tough Mudder We’re sure you’ve heard of this race before — or at least seen some of your friends sporting the signature orange headbands (and a lot of mud) in photos. The 10- to 12-mile Tough Mudder has events on five continents and has raised more than $10 million to date for charity, including organizations like Team Rubicon in the U.S. and Wounded Warriors Canada. Teams must overcome more than 20 military-style obstacles, including swinging off a 12-foot platform, swimming in ice water and conquering a field of live wire. Unsurprisingly, only 78 percent of entrants actually complete each course. But if they do, they are greeted at the finish line with a beer and live music. There are even on-site tattoo artists to get inked with the official Tough Mudder logo. Want to try a Tough Mudder, but need a shorter distance to start? They now offer the a 5-mile Tough Mudder Half, where you'll still get plenty of mud, plus fire, ice and electricity. Cost: $90-$155 Ages: 18+ Register: toughmudder.com [caption id="attachment_18998" align="alignnone" width="620"]+ Photo: Michael Epstein Sports Production[/caption] 11. Down and Dirty Obstacle Race According to DeCillis, Down and Dirty has the best mud. “I don’t know what they do to it, but it’s like a black, cakey mud and there is no way to not get dirty,” he says. Dirt-loving beginners may also enjoy the choice between two distances — 5K or 10K — and not having a time limit. Benefitting Operation Gratitude, both courses feature more than 20 obstacles, including balance beams, eight-foot ladder walls and heavy sand bags to lug. After getting the dog tag finisher medal, you can rinse off at the post-race party or join the challenging pull-up contest. Cost: $40-$110 Ages: 13+ for 5K; 14+ for 10K Register: downanddirtyobstaclerace.com [caption id="attachment_51670" align="alignnone" width="620"]BattleFrog Obstacle Race Series Photo: @battlefrogseries[/caption] 12. BattleFrog Obstacle Race Series Navy SEALs helped design the at least 25 obstacles on this course, so you know it's going to be test your strength. Expect 12-foot walls, jungle gym swings, inverted ladders and rope climbs. And you might want to re-think skipping any activities. If you do, you have to drop and give 'em ten 8-count bodybuilders aka beefed-up burpees that require full push-ups and plank jacks. If you want to run farther than the typical BattleFrog Open (8k or about 5 miles), sign up for the BattleFrog Xtreme, which means you can run the route as many time as you want in one day. You can also opt to compete for some cash prizes — we're talking anywhere from $3,000 all the way up to $40,000 — if you choose the BattleFrog Elite option. Cost: $45-$89 Ages: 18+ for BattleFrog Open; 13+ BattleFrog Xtreme; 16+ BattleFrog Elite Register: battlefrogseries.com No matter which of these 12 races you choose, Schlachter says most mud runners cross the finish line a changed person, regardless of the amount of mud caked on their face. “Something clicks in their brains out there on the course when they have to go up against something they were afraid to try,” she says. “But once they do, they walk away with the ability to apply that courage and confidence to their everyday lives.” Additional reporting by Mallory Creveling.  Originally published September 2013. Updated August 2016.

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Need Running Motivation? 20 Epic ‘Runspo’ Instagrams https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/running-motivation-instagram/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/running-motivation-instagram/#comments Mon, 04 Apr 2016 11:15:48 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=48749 Running Motivation - 20 Runspo Instagrams

Need Running Motivation? 20 Runspo Instagrams to Inspire You

It may sound cliché, but running really can take you anywhere you want to go. From the deepest woods to the highest peaks, from bustling cities to serene shorelines, there are some places in the farthest corners of the earth that are best (or only!) experienced by foot.

Whether you’re daydreaming about where to journey next or simply looking for inspiration to get you out the door, these thumb-stopping Instagram images will delivery the necessary motivation. But be warned! Scrolling through this list of “runspo” pics will not only get you up and at ‘em, it might also cause a serious case of wanderlust, too.

RELATED: 9 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Running

20 Epic Instagrams for Running Motivation

[caption id="attachment_48754" align="alignnone" width="620"]1 Chasing Light - Running Motivation Photo: @fmarmsaterphoto[/caption]

1. Chasing Light (@fmarmsaterphoto)
Photographer Fred Marmsater says, “chasing natural light is one of my favorite things about being a photographer.” He and ultrarunner Luke Nelson high-tailed it all the way to this amazing sunset in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado.

[caption id="attachment_48755" align="alignnone" width="620"]2 Play Bridge - Running Motivation Photo: @stravarun[/caption]

2. Play Bridge (@stravarun)
Strava, a social network for athletes (particularly cyclists and runners), encourages its 1.2 million global users to share all aspects of their training — including data, digital maps and photos from their routes. User Jim Harding snapped this powerful shot of the award-winning Rewa Rewa Bridge and Mt. Taranaki in New Plymouth, New Zealand.

[caption id="attachment_48756" align="alignnone" width="620"]3 Breaking New Ground - Running Motivation Photo: @pickybars[/caption]

3. Breaking New Ground (@pickybars)
Think this is just another photo of two running gal pals out for a weekend jog? Think again. This photo by Ken Etzel follows Krissy Moehl and Jenn Shelton, two of the most badass women ultrarunners around, attempting the FKT (fastest known time) running the 223-mile John Muir Trail. NBD.

[caption id="attachment_48757" align="alignnone" width="620"]4 Feeling Fierce- Running Motivation Photo: @lululemon[/caption]

4. Feeling Fierce (@lululemon)
We imagine anyone running past this wild mural by Greg Mike in West Palm Beach, Florida feels like king of the urban jungle. So go on, get wild, and turn up that pace.

[caption id="attachment_48758" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Sand Gram - Running Motivation Photo: @vo2_max[/caption]

5. Sand ‘Gram (@vo2_max)
The from-the-ground-up timed shots have become the new running selfie and Instagramming runner Steve Clemons is a pro. Here, he and his wife Malia, show us how to hit the sand running in a beautiful sunrise shot in Kailua Beach, Hawaii. Not pictured: Steve’s dog Maka, his usual running companion.

[caption id="attachment_48759" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Leaf It All Behind- Running Motivation Photo: @heyjuniorbeltran[/caption]

6. Leaf It All Behind (@heyjuniorbeltran)
The running season always hits its stride when the leaves start changing and fall is in the air. Our new happy place: Greenwood Tree Farms in Oregon. Junior Beltran, we’re right behind you!

[caption id="attachment_48760" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Never Stop Exploring- Running Motivation Photo: @thenorthface[/caption]

7. #NeverStopExploring (@thenorthface)
For ultrarunner Timmy Olson, running (or flying!) through the French Alps in Chamonix is just another day at the office. Shot for The North Face by photographer Tim Kemple, this photo inspires us to #NeverStopExploring, too. But seriously, how can we get this job?

[caption id="attachment_48761" align="alignnone" width="618"]8 Desert Domination- Running Motivation Photo: @nathansportsinc[/caption]

8. Desert Domination (@nathansportsinc)
Get a glimpse of the grueling Rim to Rim to Rim, a 40-plus-mile out and back route across the Grand Canyon. The technicolor skies in this photo from Nathan Sports-sponsored ultrarunner Paul Giblin don’t make it look that bad though, right?

[caption id="attachment_48762" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Weather Warriors- Running Motivation Photo: @novemberproject[/caption]

9. Weather Warriors (@novemberproject)
November Project is a free grassroots fitness movement that started in Boston and now includes 30 participating cities around the globe. Earlier this year, Reykjavík, Iceland, pictured here in a photo by Dylan Ladds of Dooster Film, became the first location outside of North America to join the growing “#weatherproof” tribe.

[caption id="attachment_48763" align="alignnone" width="620"]10 World Wondering- Running Motivation Photo: @annafrosty[/caption]

10. World Wondering (@annafrosty)
Why walk the iconic 15th century ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru when you can run them? Ok, maybe not everyone can handle the intense elevation of the Andes Mountains region, but popular mountain ultrarunner Anna Frost sure makes it look easy.

[caption id="attachment_48764" align="alignnone" width="620"]11 No Shoes No Problem- Running Motivation Photo: @discoverearth[/caption]

11. No Shoes, No Problem (@discoverearth)
We’re in the camp that believes anyone, anywhere can be a runner. Just look at this captivating photo shot by Joe Greer and “ask yourself why you don’t” run. It lets you leave everything else behind…even your shoes.

[caption id="attachment_48765" align="alignnone" width="620"]12 California Dreamin- Running Motivation Photo: @ultramarathon[/caption]

12. California Dreamin’ (@ultramarathon)
There are few people on the planet who are fitter than the “ultramarathon man” himself, Dean Karnazes. When he’s not traveling all over the world for endurance events, you’ll likely find him running local California routes, like this breathtaking stretch at Lands End in San Francisco. Can you spot the faint Golden Gate Bridge through the thick fog?

[caption id="attachment_48766" align="alignnone" width="620"]13 rock and Roll- Running Motivation Photo: @mykehphoto[/caption]

13. Rock and Roll (@mykehphoto)
To catch this wave (one of the most surreal sandstone formations in nature), you’ll have to travel to Marble Canyon, Arizona. And then you’ll have to win the lottery for one of only 10 daily permits given to see “The Wave.” Ultrarunner Jim Walmsley and photographer Myke Hermsmeyer were among the lucky few.

[caption id="attachment_48773" align="alignnone" width="617"]14 Concrete Jungle- Running Motivation Photo: @nikenyc[/caption]

14. Concrete Jungle (@nikenyc)
From a distance, the New York City silhouettes in this striking Nike photo could be anyone. (The city is home to more than eight million people!) Take a closer look and you’ll see it’s Ironman triathlete and Paralympian Sarah Reinersten who’s leading this crew through the streets.

[caption id="attachment_48768" align="alignnone" width="620"]15 Private Playground- Running Motivation Photo: @trappephoto[/caption]

15. Private Playground (@trappephoto)
For this Feetures socks shoot, photographer and filmmaker Matt Trappe escaped the crowds of Zion National Park and ventured to Snow Canyon State Park, right outside of St. George, Utah.

[caption id="attachment_48767" align="alignnone" width="620"]16 Racing the Sun- Running Motivation Photo: @scottjurek[/caption]

16. Racing the Sun (@scottjurek)
Ultrarunner extraordinaire Scott Jurek calls this the “magic hour” at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Magic, indeed — and not a soul around. (Except, of course, the intrepid photographer — Jurek’s wife Jenny.)

[caption id="attachment_48769" align="alignnone" width="620"]17 Daredevil Descent- Running Motivation Photo: @rickeygates[/caption]

17. Daredevil Descent (@rickeygates)
What goes up must come down…and fast. Photographer and ultrarunner Rickey Gates has no fear of running in the “fells” (a Northern England terms for hills and mountains). Fellow photographer and athlete Kelvin Trautman took this treacherous shot of Gates, seasoned fell runner Ricky Lightfoot and their brave videographer Dean Leslie doing just that down the rocky terrain.

[caption id="attachment_48770" align="alignnone" width="620"]18 Parisian PR- Running Motivation Photo: @toutesenbasket[/caption]

18. Parisian PR (@toutesenbasket)
Grab your meilleur ami (aka your BFF) and check out the French fitness bloggers Elsa and Laurina. Their awesome photos, like this one taken near the Eiffel Tower by Yoann Rochette, exhibit strength and sisterhood through the power of sports.

[caption id="attachment_48771" align="alignnone" width="620"]19 Trails and Tails- Running Motivation Photo: @mattshryock[/caption]

19. Trails and Tails (@mattshryock)
According to ultrarunner Matt Shyrock, man’s best friend is named Major and he’s quite the runner. This Anchorage, Alaska sunset shot is just one of many showing the duo racing through the mountains together, with most photos taken by fellow runner and friend Adam Jensen.

[caption id="attachment_48772" align="alignnone" width="620"]20 Runner's High- Running Motivation Photo: @patagonia_trailrunning[/caption]

20. Runner’s High (@patagonia_trailrunning)
One of the things we love most about running photography is wondering where the photographer is and what he or she had to do to get the perfect snap. Take it from Patagonia and National Geographic photographer Mikey Schaefer — a simple point and shoot method won’t cut it. His advice? “The view tends to be the best from where most haven’t been.”

The post Need Running Motivation? 20 Epic ‘Runspo’ Instagrams appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Running Motivation - 20 Runspo Instagrams

Need Running Motivation? 20 Runspo Instagrams to Inspire You It may sound cliché, but running really can take you anywhere you want to go. From the deepest woods to the highest peaks, from bustling cities to serene shorelines, there are some places in the farthest corners of the earth that are best (or only!) experienced by foot. Whether you’re daydreaming about where to journey next or simply looking for inspiration to get you out the door, these thumb-stopping Instagram images will delivery the necessary motivation. But be warned! Scrolling through this list of “runspo” pics will not only get you up and at ‘em, it might also cause a serious case of wanderlust, too. RELATED: 9 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Running

20 Epic Instagrams for Running Motivation

[caption id="attachment_48754" align="alignnone" width="620"]1 Chasing Light - Running Motivation Photo: @fmarmsaterphoto[/caption] 1. Chasing Light (@fmarmsaterphoto) Photographer Fred Marmsater says, “chasing natural light is one of my favorite things about being a photographer.” He and ultrarunner Luke Nelson high-tailed it all the way to this amazing sunset in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. [caption id="attachment_48755" align="alignnone" width="620"]2 Play Bridge - Running Motivation Photo: @stravarun[/caption] 2. Play Bridge (@stravarun) Strava, a social network for athletes (particularly cyclists and runners), encourages its 1.2 million global users to share all aspects of their training — including data, digital maps and photos from their routes. User Jim Harding snapped this powerful shot of the award-winning Rewa Rewa Bridge and Mt. Taranaki in New Plymouth, New Zealand. [caption id="attachment_48756" align="alignnone" width="620"]3 Breaking New Ground - Running Motivation Photo: @pickybars[/caption] 3. Breaking New Ground (@pickybars) Think this is just another photo of two running gal pals out for a weekend jog? Think again. This photo by Ken Etzel follows Krissy Moehl and Jenn Shelton, two of the most badass women ultrarunners around, attempting the FKT (fastest known time) running the 223-mile John Muir Trail. NBD. [caption id="attachment_48757" align="alignnone" width="620"]4 Feeling Fierce- Running Motivation Photo: @lululemon[/caption] 4. Feeling Fierce (@lululemon) We imagine anyone running past this wild mural by Greg Mike in West Palm Beach, Florida feels like king of the urban jungle. So go on, get wild, and turn up that pace. [caption id="attachment_48758" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Sand Gram - Running Motivation Photo: @vo2_max[/caption] 5. Sand ‘Gram (@vo2_max) The from-the-ground-up timed shots have become the new running selfie and Instagramming runner Steve Clemons is a pro. Here, he and his wife Malia, show us how to hit the sand running in a beautiful sunrise shot in Kailua Beach, Hawaii. Not pictured: Steve’s dog Maka, his usual running companion. [caption id="attachment_48759" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Leaf It All Behind- Running Motivation Photo: @heyjuniorbeltran[/caption] 6. Leaf It All Behind (@heyjuniorbeltran) The running season always hits its stride when the leaves start changing and fall is in the air. Our new happy place: Greenwood Tree Farms in Oregon. Junior Beltran, we’re right behind you! [caption id="attachment_48760" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Never Stop Exploring- Running Motivation Photo: @thenorthface[/caption] 7. #NeverStopExploring (@thenorthface) For ultrarunner Timmy Olson, running (or flying!) through the French Alps in Chamonix is just another day at the office. Shot for The North Face by photographer Tim Kemple, this photo inspires us to #NeverStopExploring, too. But seriously, how can we get this job? [caption id="attachment_48761" align="alignnone" width="618"]8 Desert Domination- Running Motivation Photo: @nathansportsinc[/caption] 8. Desert Domination (@nathansportsinc) Get a glimpse of the grueling Rim to Rim to Rim, a 40-plus-mile out and back route across the Grand Canyon. The technicolor skies in this photo from Nathan Sports-sponsored ultrarunner Paul Giblin don’t make it look that bad though, right? [caption id="attachment_48762" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Weather Warriors- Running Motivation Photo: @novemberproject[/caption] 9. Weather Warriors (@novemberproject) November Project is a free grassroots fitness movement that started in Boston and now includes 30 participating cities around the globe. Earlier this year, Reykjavík, Iceland, pictured here in a photo by Dylan Ladds of Dooster Film, became the first location outside of North America to join the growing “#weatherproof” tribe. [caption id="attachment_48763" align="alignnone" width="620"]10 World Wondering- Running Motivation Photo: @annafrosty[/caption] 10. World Wondering (@annafrosty) Why walk the iconic 15th century ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru when you can run them? Ok, maybe not everyone can handle the intense elevation of the Andes Mountains region, but popular mountain ultrarunner Anna Frost sure makes it look easy. [caption id="attachment_48764" align="alignnone" width="620"]11 No Shoes No Problem- Running Motivation Photo: @discoverearth[/caption] 11. No Shoes, No Problem (@discoverearth) We’re in the camp that believes anyone, anywhere can be a runner. Just look at this captivating photo shot by Joe Greer and “ask yourself why you don’t” run. It lets you leave everything else behind…even your shoes. [caption id="attachment_48765" align="alignnone" width="620"]12 California Dreamin- Running Motivation Photo: @ultramarathon[/caption] 12. California Dreamin’ (@ultramarathon) There are few people on the planet who are fitter than the “ultramarathon man” himself, Dean Karnazes. When he’s not traveling all over the world for endurance events, you’ll likely find him running local California routes, like this breathtaking stretch at Lands End in San Francisco. Can you spot the faint Golden Gate Bridge through the thick fog? [caption id="attachment_48766" align="alignnone" width="620"]13 rock and Roll- Running Motivation Photo: @mykehphoto[/caption] 13. Rock and Roll (@mykehphoto) To catch this wave (one of the most surreal sandstone formations in nature), you’ll have to travel to Marble Canyon, Arizona. And then you’ll have to win the lottery for one of only 10 daily permits given to see “The Wave.” Ultrarunner Jim Walmsley and photographer Myke Hermsmeyer were among the lucky few. [caption id="attachment_48773" align="alignnone" width="617"]14 Concrete Jungle- Running Motivation Photo: @nikenyc[/caption] 14. Concrete Jungle (@nikenyc) From a distance, the New York City silhouettes in this striking Nike photo could be anyone. (The city is home to more than eight million people!) Take a closer look and you’ll see it’s Ironman triathlete and Paralympian Sarah Reinersten who’s leading this crew through the streets. [caption id="attachment_48768" align="alignnone" width="620"]15 Private Playground- Running Motivation Photo: @trappephoto[/caption] 15. Private Playground (@trappephoto) For this Feetures socks shoot, photographer and filmmaker Matt Trappe escaped the crowds of Zion National Park and ventured to Snow Canyon State Park, right outside of St. George, Utah. [caption id="attachment_48767" align="alignnone" width="620"]16 Racing the Sun- Running Motivation Photo: @scottjurek[/caption] 16. Racing the Sun (@scottjurek) Ultrarunner extraordinaire Scott Jurek calls this the “magic hour” at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Magic, indeed — and not a soul around. (Except, of course, the intrepid photographer — Jurek’s wife Jenny.) [caption id="attachment_48769" align="alignnone" width="620"]17 Daredevil Descent- Running Motivation Photo: @rickeygates[/caption] 17. Daredevil Descent (@rickeygates) What goes up must come down…and fast. Photographer and ultrarunner Rickey Gates has no fear of running in the “fells” (a Northern England terms for hills and mountains). Fellow photographer and athlete Kelvin Trautman took this treacherous shot of Gates, seasoned fell runner Ricky Lightfoot and their brave videographer Dean Leslie doing just that down the rocky terrain. [caption id="attachment_48770" align="alignnone" width="620"]18 Parisian PR- Running Motivation Photo: @toutesenbasket[/caption] 18. Parisian PR (@toutesenbasket) Grab your meilleur ami (aka your BFF) and check out the French fitness bloggers Elsa and Laurina. Their awesome photos, like this one taken near the Eiffel Tower by Yoann Rochette, exhibit strength and sisterhood through the power of sports. [caption id="attachment_48771" align="alignnone" width="620"]19 Trails and Tails- Running Motivation Photo: @mattshryock[/caption] 19. Trails and Tails (@mattshryock) According to ultrarunner Matt Shyrock, man’s best friend is named Major and he’s quite the runner. This Anchorage, Alaska sunset shot is just one of many showing the duo racing through the mountains together, with most photos taken by fellow runner and friend Adam Jensen. [caption id="attachment_48772" align="alignnone" width="620"]20 Runner's High- Running Motivation Photo: @patagonia_trailrunning[/caption] 20. Runner’s High (@patagonia_trailrunning) One of the things we love most about running photography is wondering where the photographer is and what he or she had to do to get the perfect snap. Take it from Patagonia and National Geographic photographer Mikey Schaefer — a simple point and shoot method won’t cut it. His advice? “The view tends to be the best from where most haven’t been.”

The post Need Running Motivation? 20 Epic ‘Runspo’ Instagrams appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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15 Races for People Who’d Rather Walk Than Run https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-walking-races-power-walk/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-walking-races-power-walk/#comments Fri, 13 Nov 2015 12:15:14 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=45439 15 Races for People Who’d Rather Walk Than Run

15 Races for People Who’d Rather Walk Than Run

Walking might just be the most underrated form of activity. Whether you’re powering through three miles or 13, walking burns around 100 calories per mile (depending on your weight, time, and distance) — and carries health benefits galore. The U.S. surgeon general even wants you to start walking more! But from fun 5Ks to half-marathons to the grueling world of marathons and ultramarathons, sometimes it seems like running gets all the glory.

RELATED The Easiest 5K and 10K Training Plan Ever (Walking, Allowed)

That’s why whether you’re a competitive walker or you’re just out there to get active with friends, it’s time to set your sights on these 15 walker-friendly events across the country. So lace up your sneakers and prepare to dominate these distances where walkers are not only welcome, but they might just be the stars of the show. Because walkers deserve race medals, too!

15 Races Where Walkers Can Dominate

[caption id="attachment_36536" align="alignnone" width="620"]Honolulu Marathon Photo: Honolulu Marathon[/caption]

1. Honolulu Marathon Race Day 10K Walk
Location: Honolulu, HI
Date: Sunday, December 13, 2015
Who wouldn’t want to spend a winter weekend in Hawaii? With no cap on participants and no cut-off time, the Honolulu Marathon is an established favorite among long-distance walkers. But the non-timed 10K walk held the same morning is a little more our speed (let’s face it, walking a marathon sounds kind of torturous). Take a stroll through paradise on the flat course through downtown Honolulu to Waikiki Beach, and then get right back to your beach chair. Registration fee: $60-$70

[caption id="attachment_45443" align="alignnone" width="620"]Disney Princess Half Marathon Photo: Preston Mack / WDW Photo[/caption]

2. Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend
Location: Orlando, FL
Date: Friday, February 19 to Sunday, February 21, 2016
All runDisney events tend to be walker-friendly, but this race weekend really delivers the royal treatment. Choose your own magical distance, whether the Disney Princess Half Marathon, Enchanted 10K or Disney Princess 5K. And keep an eye out for Cinderella, Snow White and more of your favorite Disney characters as they cheer you to a happily ever after finish. Registration fee: $65-$205; sold out.

[caption id="attachment_45445" align="alignnone" width="620"]RNR-New-Orleans Photo: Ryan Bethke / Competitor Group[/caption]

3. Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon and 10K
Location: New Orleans, LA
Date: Sunday, February 28, 2016
With a four-hour course limit in this race series, there’s plenty of time for walkers to strut their way through the streets in true NOLA style (a city famous for its walking clubs). The jazzy course parades its way into the festive French Quarter and past the historic homes of the Garden District. The city pulls out all the stops to make you feel like it’s Mardi Gras from start to finish, thanks to upbeat music and all-year-round party vibes. Registration fee: $40-$105

RELATED 15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons

[caption id="attachment_45446" align="alignnone" width="620"]Anthem Shamrock Race Photo: Cindy Graf[/caption]

4. Anthem Half Marathon and TowneBank Shamrock 8K
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Date: Saturday, March 19 to Sunday, March 20, 2016
This beachfront race wishes its many walkers the luck of the Irish. In conjunction with St. Patrick’s Day, some 20,000 half-marathon (four-hour limit) and 8K (two-hour limit) participants will turn the flat and fast course green with participants’ festive gear. But the fun and good cheer doesn’t stop at the end of the race. We have a feeling it’s the finish line festival (and the Yuengling beer!) that keeps people coming back year after year. Registration: $40-$125

[caption id="attachment_45461" align="alignnone" width="620"]Cooper-River-Bridge-Run Photo: Cooper River Bridge Run[/caption]

5. Cooper River Bridge Run and Walk
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
Date: Saturday, April 2, 2016
One of the largest 10Ks in the world, this annual race has tweaked its course numerous times over its 40-year history just to accommodate its large field of walkers. That’s because they want you to be among the 40,000 participants who will take on Charleston’s beautiful two-mile bridge (and then some). There’s a generous three-hour course limit too, and no shortage of supportive fans, camaraderie and live bands along the way. Registration fee: $40-$55

[caption id="attachment_45462" align="alignnone" width="620"]Statesman Cap 10K Photo: Austin American-Statesman Staff Photographer Ralph Barrera[/caption]

6. Statesman Cap10K
Location: Austin, TX
Date: Sunday, April 10, 2016
Celebrate the 39th year of this Austin springtime favorite (and another one of the biggest 10K road races around). You and more than 18,000 others can walk from Congress Avenue Bridge, past the Texas State Capitol, and up and down a few hilly neighborhoods and parks, within the 20-minute mile pace limit. But we all know the real race is on social media, where the popular costume contest unfolds — so plan your outfit accordingly! Registration fee: $30-$50

RELATED The 5 Best Cardio Workouts That Don’t Involve Running

[caption id="attachment_45447" align="alignnone" width="620"]One America 500 Photo: The 500 Festival[/caption]

7. One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Date: Saturday, May 7, 2016
Feel the need for speed? So do the 35,000 participants that make up one of the largest half-marathons in the world, and nearly 20 percent of them are walkers! You’ll need to really rev up the engine for the course highlight — a 2.5-mile lap around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Don’t worry, the event’s “Back of the Pack” crew helps everyone maintain the 18-minute-mile time limit to the finish and provides encouragement along the way. Registration fee: $75-$95

[caption id="attachment_45448" align="alignnone" width="620"]Bay to Breakers Photo: Zappos.com Bay to Breakers[/caption]

8. Zappos.com Bay to Breakers 12K
Location: San Francisco, CA
Date: Sunday, May 15, 2016
There are few things San Franciscans are more serious about than this quintessential event, also the oldest consecutively run annual footrace in the world. Some of the more than 60,000 participants are serious about the running, but others (many, many others) are serious about the wild, anything goes fun and crazy costumes (and, um, lack of costumes) that’s been a yearly tradition since 1912. Walking might just be a better way to truly enjoy the rowdy sights and sounds. Registration fee: $50-$140

RELATED The 7 Best Competitions for People Who Hate Running

[caption id="attachment_45449" align="alignnone" width="620"]PeachTree Road Race Photo: Paul Kim[/caption]

9. AJC Peachtree Road Race 10K
Location: Atlanta, GA
Date: Monday, July 4, 2016
Before the picnics and the fireworks in Atlanta, it’s a Fourth of July tradition to see 60,000 runners and walkers come together for the world’s largest 10K road race. In fact, more than 150,000 local spectators go out to cheer on participants of all ages and athletic abilities, some in their most patriotic costumes. With such a high-energy course, it’s no wonder so many walkers choose to start their holiday weekend with a bang. Registration: $35-$38

[caption id="attachment_36532" align="alignnone" width="620"]Missoula Marathon Photo: Missoula Marathon[/caption]

10. Missoula Half Marathon
Location: Missoula, MT
Date: Sunday, July 10, 2016
This scenic flat and fast course through Big Sky Country welcomes more than 4,000 participants, especially those who follow Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run method. Galloway is a longtime supporter of the point-to-point race, which has a 7.5-hour time limit, making it one of the most walker-inclusive around. There’s also a 5K and beer run to round out the weekend of small town charm. Registration fee: $75-$115

[caption id="attachment_45450" align="alignnone" width="620"]Portland Coast to Coast Walk:Relay Photo: Hood to Coast/ Portland to Coast Relays[/caption]

11. Portland to Coast Walk Relay
Location: Portland, OR
Date: Friday, August 26 to Saturday, August 27, 2016
Play the lottery for a chance to join 400 lucky teams at the largest walking relay race in the world (held in tandem with the popular Hood to Coast Relay). Each team of eight to 12 walkers race the 132-mile course from downtown Portland to the beaches of Seaside, Oregon, through all hours of the day and night — so don’t forget your reflective gear! Since the race began in 1991, it has raised more than $4 million for cancer research. Registration fee: $1,140 per team; sold out for 2016.

RELATED The 17 Best Relay Races in the U.S.

[caption id="attachment_45451" align="alignnone" width="620"]ThedaCare Half Marathon Photo: Fox Cities Marathon[/caption]

12. ThedaCare Half Marathon
Location: Neenah, WI
Date: Sunday, September 18, 2016
This is the race competitive walkers have been waiting for! You’ll get a separate start time that’s five minutes after the joggers take off, meaning there’s no need to dodge and weave (or fear getting plowed down from behind). And just to make it even more exciting and scenic, this year’s race features a new course with three miles of paved trail for its 3,500 participants to enjoy. Registration fee: $65-$110

[caption id="attachment_45456" align="alignnone" width="620"]Boston Jimmy Fund Walk Photo: John Deputy[/caption]

13. Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk
Location: Boston, MA
Date: Sunday, September 25, 2016
You might have zero desire to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but over 8,500 walkers can lace up for the same iconic course (and choice of 3, 5, 13.1, or 26.2 miles) at one of the largest charitable walking events in the world. Since it started in 1989, the walk has fundraised more than $100 million to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. And just like on Marathon Monday, the whole city of Boston comes out to support you. Registration fee: $25-$40; each participant must also fundraise at least $300 in donations (walkers under 12 years old must contribute at least $100)

[caption id="attachment_45452" align="alignnone" width="620"]Avon Walk to End Breast Cancer Photo: The Avon Foundation for Women[/caption]

14. Avon 39: The Walk to End Breast Cancer
Location: Houston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, New York
Date: See website for dates
Want another opportunity to walk for a cause? Put on your pink and join this two-day, 39.3-mile event in seven major U.S. cities this spring and fall. Whether you walk as a team or an individual, you’ll be supporting one of the largest and most well-respected breast cancer walks in the country. The distance is no joke, but knowing that these walk have raised more than $550 million since they began in 2003 will help you power through. Registration fee: $50 (plus $1,800 fundraising minimum)

RELATED 9 Inspiring Breast Cancer Awareness Races

[caption id="attachment_45463" align="alignnone" width="620"]Walk MS Photo: National MS Society[/caption]

15. Walk MS
Location: 550 locations nationwide
Date: See website for each location’s dates.
Every year, 330,000 people all over the country throw on some sneakers and walk with one goal in mind: to end multiple sclerosis for good. Each local event, sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, hosts a 5K and 1 mile, plus options to walk as a team or individual. Since 1988, these walkers have raised more than $920 million to provide research and support for the 2.3 million people affected by MS. No registration fee, but fundraising is encouraged.

Are you ready to walk the walk? Tell us about your favorite walker-friendly race or event in the comments below!

The post 15 Races for People Who’d Rather Walk Than Run appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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15 Races for People Who’d Rather Walk Than Run

15 Races for People Who’d Rather Walk Than Run Walking might just be the most underrated form of activity. Whether you’re powering through three miles or 13, walking burns around 100 calories per mile (depending on your weight, time, and distance) — and carries health benefits galore. The U.S. surgeon general even wants you to start walking more! But from fun 5Ks to half-marathons to the grueling world of marathons and ultramarathons, sometimes it seems like running gets all the glory. RELATED The Easiest 5K and 10K Training Plan Ever (Walking, Allowed) That’s why whether you’re a competitive walker or you’re just out there to get active with friends, it’s time to set your sights on these 15 walker-friendly events across the country. So lace up your sneakers and prepare to dominate these distances where walkers are not only welcome, but they might just be the stars of the show. Because walkers deserve race medals, too!

15 Races Where Walkers Can Dominate

[caption id="attachment_36536" align="alignnone" width="620"]Honolulu Marathon Photo: Honolulu Marathon[/caption] 1. Honolulu Marathon Race Day 10K Walk Location: Honolulu, HI Date: Sunday, December 13, 2015 Who wouldn’t want to spend a winter weekend in Hawaii? With no cap on participants and no cut-off time, the Honolulu Marathon is an established favorite among long-distance walkers. But the non-timed 10K walk held the same morning is a little more our speed (let’s face it, walking a marathon sounds kind of torturous). Take a stroll through paradise on the flat course through downtown Honolulu to Waikiki Beach, and then get right back to your beach chair. Registration fee: $60-$70 [caption id="attachment_45443" align="alignnone" width="620"]Disney Princess Half Marathon Photo: Preston Mack / WDW Photo[/caption] 2. Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Location: Orlando, FL Date: Friday, February 19 to Sunday, February 21, 2016 All runDisney events tend to be walker-friendly, but this race weekend really delivers the royal treatment. Choose your own magical distance, whether the Disney Princess Half Marathon, Enchanted 10K or Disney Princess 5K. And keep an eye out for Cinderella, Snow White and more of your favorite Disney characters as they cheer you to a happily ever after finish. Registration fee: $65-$205; sold out. [caption id="attachment_45445" align="alignnone" width="620"]RNR-New-Orleans Photo: Ryan Bethke / Competitor Group[/caption] 3. Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon and 10K Location: New Orleans, LA Date: Sunday, February 28, 2016 With a four-hour course limit in this race series, there’s plenty of time for walkers to strut their way through the streets in true NOLA style (a city famous for its walking clubs). The jazzy course parades its way into the festive French Quarter and past the historic homes of the Garden District. The city pulls out all the stops to make you feel like it’s Mardi Gras from start to finish, thanks to upbeat music and all-year-round party vibes. Registration fee: $40-$105 RELATED 15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons [caption id="attachment_45446" align="alignnone" width="620"]Anthem Shamrock Race Photo: Cindy Graf[/caption] 4. Anthem Half Marathon and TowneBank Shamrock 8K Location: Virginia Beach, VA Date: Saturday, March 19 to Sunday, March 20, 2016 This beachfront race wishes its many walkers the luck of the Irish. In conjunction with St. Patrick’s Day, some 20,000 half-marathon (four-hour limit) and 8K (two-hour limit) participants will turn the flat and fast course green with participants’ festive gear. But the fun and good cheer doesn’t stop at the end of the race. We have a feeling it’s the finish line festival (and the Yuengling beer!) that keeps people coming back year after year. Registration: $40-$125 [caption id="attachment_45461" align="alignnone" width="620"]Cooper-River-Bridge-Run Photo: Cooper River Bridge Run[/caption] 5. Cooper River Bridge Run and Walk Location: Mount Pleasant, SC Date: Saturday, April 2, 2016 One of the largest 10Ks in the world, this annual race has tweaked its course numerous times over its 40-year history just to accommodate its large field of walkers. That’s because they want you to be among the 40,000 participants who will take on Charleston’s beautiful two-mile bridge (and then some). There’s a generous three-hour course limit too, and no shortage of supportive fans, camaraderie and live bands along the way. Registration fee: $40-$55 [caption id="attachment_45462" align="alignnone" width="620"]Statesman Cap 10K Photo: Austin American-Statesman Staff Photographer Ralph Barrera[/caption] 6. Statesman Cap10K Location: Austin, TX Date: Sunday, April 10, 2016 Celebrate the 39th year of this Austin springtime favorite (and another one of the biggest 10K road races around). You and more than 18,000 others can walk from Congress Avenue Bridge, past the Texas State Capitol, and up and down a few hilly neighborhoods and parks, within the 20-minute mile pace limit. But we all know the real race is on social media, where the popular costume contest unfolds — so plan your outfit accordingly! Registration fee: $30-$50 RELATED The 5 Best Cardio Workouts That Don’t Involve Running [caption id="attachment_45447" align="alignnone" width="620"]One America 500 Photo: The 500 Festival[/caption] 7. One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Location: Indianapolis, IN Date: Saturday, May 7, 2016 Feel the need for speed? So do the 35,000 participants that make up one of the largest half-marathons in the world, and nearly 20 percent of them are walkers! You’ll need to really rev up the engine for the course highlight — a 2.5-mile lap around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Don’t worry, the event’s “Back of the Pack” crew helps everyone maintain the 18-minute-mile time limit to the finish and provides encouragement along the way. Registration fee: $75-$95 [caption id="attachment_45448" align="alignnone" width="620"]Bay to Breakers Photo: Zappos.com Bay to Breakers[/caption] 8. Zappos.com Bay to Breakers 12K Location: San Francisco, CA Date: Sunday, May 15, 2016 There are few things San Franciscans are more serious about than this quintessential event, also the oldest consecutively run annual footrace in the world. Some of the more than 60,000 participants are serious about the running, but others (many, many others) are serious about the wild, anything goes fun and crazy costumes (and, um, lack of costumes) that’s been a yearly tradition since 1912. Walking might just be a better way to truly enjoy the rowdy sights and sounds. Registration fee: $50-$140 RELATED The 7 Best Competitions for People Who Hate Running [caption id="attachment_45449" align="alignnone" width="620"]PeachTree Road Race Photo: Paul Kim[/caption] 9. AJC Peachtree Road Race 10K Location: Atlanta, GA Date: Monday, July 4, 2016 Before the picnics and the fireworks in Atlanta, it’s a Fourth of July tradition to see 60,000 runners and walkers come together for the world’s largest 10K road race. In fact, more than 150,000 local spectators go out to cheer on participants of all ages and athletic abilities, some in their most patriotic costumes. With such a high-energy course, it’s no wonder so many walkers choose to start their holiday weekend with a bang. Registration: $35-$38 [caption id="attachment_36532" align="alignnone" width="620"]Missoula Marathon Photo: Missoula Marathon[/caption] 10. Missoula Half Marathon Location: Missoula, MT Date: Sunday, July 10, 2016 This scenic flat and fast course through Big Sky Country welcomes more than 4,000 participants, especially those who follow Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run method. Galloway is a longtime supporter of the point-to-point race, which has a 7.5-hour time limit, making it one of the most walker-inclusive around. There’s also a 5K and beer run to round out the weekend of small town charm. Registration fee: $75-$115 [caption id="attachment_45450" align="alignnone" width="620"]Portland Coast to Coast Walk:Relay Photo: Hood to Coast/ Portland to Coast Relays[/caption] 11. Portland to Coast Walk Relay Location: Portland, OR Date: Friday, August 26 to Saturday, August 27, 2016 Play the lottery for a chance to join 400 lucky teams at the largest walking relay race in the world (held in tandem with the popular Hood to Coast Relay). Each team of eight to 12 walkers race the 132-mile course from downtown Portland to the beaches of Seaside, Oregon, through all hours of the day and night — so don’t forget your reflective gear! Since the race began in 1991, it has raised more than $4 million for cancer research. Registration fee: $1,140 per team; sold out for 2016. RELATED The 17 Best Relay Races in the U.S. [caption id="attachment_45451" align="alignnone" width="620"]ThedaCare Half Marathon Photo: Fox Cities Marathon[/caption] 12. ThedaCare Half Marathon Location: Neenah, WI Date: Sunday, September 18, 2016 This is the race competitive walkers have been waiting for! You’ll get a separate start time that’s five minutes after the joggers take off, meaning there’s no need to dodge and weave (or fear getting plowed down from behind). And just to make it even more exciting and scenic, this year’s race features a new course with three miles of paved trail for its 3,500 participants to enjoy. Registration fee: $65-$110 [caption id="attachment_45456" align="alignnone" width="620"]Boston Jimmy Fund Walk Photo: John Deputy[/caption] 13. Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk Location: Boston, MA Date: Sunday, September 25, 2016 You might have zero desire to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but over 8,500 walkers can lace up for the same iconic course (and choice of 3, 5, 13.1, or 26.2 miles) at one of the largest charitable walking events in the world. Since it started in 1989, the walk has fundraised more than $100 million to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. And just like on Marathon Monday, the whole city of Boston comes out to support you. Registration fee: $25-$40; each participant must also fundraise at least $300 in donations (walkers under 12 years old must contribute at least $100) [caption id="attachment_45452" align="alignnone" width="620"]Avon Walk to End Breast Cancer Photo: The Avon Foundation for Women[/caption] 14. Avon 39: The Walk to End Breast Cancer Location: Houston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, New York Date: See website for dates Want another opportunity to walk for a cause? Put on your pink and join this two-day, 39.3-mile event in seven major U.S. cities this spring and fall. Whether you walk as a team or an individual, you’ll be supporting one of the largest and most well-respected breast cancer walks in the country. The distance is no joke, but knowing that these walk have raised more than $550 million since they began in 2003 will help you power through. Registration fee: $50 (plus $1,800 fundraising minimum) RELATED 9 Inspiring Breast Cancer Awareness Races [caption id="attachment_45463" align="alignnone" width="620"]Walk MS Photo: National MS Society[/caption] 15. Walk MS Location: 550 locations nationwide Date: See website for each location’s dates. Every year, 330,000 people all over the country throw on some sneakers and walk with one goal in mind: to end multiple sclerosis for good. Each local event, sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, hosts a 5K and 1 mile, plus options to walk as a team or individual. Since 1988, these walkers have raised more than $920 million to provide research and support for the 2.3 million people affected by MS. No registration fee, but fundraising is encouraged. Are you ready to walk the walk? Tell us about your favorite walker-friendly race or event in the comments below!

The post 15 Races for People Who’d Rather Walk Than Run appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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10 Ways to Stay Hydrated (That Aren’t Water) https://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-foods-stay-hydrated-without-water/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-foods-stay-hydrated-without-water/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 15:15:59 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=30203 Spring Cleanse Salad

10 Ways to Stay Hydrated (That Aren't Water)

When it comes to a sweaty workout, we love a water break reward as much as the next fitness fiend. But as the mercury rises, it’s more important than ever to focus on our fluids all day long. After all, water is the most essential nutrient our system needs.

“Our bodies are made up of more than half water and we use it for pretty much every bodily function — from regulating body temperature to removing waste to lubricating joints to carrying oxygen to the cells.” says Rachel Berman, a registered dietician and senior director of content at Verywell. “That’s why you feel so fatigued, dizzy and moody when you’re dehydrated.” 

While it’s true a tall glass of water is the best known way to stay hydrated, there are plenty of alternative options if you don’t like the taste of tap or couldn’t be bothered with bottled water. Sure, you can infuse plain ol’ drinking water with flavorful fruits like lemons and raspberries. But you can also reach for some of these water-rich foods and fluids that keep the H2O balance just right — and won’t require so many trips to the water cooler!

RELATED: 5 Healthier Ways to Detox (That Aren't Juice Cleanses) 

Eat It Up

Who says you can’t have your water — and eat it, too? According to the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations we should eat 20 percent of our daily water intake. Soup, yogurt and oatmeal are all great fluid-filled foods, but these summer-friendly fruits and veggies can also help with hydration. Next time you’re feeling thirsty, pile these on your plate.

[caption id="attachment_29239" align="alignnone" width="620"]Watermelon Cucumber Bites Photo by Perry Santanachote[/caption]

1. Watermelon
In the world of thirst quenchers, watermelon weighs in as a major contender. Based on its name, it’s no surprise this fruit is made up of 92 percent water! But its salt, calcium and magnesium is what makes it ideal for rehydration, according to a 2009 study at the University of Aberdeen Medical School. The summertime staple is also a good source of potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.

2. Celery
This often-overlooked veggie is way more than chicken wing garnish! Celery stalks are about 95 percent water, high in fiber and rich in minerals including potassium and vitamin K. Keep in mind, “they’re not packed with nutrients, but that’s also because they’re not calorie-dense,” says Berman. “Plus, it’s nice to add a bit of crunch [for texture].”

RELATED: 12 DIY Kitchen Hacks to Clean Up Your Eating Habits

3. Cucumbers
No matter how you slice ‘em and dice ‘em, cucumbers keep cool at the number one spot on the list of water-logged fruits and vegetables. Composed of 96 percent water, cukes have no saturated fat or cholesterol, and are very high in vitamin K, vitamin B6 and iron. Cucumber and melon bites, anyone?

4. Strawberries
Even without the shortcake, strawberries are a sweet treat perfect for staying hydrated. They are 92 percent water (the most of any berry) and are loaded with fiber and vitamin C — as if you needed an excuse to sip on this refreshing summer cocktail!

[caption id="attachment_27441" align="alignnone" width="620"]Spring Cleanse Salad Photo by Renee Blair[/caption]

5. Lettuce
Iceberg lettuce may be 96 percent water, but it’s not known for much else in the nutrition department. Richer salad greens and sandwich toppers including butterhead, romaine and spinach are more well-rounded choices and still up your hydration. Need some inspiration? Start with these creative, healthy salads.

RELATED: 16 Detoxifying Recipes You'll Actually Love

Drink It Down

Most beverages (non-alcoholic, of course) will help contribute to your daily water intake. But here are five drinks that will give you some extra benefits, too. Yes, even coffee!

6. Fat-free or skim milk
Everyone knows milk is an excellent source of calcium that will keep your bones in tip-top shape. But research also shows milk is better than water and sports drinks for rehydration and recovery after exercise (yup, especially chocolate milk). Just be sure to choose a slimmed-down carton since the fat in whole milk can delay fluid replacement.

[caption id="attachment_30210" align="alignnone" width="620"]Serrano Pineapple Papaya Chia Smoothie Photo: Janie Hoffman / Mamma Chia[/caption]

7. Smoothies
Can’t choose just one hydrating option? Slurping down a DIY smoothie is a great way to combine your favorite flavors into one nutritionally-packed glass. “And it only takes seconds to scarf down!” says Berman. Try drinking your fruits and veggies with these healthy (and tasty) green smoothie recipes.

8. Sports drinks
Sugar and sodium are good things when it comes to sports drinks! In addition to the electrolytes and protein included in most on the market, the sugar and sodium can bring your body back to balance faster than water after a grueling workout lasting over 90 minutes. For shorter workouts, sports drinks may just mean a lot of extra carbs you don’t need.  To cut some calories (and save some money), make your own sports drinks at home.

9. Coconut water
There’s a reason people go nuts for this tropical drink. Unlike sports beverages, coconut water is low in carbohydrates, while still rich in potassium. And its unsweetened varieties can be very hydrating (assuming you like its unique taste). According to a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the all-natural beverage is effective in rehydrating after light exercise. But for more rigorous sweat sessions, the low-sodium drink does come up short in replenishing the salt your body loses.

[caption id="attachment_15715" align="alignnone" width="620"]Iced Coffee Cubes Photo by Perry Santanachote[/caption]

10. Coffee
Isn’t coffee a diuretic? Well, yes, but a recent study in PLOS ONE debunks the myth that it also causes dehydration. Not only will your daily cup contribute to your water needs, coffee can also give you a sharper memory, boost athletic endurance and performance, and reduce the risk of many serious ailments including diabetes and heart disease.

How Much Water Do We Really Need?

Whether you eat it or drink it, don’t stop ‘til you get enough. According to Berman that’s not as simple as the old-school “eight glasses a day” rule we were all taught.

“It’s not the recommendation,” she says. “But it’s also not that far off. For women, it’s about 11 cups and for men it’s about 15 cups. But remember, that includes 20 percent from food.”

When you’re exercising, you should be sipping even more for optimal performance, Berman adds. “It’s variable based on your bodyweight and how intense you’re working out, but the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 16 to 20 ounces at least four hours before exercise and three to eight ounces every 15 minutes during exercise (especially in hot temperatures).”

RELATED: A Runner's Guide to Hydration (and How Not to Overdo It)

If you’re working out at a high intensity, Berman says to weigh yourself before and after exercise to get a more accurate idea of how much water you’re losing. “For every pound lost, you’re supposed to drink 20 to 24 ounces,” she says. “It’s a good mental trigger to remind yourself to keep drinking.”

Most of us need this reminder, as we may not even realize we’re dehydrated — until it’s too late. While common signs of dehydration include fatigue, headaches, nausea and dizziness, Berman says the best (and easiest) way to see if you’re getting enough water is to take a peek at your pee.

“Your urine should be a pale yellow color,” she says. “If it’s darker than that, drink some water. If you’re not getting up and running to the bathroom every hour, you’re not drinking enough. That’s the telltale sign.”

Originally posted on July 24, 2014. Updated August 2015. 

The post 10 Ways to Stay Hydrated (That Aren’t Water) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Spring Cleanse Salad

10 Ways to Stay Hydrated (That Aren't Water) When it comes to a sweaty workout, we love a water break reward as much as the next fitness fiend. But as the mercury rises, it’s more important than ever to focus on our fluids all day long. After all, water is the most essential nutrient our system needs. “Our bodies are made up of more than half water and we use it for pretty much every bodily function — from regulating body temperature to removing waste to lubricating joints to carrying oxygen to the cells.” says Rachel Berman, a registered dietician and senior director of content at Verywell. “That’s why you feel so fatigued, dizzy and moody when you’re dehydrated.”  While it’s true a tall glass of water is the best known way to stay hydrated, there are plenty of alternative options if you don’t like the taste of tap or couldn’t be bothered with bottled water. Sure, you can infuse plain ol’ drinking water with flavorful fruits like lemons and raspberries. But you can also reach for some of these water-rich foods and fluids that keep the H2O balance just right — and won’t require so many trips to the water cooler! RELATED: 5 Healthier Ways to Detox (That Aren't Juice Cleanses) 

Eat It Up

Who says you can’t have your water — and eat it, too? According to the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations we should eat 20 percent of our daily water intake. Soup, yogurt and oatmeal are all great fluid-filled foods, but these summer-friendly fruits and veggies can also help with hydration. Next time you’re feeling thirsty, pile these on your plate. [caption id="attachment_29239" align="alignnone" width="620"]Watermelon Cucumber Bites Photo by Perry Santanachote[/caption] 1. Watermelon In the world of thirst quenchers, watermelon weighs in as a major contender. Based on its name, it’s no surprise this fruit is made up of 92 percent water! But its salt, calcium and magnesium is what makes it ideal for rehydration, according to a 2009 study at the University of Aberdeen Medical School. The summertime staple is also a good source of potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. 2. Celery This often-overlooked veggie is way more than chicken wing garnish! Celery stalks are about 95 percent water, high in fiber and rich in minerals including potassium and vitamin K. Keep in mind, “they’re not packed with nutrients, but that’s also because they’re not calorie-dense,” says Berman. “Plus, it’s nice to add a bit of crunch [for texture].” RELATED: 12 DIY Kitchen Hacks to Clean Up Your Eating Habits 3. Cucumbers No matter how you slice ‘em and dice ‘em, cucumbers keep cool at the number one spot on the list of water-logged fruits and vegetables. Composed of 96 percent water, cukes have no saturated fat or cholesterol, and are very high in vitamin K, vitamin B6 and iron. Cucumber and melon bites, anyone? 4. Strawberries Even without the shortcake, strawberries are a sweet treat perfect for staying hydrated. They are 92 percent water (the most of any berry) and are loaded with fiber and vitamin C — as if you needed an excuse to sip on this refreshing summer cocktail! [caption id="attachment_27441" align="alignnone" width="620"]Spring Cleanse Salad Photo by Renee Blair[/caption] 5. Lettuce Iceberg lettuce may be 96 percent water, but it’s not known for much else in the nutrition department. Richer salad greens and sandwich toppers including butterhead, romaine and spinach are more well-rounded choices and still up your hydration. Need some inspiration? Start with these creative, healthy salads. RELATED: 16 Detoxifying Recipes You'll Actually Love

Drink It Down

Most beverages (non-alcoholic, of course) will help contribute to your daily water intake. But here are five drinks that will give you some extra benefits, too. Yes, even coffee! 6. Fat-free or skim milk Everyone knows milk is an excellent source of calcium that will keep your bones in tip-top shape. But research also shows milk is better than water and sports drinks for rehydration and recovery after exercise (yup, especially chocolate milk). Just be sure to choose a slimmed-down carton since the fat in whole milk can delay fluid replacement. [caption id="attachment_30210" align="alignnone" width="620"]Serrano Pineapple Papaya Chia Smoothie Photo: Janie Hoffman / Mamma Chia[/caption] 7. Smoothies Can’t choose just one hydrating option? Slurping down a DIY smoothie is a great way to combine your favorite flavors into one nutritionally-packed glass. “And it only takes seconds to scarf down!” says Berman. Try drinking your fruits and veggies with these healthy (and tasty) green smoothie recipes. 8. Sports drinks Sugar and sodium are good things when it comes to sports drinks! In addition to the electrolytes and protein included in most on the market, the sugar and sodium can bring your body back to balance faster than water after a grueling workout lasting over 90 minutes. For shorter workouts, sports drinks may just mean a lot of extra carbs you don’t need.  To cut some calories (and save some money), make your own sports drinks at home. 9. Coconut water There’s a reason people go nuts for this tropical drink. Unlike sports beverages, coconut water is low in carbohydrates, while still rich in potassium. And its unsweetened varieties can be very hydrating (assuming you like its unique taste). According to a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the all-natural beverage is effective in rehydrating after light exercise. But for more rigorous sweat sessions, the low-sodium drink does come up short in replenishing the salt your body loses. [caption id="attachment_15715" align="alignnone" width="620"]Iced Coffee Cubes Photo by Perry Santanachote[/caption] 10. Coffee Isn’t coffee a diuretic? Well, yes, but a recent study in PLOS ONE debunks the myth that it also causes dehydration. Not only will your daily cup contribute to your water needs, coffee can also give you a sharper memory, boost athletic endurance and performance, and reduce the risk of many serious ailments including diabetes and heart disease.

How Much Water Do We Really Need?

Whether you eat it or drink it, don’t stop ‘til you get enough. According to Berman that’s not as simple as the old-school “eight glasses a day” rule we were all taught. “It’s not the recommendation,” she says. “But it’s also not that far off. For women, it’s about 11 cups and for men it’s about 15 cups. But remember, that includes 20 percent from food.” When you’re exercising, you should be sipping even more for optimal performance, Berman adds. “It’s variable based on your bodyweight and how intense you’re working out, but the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 16 to 20 ounces at least four hours before exercise and three to eight ounces every 15 minutes during exercise (especially in hot temperatures).” RELATED: A Runner's Guide to Hydration (and How Not to Overdo It) If you’re working out at a high intensity, Berman says to weigh yourself before and after exercise to get a more accurate idea of how much water you’re losing. “For every pound lost, you’re supposed to drink 20 to 24 ounces,” she says. “It’s a good mental trigger to remind yourself to keep drinking.” Most of us need this reminder, as we may not even realize we’re dehydrated — until it’s too late. While common signs of dehydration include fatigue, headaches, nausea and dizziness, Berman says the best (and easiest) way to see if you’re getting enough water is to take a peek at your pee. “Your urine should be a pale yellow color,” she says. “If it’s darker than that, drink some water. If you’re not getting up and running to the bathroom every hour, you’re not drinking enough. That’s the telltale sign.” Originally posted on July 24, 2014. Updated August 2015. 

The post 10 Ways to Stay Hydrated (That Aren’t Water) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The 15 Fastest Fall Marathons to Earn a BQ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/bq-boston-qualifying-best-fall-marathons/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/bq-boston-qualifying-best-fall-marathons/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:15:05 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=40993 The 15 Fastest Fall Marathons to Earn a BQ

The 15 Fastest Fall Marathons to Earn a BQ

From the starting line in Hopkinton, MA to the iconic finish line on Boylston Street, the local roads and rolling hills that make up the Boston Marathon course are hallowed grounds to the running community. And it’s the only major public marathon to require official qualifying times for participants, excluding charity runners.

According to the Boston Athletic Association (BAA), this practice started back in 1970, when the field size of the race increased to well over 1,000 runners with the nation’s first running boom. Not wanting to compromise the quality of its race, the BAA determined the first qualifying time standards, which continue to evolve and grow tougher each year.

Qualifying times vary from year to year. In 2013, the times dropped by five minutes across all age groups. Today, if you’re between the ages of 25-34, you’ll have to run at least a 3:05 (men) or a 3:35 (women) marathon to earn a coveted BQ (short for “Boston Qualifying” time). We say at least because the actual registration is a rolling process, with the fastest qualifiers being allowed to sign up first. Those with slower BQ times run the risk of getting cut off, depending on the number of registrations in any given year.

RELATED: How to Run the Boston Marathon Like a Pro

These qualifying time standards often represent the pinnacle goal for marathon runners. Dreaming of racing in the most historic and fastest marathon in the country? Signing up for one of these BQ-friendly fall marathons may be your best to drop time and secure your spot on the storied streets.

Note: The qualifying window for the 2016 Boston Marathon opened on September 13, 2014 and registration will likely begin September 2015. Once the field fills up, the BAA will then open the qualifying window for the 2017 Boston Marathon.

The following races, listed by date starting in mid-September, were selected for their national reputations as fast, flat courses with high percentages of BQ times.

[caption id="attachment_40998" align="alignnone" width="620"]Advocate Marathon Photo: Advocate Dreyer Last Chance BQ.2 Chicagoland Marathon[/caption]

1. Advocate Dreyer Last Chance BQ.2 Chicagoland Marathon

Location: Geneva, IL
Date: September 12, 2015
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 61%
What makes it so fast: This small race may be one of the last (and best!) opportunities for runners still hoping to qualify for 2016. It’s got BQing down to a science and treats its 300 participants like elites on the pancake-flat, eight loop course with 16 aid stations. There are even Boston Marathon registration kiosks waiting for you at the finish line!

RELATED: 5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time

[caption id="attachment_41004" align="alignnone" width="620"]Revel Big Cottonwood Photo: Revel Big Cottonwood[/caption]

2. Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon

Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Date: September 12, 2015
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 20%
What makes it so fast: The stunning scenery of the Wasatch Mountain canyons and the foothills of Salt Lake City are the perfect backdrop for a speedy BQ. Because the downhill course, featuring multiple switchbacks, has a 5,278-foot elevation drop, runners who are used to sea-level running should barely notice any of the altitude effects usually associated with mountain runs.

[caption id="attachment_41057" align="alignnone" width="620"]Erie Marathon Photo: Erie Marathon / Todd Van Hoeser[/caption]

3. Erie Marathon

Location: Erie, PA
Date: September 13, 2015
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 33%
What makes it so fast: This is another popular marathon packed with BQ hopefuls. Around 2,500 of them will head to the lakeshore city for a flat, two-loop course through Presque Isle State Park. The race offers few surprises, with gentle curves and little wind. And because of its mid-September date, a BQ in Erie might give you a qualifying time that’s good for two years.

[caption id="attachment_41001" align="alignnone" width="620"]Leigh Valley VIA Marathon Photo: Leigh Valley Via Marathon[/caption]

4. Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon

Location: Allentown, PA
Date: September 13, 2015
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 24%
What makes it so fast: Head to rural Lehigh Valley for the third fastest race in the country, with an average finish time of 3:54:24. Designed by Bart Yasso of Runner’s World, this super flat, fast course is strategic. Each year, 2,500 runners take advantage of the shady stretches, cinder trails and the net elevation drop of 240 feet.

RELATED: The 30 Best Marathons in the Entire World

[caption id="attachment_41058" align="alignnone" width="620"]St. Georges Marathon Photo: St Georges Marathon[/caption]

5. St. George Marathon

Location: St. George, UT
Date: October 3, 2015
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 18%
What makes it so fast: While it’s often touted for its dreamy scenery and unparalleled race day logistics, this small southwestern marathon (less than 1,000 finishers) is also acclaimed for its speed. The point-to-point course near the Arizona border gives you a natural turbo charge as you descend nearly 2,600 feet among the red rocks.

[caption id="attachment_41002" align="alignnone" width="620"]Medtronic Marathon Photo: Twin Cities in Motion[/caption]

6. Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

Location: Minneapolis, MN
Date: October 4, 2015|
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 13% (2014)
What makes it so fast: This popular race is the ninth largest in the country and is the self-proclaimed “most beautiful urban marathon in America.” The vibrant course along the Mississippi’s riverbanks from Minneapolis to St. Paul, the 300,000 supportive spectators and the early fall weather set the scene for ideal racing conditions year after year.

[caption id="attachment_41006" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wineglass Marathon Photo: A.D. Wheeler[/caption]

7. Wineglass Marathon

Location: Corning, NY
Date: October 4, 2015
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 15%
What makes it so fast: It’s one of our favorite fall marathons and often makes other top marathon lists for good reason. There are few flat, fast countryside courses as picturesque as this point-to-point race in the Finger Lakes during the peak of leaf-peeping season. The one-of-a-kind glass medals given to the 2,000 finishers don’t hurt, either.

[caption id="attachment_36534" align="alignnone" width="620"]Chicago Marathon Photo: Bank of America Chicago Marathon[/caption]

8. Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Location: Chicago, IL
Date: October 11, 2015
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 10%
What makes it so fast: Clocking in at 45,000 runners, Chi-Town hosts the second largest and one of the most renowned marathons in the world. See where the Windy City can take you on the flat course that runs through 29 diverse neighborhoods. The field is deep and the support from 1.7 million cheering spectators is thick — just like the city’s signature pizza.

RELATED: 10 Lessons Learned While Running 100 Marathons

[caption id="attachment_41055" align="alignnone" width="620"]Mohawk Hudson Marathon Photo: Mohawk Hudson Marathon[/caption]

9. Mohawk Hudson River Marathon

Location: Schenectady, NY
Date: October 11, 2015
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 23%
What makes it so fast: With nearly a quarter of the field earning a BQ, this simple, small-town race knows what it’s doing — without any extra hoopla. This flat, downhill (370-foot drop) course might be just what you need to hit your magic time. The scenic bike paths and city streets along the beautiful Mohawk and Hudson Rivers are just an added bonus.

[caption id="attachment_16702" align="alignnone" width="620"]Steamtown Marathon Photo: runphotos.com[/caption]

10. Steamtown Marathon

Location: Scranton, PA
Date: October 11, 2015
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 20%
What makes it so fast: Celebrating its 20th year, this race is a classic favorite among BQ strivers. But even with a net elevation loss of 955 feet, it’s a challenging course for its 3,000 runners, due to the (cruel) timing of a few hills just before the finish. On the upside, two scenic miles on the Lackawanna River’s dirt trails will be a welcome respite for your tired legs.

[caption id="attachment_41056" align="alignnone" width="620"]Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon Photo: Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon[/caption]

11. Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon

Location: Lowell, MA
Date: October 18, 2015
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 25%
What makes it so fast: With an average finish time of 3:53:05, this “for runners, by runners” race just earned the number two spot for fastest marathon in the country. Its no-frills mission: To help you BQ. However, its double loop ‘round the Merrimack River has a few turns and rolling hills to keep you on your toes.

[caption id="attachment_41000" align="alignnone" width="620"]Indianapolis Marathon Photo: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon[/caption]

12. Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

Location: Indianapolis, IN
Date: November 7, 2015
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 16%
What makes it so fast: Forget the Indy 500! There’s another high-speed race taking over Indianapolis. Join 4,000 racers in exploring the city’s biggest highlights along the loop course. Local fans will push you past the Indiana State Capitol, Lucas Oil Stadium and the famous Indianapolis Museum of Art as on your way to the finish.

[caption id="attachment_16708" align="alignnone" width="620"]Anthem Richmond Marathon Photo: Sports Backers[/caption]

13. Anthem Richmond Marathon

Location: Richmond, VA
Date: November 14, 2015
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 10%
What makes it so fast: How did this riverside race earn the nickname of “America’s Friendliest Marathon?” Maybe it’s the high-energy bands and party zones. Or maybe it’s the junk food stations at mile 16 and 22, stocked with Gummy Bears, cookies and soda! Either way, the course is downhill to the finish line (where pizza and beer await), making it a fast and fun marathon.

RELATED: The 20 Most Inspiring Runners in the U.S.

[caption id="attachment_41003" align="alignnone" width="620"]Philadelphia Marathon Photo: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon[/caption]

14. GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Date: November 22, 2015
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 13%
What makes it so fast: With an epic starting line soundtrack, the City of Brotherly Love sends more than 10,000 runners through America’s most historic streets. You’ll head over flat roads along two rivers, and back to the Philadelphia Art Museums steps for a memorable finish. It’s the country’s eighth largest race, and one of the loudest thanks to its enthusiastic crowds.

[caption id="attachment_40999" align="alignnone" width="620"]California Marathon Photo: runsra.org; Sean Dulany[/caption]

15. California International Marathon

Location: Sacramento, CA
Date: December 6, 2015
Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 23%
What makes it so fast: If you missed a BQ earlier in the season, look to this late fall race (“the fastest in the west”) to give it one more try before winter. With pace teams for every Boston qualifying standard, superb organization, cool temps, 50,000 fans, and a 340-foot net drop, this rolling hill marathon sets its 6,200 runners up for a BQ success story.

The post The 15 Fastest Fall Marathons to Earn a BQ appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The 15 Fastest Fall Marathons to Earn a BQ

The 15 Fastest Fall Marathons to Earn a BQ From the starting line in Hopkinton, MA to the iconic finish line on Boylston Street, the local roads and rolling hills that make up the Boston Marathon course are hallowed grounds to the running community. And it’s the only major public marathon to require official qualifying times for participants, excluding charity runners. According to the Boston Athletic Association (BAA), this practice started back in 1970, when the field size of the race increased to well over 1,000 runners with the nation’s first running boom. Not wanting to compromise the quality of its race, the BAA determined the first qualifying time standards, which continue to evolve and grow tougher each year. Qualifying times vary from year to year. In 2013, the times dropped by five minutes across all age groups. Today, if you’re between the ages of 25-34, you’ll have to run at least a 3:05 (men) or a 3:35 (women) marathon to earn a coveted BQ (short for “Boston Qualifying” time). We say at least because the actual registration is a rolling process, with the fastest qualifiers being allowed to sign up first. Those with slower BQ times run the risk of getting cut off, depending on the number of registrations in any given year. RELATED: How to Run the Boston Marathon Like a Pro These qualifying time standards often represent the pinnacle goal for marathon runners. Dreaming of racing in the most historic and fastest marathon in the country? Signing up for one of these BQ-friendly fall marathons may be your best to drop time and secure your spot on the storied streets. Note: The qualifying window for the 2016 Boston Marathon opened on September 13, 2014 and registration will likely begin September 2015. Once the field fills up, the BAA will then open the qualifying window for the 2017 Boston Marathon. The following races, listed by date starting in mid-September, were selected for their national reputations as fast, flat courses with high percentages of BQ times. [caption id="attachment_40998" align="alignnone" width="620"]Advocate Marathon Photo: Advocate Dreyer Last Chance BQ.2 Chicagoland Marathon[/caption]

1. Advocate Dreyer Last Chance BQ.2 Chicagoland Marathon

Location: Geneva, IL Date: September 12, 2015 Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 61% What makes it so fast: This small race may be one of the last (and best!) opportunities for runners still hoping to qualify for 2016. It’s got BQing down to a science and treats its 300 participants like elites on the pancake-flat, eight loop course with 16 aid stations. There are even Boston Marathon registration kiosks waiting for you at the finish line! RELATED: 5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time [caption id="attachment_41004" align="alignnone" width="620"]Revel Big Cottonwood Photo: Revel Big Cottonwood[/caption]

2. Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon

Location: Salt Lake City, UT Date: September 12, 2015 Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 20% What makes it so fast: The stunning scenery of the Wasatch Mountain canyons and the foothills of Salt Lake City are the perfect backdrop for a speedy BQ. Because the downhill course, featuring multiple switchbacks, has a 5,278-foot elevation drop, runners who are used to sea-level running should barely notice any of the altitude effects usually associated with mountain runs. [caption id="attachment_41057" align="alignnone" width="620"]Erie Marathon Photo: Erie Marathon / Todd Van Hoeser[/caption]

3. Erie Marathon

Location: Erie, PA Date: September 13, 2015 Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 33% What makes it so fast: This is another popular marathon packed with BQ hopefuls. Around 2,500 of them will head to the lakeshore city for a flat, two-loop course through Presque Isle State Park. The race offers few surprises, with gentle curves and little wind. And because of its mid-September date, a BQ in Erie might give you a qualifying time that’s good for two years. [caption id="attachment_41001" align="alignnone" width="620"]Leigh Valley VIA Marathon Photo: Leigh Valley Via Marathon[/caption]

4. Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon

Location: Allentown, PA Date: September 13, 2015 Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 24% What makes it so fast: Head to rural Lehigh Valley for the third fastest race in the country, with an average finish time of 3:54:24. Designed by Bart Yasso of Runner’s World, this super flat, fast course is strategic. Each year, 2,500 runners take advantage of the shady stretches, cinder trails and the net elevation drop of 240 feet. RELATED: The 30 Best Marathons in the Entire World [caption id="attachment_41058" align="alignnone" width="620"]St. Georges Marathon Photo: St Georges Marathon[/caption]

5. St. George Marathon

Location: St. George, UT Date: October 3, 2015 Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 18% What makes it so fast: While it’s often touted for its dreamy scenery and unparalleled race day logistics, this small southwestern marathon (less than 1,000 finishers) is also acclaimed for its speed. The point-to-point course near the Arizona border gives you a natural turbo charge as you descend nearly 2,600 feet among the red rocks. [caption id="attachment_41002" align="alignnone" width="620"]Medtronic Marathon Photo: Twin Cities in Motion[/caption]

6. Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

Location: Minneapolis, MN Date: October 4, 2015| Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 13% (2014) What makes it so fast: This popular race is the ninth largest in the country and is the self-proclaimed “most beautiful urban marathon in America.” The vibrant course along the Mississippi’s riverbanks from Minneapolis to St. Paul, the 300,000 supportive spectators and the early fall weather set the scene for ideal racing conditions year after year. [caption id="attachment_41006" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wineglass Marathon Photo: A.D. Wheeler[/caption]

7. Wineglass Marathon

Location: Corning, NY Date: October 4, 2015 Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 15% What makes it so fast: It’s one of our favorite fall marathons and often makes other top marathon lists for good reason. There are few flat, fast countryside courses as picturesque as this point-to-point race in the Finger Lakes during the peak of leaf-peeping season. The one-of-a-kind glass medals given to the 2,000 finishers don’t hurt, either. [caption id="attachment_36534" align="alignnone" width="620"]Chicago Marathon Photo: Bank of America Chicago Marathon[/caption]

8. Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Location: Chicago, IL Date: October 11, 2015 Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 10% What makes it so fast: Clocking in at 45,000 runners, Chi-Town hosts the second largest and one of the most renowned marathons in the world. See where the Windy City can take you on the flat course that runs through 29 diverse neighborhoods. The field is deep and the support from 1.7 million cheering spectators is thick — just like the city’s signature pizza. RELATED: 10 Lessons Learned While Running 100 Marathons [caption id="attachment_41055" align="alignnone" width="620"]Mohawk Hudson Marathon Photo: Mohawk Hudson Marathon[/caption]

9. Mohawk Hudson River Marathon

Location: Schenectady, NY Date: October 11, 2015 Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 23% What makes it so fast: With nearly a quarter of the field earning a BQ, this simple, small-town race knows what it’s doing — without any extra hoopla. This flat, downhill (370-foot drop) course might be just what you need to hit your magic time. The scenic bike paths and city streets along the beautiful Mohawk and Hudson Rivers are just an added bonus. [caption id="attachment_16702" align="alignnone" width="620"]Steamtown Marathon Photo: runphotos.com[/caption]

10. Steamtown Marathon

Location: Scranton, PA Date: October 11, 2015 Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 20% What makes it so fast: Celebrating its 20th year, this race is a classic favorite among BQ strivers. But even with a net elevation loss of 955 feet, it’s a challenging course for its 3,000 runners, due to the (cruel) timing of a few hills just before the finish. On the upside, two scenic miles on the Lackawanna River’s dirt trails will be a welcome respite for your tired legs. [caption id="attachment_41056" align="alignnone" width="620"]Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon Photo: Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon[/caption]

11. Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon

Location: Lowell, MA Date: October 18, 2015 Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 25% What makes it so fast: With an average finish time of 3:53:05, this “for runners, by runners” race just earned the number two spot for fastest marathon in the country. Its no-frills mission: To help you BQ. However, its double loop ‘round the Merrimack River has a few turns and rolling hills to keep you on your toes. [caption id="attachment_41000" align="alignnone" width="620"]Indianapolis Marathon Photo: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon[/caption]

12. Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

Location: Indianapolis, IN Date: November 7, 2015 Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 16% What makes it so fast: Forget the Indy 500! There’s another high-speed race taking over Indianapolis. Join 4,000 racers in exploring the city’s biggest highlights along the loop course. Local fans will push you past the Indiana State Capitol, Lucas Oil Stadium and the famous Indianapolis Museum of Art as on your way to the finish. [caption id="attachment_16708" align="alignnone" width="620"]Anthem Richmond Marathon Photo: Sports Backers[/caption]

13. Anthem Richmond Marathon

Location: Richmond, VA Date: November 14, 2015 Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 10% What makes it so fast: How did this riverside race earn the nickname of “America’s Friendliest Marathon?” Maybe it’s the high-energy bands and party zones. Or maybe it’s the junk food stations at mile 16 and 22, stocked with Gummy Bears, cookies and soda! Either way, the course is downhill to the finish line (where pizza and beer await), making it a fast and fun marathon. RELATED: The 20 Most Inspiring Runners in the U.S. [caption id="attachment_41003" align="alignnone" width="620"]Philadelphia Marathon Photo: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon[/caption]

14. GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon

Location: Philadelphia, PA Date: November 22, 2015 Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 13% What makes it so fast: With an epic starting line soundtrack, the City of Brotherly Love sends more than 10,000 runners through America’s most historic streets. You’ll head over flat roads along two rivers, and back to the Philadelphia Art Museums steps for a memorable finish. It’s the country’s eighth largest race, and one of the loudest thanks to its enthusiastic crowds. [caption id="attachment_40999" align="alignnone" width="620"]California Marathon Photo: runsra.org; Sean Dulany[/caption]

15. California International Marathon

Location: Sacramento, CA Date: December 6, 2015 Percentage of runners who BQ (2014): 23% What makes it so fast: If you missed a BQ earlier in the season, look to this late fall race (“the fastest in the west”) to give it one more try before winter. With pace teams for every Boston qualifying standard, superb organization, cool temps, 50,000 fans, and a 340-foot net drop, this rolling hill marathon sets its 6,200 runners up for a BQ success story.

The post The 15 Fastest Fall Marathons to Earn a BQ appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Hate Running? 25 Ways to Learn to Love It https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/love-running-tips/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/love-running-tips/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 15:15:39 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=20175 Running Form

25 Ways to Learn to Love Running

Running is boring. It’s hard. It hurts. It’s lonely. And it doesn’t give you immediate results. Right?

While we don’t think any of these are necessarily good excuses (or altogether true!), we do understand it’s not always love at first run for anyone who ever decides to lace up and hit the pavement.

“The first time I tried going for a run, after spending my whole life as a dancer and avoiding the mile in gym class, I had fun — for the first four steps,” says blogger Alison Feller of Ali on the Run. “But you know what is fun? The second run, the third run, the fourth run, the fifth run…”

Whether you’re a total beginner intimidated to take those first steps or you’ve recently taken a wrong turn straight into a running rut, we’re here to help you get moving in the right direction. That’s why we asked Feller and some of our other favorite running bloggers and coaches, to share their best tips for finding fun on the run.

RELATED: The 30 Best Marathons in the Entire World

1. Forget the past.

Whatever feelings or fears you associate with running — leave them in your dust! “Forget about the coach who made you run as a punishment,” says Sara Johnson, a coach at Reality Running. “Forget about those childhood memories of not being ‘the athlete.’ Just because running wasn't fun for you in the past doesn't mean it can't be now.” Matt Orlando of The Runner Dad says most initial stumbles are mental. “Being a runner isn’t about speed or skill; it is a mindset,” he says. “Whether you run a 4-minute mile or a 15-minute mile, all it takes is a pair of shoes and the desire to get out the door.”

2. Set a goal.

Establishing a goal for each run (even if it’s just to not walk!) creates benchmarks of your progress and a sense of accomplishment. “I used telephone poles when I was getting started,” says Feller. “Each time I ran, I told myself to make it to ‘one more pole.’” Eventually, you might find yourself setting even crazier goals, says Elizabeth Maiuolo of Running and the City, “like running over all of the NYC bridges or covering three different parks in one run.”

RELATED: The 20 Most Inspiring Runners in the U.S.

3. Slow down.

“Don't even think about pace at the beginning,” says Amanda Loudin, the voice behind Miss Zippy. “Many people get discouraged at first because they want to run ‘fast.’ So they go out and kill themselves, then feel dejected and discouraged.” Coach Ryan Knapp of Out and Back emphasizes running at a conversational pace, meaning you should be able to talk on-the-go. While it may go against the “No pain. No gain.” mentality, it “ensures you are building your aerobic endurance and teaching your body to become more efficient, which is the key to running,” he says.

4. Buddy up.

Yes, it can be isolating to run alone, but we say there’s plenty of road to share. “Ask a friend you haven't seen in a while to run with you,” says Jocelyn Bonneau, better known as Enthusiastic Runner. “Catch up while running and the miles will fly by as you chat!” Julie Curtis of ROJ Running adds that your date could also be a romantic one. “Studies have shown couples who run together, stay together,” she says. “Take your crush out for a little jog or reignite passion in your long term relationship. That post-workout glow could lead to a few more calories burned — if you know what I'm saying.”

RELATED: 12 Secrets from the Pros to Achieve a Personal Best

5. Play a game.

Remember all those silly road trip games your parents would use to entertain and distract you on long car rides? Even on your feet, you can still take them on the road! Play “20 Questions” with a friend or try to find all of the letters of the alphabet on the street signs you pass if you’re running solo.

[caption id="attachment_20179" align="alignnone" width="620"]Running Man Arches Photo: Pond5[/caption]

6. Discover the road not taken.

If you ate the same food for lunch every day, you’d inevitably get bored, and it’s the same with running! “Slogging along the same path every day can get old really fast,” says Feller. Blogger Gabrielle Kotkov of Marathons and Macarons suggests picking a place that feels special. “It could be as simple as the foliage in the park, or the sunset along the river,” she says. “I first fell in love with running in the park in autumn.” Theodora Blanchfield, coach and creator of Preppy Runner agrees, adding that even if you have to travel to your new route first, “running is the best way to see new spots and explore somewhere new on foot!”

RELATED: 14 Trail Running Adventures to Try Before You Die

7. Treat yo’ self.

We hate to sound shallow, but sometimes there’s nothing like some new gear to get us going. “A flashy training outfit will make me want to run faster and longer,” admits Maiuolo. Michelle Roos of Pawsitively Delightful also abides by this approach. “If I have time (and money), I will buy either a new pair of shorts or a tank that will act as a reward for all of the hard work that I've done up until then,” she says. “If it’s something I know I'll want to race in later, I can test it out!”

8. Find a happy ending.

If you could have anything waiting for you at the end of a hard run, what would it be? For Emily Halnon of Sweat Once a Day, it’s simple. “Beer,” she says. “I recommend ending most runs with a pint of the good stuff.” Abby Land, who writes Back at Square Zero, believes in the power of runch. “You meet a buddy and run/walk to your favorite brunch place,” she says. “Woo hoo for runch!” And with all the calories you burn running, who could blame Kotkov, who says she’s run straight to an ice cream shop before? As for Feller, her ultimate destination reward is “a dog park, filled with precious puppies.” It’s all about what puts a smile on your face.

9. Rise with the sun.

Switching up the time of day you run can have a huge impact on your performance and overall mood. While it’s tough to roll straight out of bed and into running threads, studies show the early bird gets more than just the worm (and spectacular sunrises). According to research, those who work out in the morning have more energy, a curbed appetite and better sleep (not to mention fewer happy hour cancellations) than those who wait until the evening.

RELATED: 19 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Becoming a Morning Person

10. Meet your neighbors.

Get to know your local running store and area running clubs to find group runs and potential training partners. “There's group accountability and pressure to keep going, even when you're tired or the weather's not very good,” says Sara Larsen of Sara Runs. Orlando adds connections to your community are a great way to meet people with similar passion and goals, who are also “awesome, fun, healthy and typically enjoy helping others.”

11. Pump up the jam.

To beat the running blues, many runners turn to tunes. As his blog’s name suggests, Gerard Pescatore of The Music of Running says rocking out on the run can be an amazing combination. “You get to star in your own music video while running!” he says. “It also helps pass the time. If I know a song is 7+ minutes long, I figure I can run a mile during it.” Jessica Hofheimer, creator of Pace of Me, says she saves music “for those runs when I'm really not ‘feeling it’ because it always peps me up!” Maiuolo suggests playlists organized by BPM (beats per minute), but don’t forget podcasts or stand-up comedy, too.

RELATED: Should You Press Pause on Your Running Music?

[caption id="attachment_19587" align="alignnone" width="620"]Trail Running Photo: Pond5[/caption]

12. Hit the trails.

Halnon says trail running is anything but boring, and we couldn’t agree more. “I thought it would be impossible for me to fall any harder in love with running, and then I discovered trails,” she says. “And since that first step onto some gnarly singletrack, I've learned that running on dirt can make this sport exciting and awesome for just about anyone. Like to look at pretty stuff, too? Go run a trail!”

13. Pick up a good read.

Look for sources that will motivate you to learn more and put it into practice. Loudin suggests reading up. “Buy a running magazine or check out a few running blogs for pointers and inspiration,” she says. (Hint: All of the bloggers featured here are a great start to your required reading list.)

14. Go naked.

When runners talk about going “naked,” they ditch their gear. If you’re a gadgets-and-gizmos-a-plenty kind of runner, try leaving them behind on your next outing. With no watch to track your every pace per mile and calorie burned, you’re more likely to discover the simple joys of a run. “Running allows you to escape your stress, escape your worries, escape the world,” says Orlando. “It can be just you and the road.”

15. Give back.

We’re not sure there’s another sport out there that’s as charitable as running. If you can’t find the personal motivation to keep putting one foot in front of the other, do it for a cause. It’s easy to find racing events that raise funds for the nonprofit organization of your choice, or you can download an app like Charity Miles to make sure each step gives a little something back.

16. Make it an appointment.

It may not sound exciting, but making running part of your schedule will give it a greater purpose. “I always remind myself that it's only 30 or 60 minutes of my day,” says Danica Newon of Chic Runner. “Even if I go slow, it's better than doing nothing.”

17. Channel your inner cheerleader.

Experiencing the sport from the sidelines, with a cowbell in hand, is one of the best ways to ignite a passion for running. “Go to a local race and cheer at the finish line!” says Johnson. “The excitement and joy of the finishers will be contagious.” Pescatore encourages other runners as a spectator to help him remember why he loves running. “It gets me fired up,” he says. “The running community is amazing and has pulled me out of my (very introverted) shell.”

[caption id="attachment_19002" align="alignnone" width="620"]Muddy Buddy Mud Run Photo: Muddy Buddy Adventure Series[/caption]

18. Race. Race. Race.

“Pick out an upcoming race and actually pay the registration fee,” says Johnson. “Paying cold hard cash for something makes it harder to slack off on your training.” With so many events to choose — from colorful fun runs to muddy races to marathons — most runners, including Loudin, agree “getting into the race environment can be incredibly motivating and inspiring. Find a local 5K as your starting point,” she suggests.

RELATED: The 30 Best Marathons in the Entire World

19. Speed up.

Speed workouts may hurt (OK, they hurt a lot), but we promise you certainly won’t be bored! “Running is simple,” says David Hylton, co-founder of #RunChat and blogger at Running… Because I Can. “Preventing it from getting boring is simpler.” It may sound cruel, but try hill repeats for a change of scenery or give intervals a go ‘round the track for a very literal change of pace.

20. Share the journey.

If these tips from running bloggers are any indication, there’s an even larger running community out there that wants you to succeed — so talk about it, tweet about it and blog about it with them! “Sometimes I would ‘hate’ running and I felt so shunned by my friends,” says Curtis. “But once I shared my thoughts and fears, I found out lots of people experience the same things and it helped me to feel more connected.” And don’t forget to (over)share photographic proof of your workouts! “Bring your camera to make the run more like a cinematic adventure,” says Maiuolo.

21. Measure your success.

Keep a written log of your life as a runner. If you’re an analytical person, says Orlando, “track your progress through spreadsheets or sites like MapMyRun or RunKeeper.” As you continue to improve and feel more comfortable on your feet, you’ll be able to look back and have tangible notes of your training progress. Impressed by your success? Sounds like it’s time for more treats!

[caption id="attachment_20181" align="alignnone" width="620"]Crossing the Finish Line Photo: Pond5[/caption]

22. Challenge yourself.

Maybe you’ve done a few local 5Ks and want to take running to the next level. Sign up for a race a few months away that seems a bit out of your league and then chase it down. “Find races that you know you won't PR in so you can approach it differently,” says Hylton. “Whether it has crazy hills or is on a trail or a new distance, you'll avoid falling into a trap of same-old, same-old.”

23. Start streaking.

No, we’re still not talking about taking clothes off. An official “running streak” means you vow to run at least one mile every day for an entire calendar year. We don’t think you have to be that extreme to get the idea. Try a shorter streak, like Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day in the winter or Memorial Day to Labor Day in the summer. It’s still harder than it sounds, but it a great tool to keep you motivated and accountable.

24. Take a break.

On the flip side, many runners say they start to learn their real relationship with running when they step away from it. Is it true love or are you mortal enemies? “If you really hate running and you've tried all the ‘tricks,’ maybe running isn't for you or it isn't the time for you to be doing it,” says Curtis. Hylton agrees, saying a love for running doesn’t just happen overnight. “It's like being in a relationship,” he says. “First you like it; then you like it a lot; then something happens and you need a break. Then you come back to it and rediscover what you almost missed. Then you fall in love.”

RELATED: Real Talk: When It's Actually OK to Quit a Race

25. Want the run.

Becoming a runner is about recognizing the value in every step along the way. “You need to want the run you are striving to achieve,” says Roos. “If you want to run a marathon at a goal pace, that end goal is what’s driving you through the run right in front of you (that you might not want at the time). The want for the end goal needs to be greater!” Hofheimer agrees it’s all about remembering why you run. “The bigger picture is the most important thing to me,” she says. “Running makes me feel alive and strong and connected to myself.”

Maybe running isn’t for everyone, but you won’t know until you try — and these are some ways to at least have fun while doing so. But according to Feller, the best tip we can offer is to power through. “When you're getting started, the fight is as much mental as it is physical,” she says. “You want running to be fun right away? I assure you, it's not going to be. But once you can find the mental strength to push through the initial tough ones, the runs that follow will truly be a blast.”

Originally posted on October 30, 2013. Updated June 2015.

The post Hate Running? 25 Ways to Learn to Love It appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Running Form

25 Ways to Learn to Love Running Running is boring. It’s hard. It hurts. It’s lonely. And it doesn’t give you immediate results. Right? While we don’t think any of these are necessarily good excuses (or altogether true!), we do understand it’s not always love at first run for anyone who ever decides to lace up and hit the pavement. “The first time I tried going for a run, after spending my whole life as a dancer and avoiding the mile in gym class, I had fun — for the first four steps,” says blogger Alison Feller of Ali on the Run. “But you know what is fun? The second run, the third run, the fourth run, the fifth run…” Whether you’re a total beginner intimidated to take those first steps or you’ve recently taken a wrong turn straight into a running rut, we’re here to help you get moving in the right direction. That’s why we asked Feller and some of our other favorite running bloggers and coaches, to share their best tips for finding fun on the run. RELATED: The 30 Best Marathons in the Entire World 1. Forget the past. Whatever feelings or fears you associate with running — leave them in your dust! “Forget about the coach who made you run as a punishment,” says Sara Johnson, a coach at Reality Running. “Forget about those childhood memories of not being ‘the athlete.’ Just because running wasn't fun for you in the past doesn't mean it can't be now.” Matt Orlando of The Runner Dad says most initial stumbles are mental. “Being a runner isn’t about speed or skill; it is a mindset,” he says. “Whether you run a 4-minute mile or a 15-minute mile, all it takes is a pair of shoes and the desire to get out the door.” 2. Set a goal. Establishing a goal for each run (even if it’s just to not walk!) creates benchmarks of your progress and a sense of accomplishment. “I used telephone poles when I was getting started,” says Feller. “Each time I ran, I told myself to make it to ‘one more pole.’” Eventually, you might find yourself setting even crazier goals, says Elizabeth Maiuolo of Running and the City, “like running over all of the NYC bridges or covering three different parks in one run.” RELATED: The 20 Most Inspiring Runners in the U.S. 3. Slow down. “Don't even think about pace at the beginning,” says Amanda Loudin, the voice behind Miss Zippy. “Many people get discouraged at first because they want to run ‘fast.’ So they go out and kill themselves, then feel dejected and discouraged.” Coach Ryan Knapp of Out and Back emphasizes running at a conversational pace, meaning you should be able to talk on-the-go. While it may go against the “No pain. No gain.” mentality, it “ensures you are building your aerobic endurance and teaching your body to become more efficient, which is the key to running,” he says. 4. Buddy up. Yes, it can be isolating to run alone, but we say there’s plenty of road to share. “Ask a friend you haven't seen in a while to run with you,” says Jocelyn Bonneau, better known as Enthusiastic Runner. “Catch up while running and the miles will fly by as you chat!” Julie Curtis of ROJ Running adds that your date could also be a romantic one. “Studies have shown couples who run together, stay together,” she says. “Take your crush out for a little jog or reignite passion in your long term relationship. That post-workout glow could lead to a few more calories burned — if you know what I'm saying.” RELATED: 12 Secrets from the Pros to Achieve a Personal Best 5. Play a game. Remember all those silly road trip games your parents would use to entertain and distract you on long car rides? Even on your feet, you can still take them on the road! Play “20 Questions” with a friend or try to find all of the letters of the alphabet on the street signs you pass if you’re running solo. [caption id="attachment_20179" align="alignnone" width="620"]Running Man Arches Photo: Pond5[/caption] 6. Discover the road not taken. If you ate the same food for lunch every day, you’d inevitably get bored, and it’s the same with running! “Slogging along the same path every day can get old really fast,” says Feller. Blogger Gabrielle Kotkov of Marathons and Macarons suggests picking a place that feels special. “It could be as simple as the foliage in the park, or the sunset along the river,” she says. “I first fell in love with running in the park in autumn.” Theodora Blanchfield, coach and creator of Preppy Runner agrees, adding that even if you have to travel to your new route first, “running is the best way to see new spots and explore somewhere new on foot!” RELATED: 14 Trail Running Adventures to Try Before You Die 7. Treat yo’ self. We hate to sound shallow, but sometimes there’s nothing like some new gear to get us going. “A flashy training outfit will make me want to run faster and longer,” admits Maiuolo. Michelle Roos of Pawsitively Delightful also abides by this approach. “If I have time (and money), I will buy either a new pair of shorts or a tank that will act as a reward for all of the hard work that I've done up until then,” she says. “If it’s something I know I'll want to race in later, I can test it out!” 8. Find a happy ending. If you could have anything waiting for you at the end of a hard run, what would it be? For Emily Halnon of Sweat Once a Day, it’s simple. “Beer,” she says. “I recommend ending most runs with a pint of the good stuff.” Abby Land, who writes Back at Square Zero, believes in the power of runch. “You meet a buddy and run/walk to your favorite brunch place,” she says. “Woo hoo for runch!” And with all the calories you burn running, who could blame Kotkov, who says she’s run straight to an ice cream shop before? As for Feller, her ultimate destination reward is “a dog park, filled with precious puppies.” It’s all about what puts a smile on your face. 9. Rise with the sun. Switching up the time of day you run can have a huge impact on your performance and overall mood. While it’s tough to roll straight out of bed and into running threads, studies show the early bird gets more than just the worm (and spectacular sunrises). According to research, those who work out in the morning have more energy, a curbed appetite and better sleep (not to mention fewer happy hour cancellations) than those who wait until the evening. RELATED: 19 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Becoming a Morning Person 10. Meet your neighbors. Get to know your local running store and area running clubs to find group runs and potential training partners. “There's group accountability and pressure to keep going, even when you're tired or the weather's not very good,” says Sara Larsen of Sara Runs. Orlando adds connections to your community are a great way to meet people with similar passion and goals, who are also “awesome, fun, healthy and typically enjoy helping others.” 11. Pump up the jam. To beat the running blues, many runners turn to tunes. As his blog’s name suggests, Gerard Pescatore of The Music of Running says rocking out on the run can be an amazing combination. “You get to star in your own music video while running!” he says. “It also helps pass the time. If I know a song is 7+ minutes long, I figure I can run a mile during it.” Jessica Hofheimer, creator of Pace of Me, says she saves music “for those runs when I'm really not ‘feeling it’ because it always peps me up!” Maiuolo suggests playlists organized by BPM (beats per minute), but don’t forget podcasts or stand-up comedy, too. RELATED: Should You Press Pause on Your Running Music? [caption id="attachment_19587" align="alignnone" width="620"]Trail Running Photo: Pond5[/caption] 12. Hit the trails. Halnon says trail running is anything but boring, and we couldn’t agree more. “I thought it would be impossible for me to fall any harder in love with running, and then I discovered trails,” she says. “And since that first step onto some gnarly singletrack, I've learned that running on dirt can make this sport exciting and awesome for just about anyone. Like to look at pretty stuff, too? Go run a trail!” 13. Pick up a good read. Look for sources that will motivate you to learn more and put it into practice. Loudin suggests reading up. “Buy a running magazine or check out a few running blogs for pointers and inspiration,” she says. (Hint: All of the bloggers featured here are a great start to your required reading list.) 14. Go naked. When runners talk about going “naked,” they ditch their gear. If you’re a gadgets-and-gizmos-a-plenty kind of runner, try leaving them behind on your next outing. With no watch to track your every pace per mile and calorie burned, you’re more likely to discover the simple joys of a run. “Running allows you to escape your stress, escape your worries, escape the world,” says Orlando. “It can be just you and the road.” 15. Give back. We’re not sure there’s another sport out there that’s as charitable as running. If you can’t find the personal motivation to keep putting one foot in front of the other, do it for a cause. It’s easy to find racing events that raise funds for the nonprofit organization of your choice, or you can download an app like Charity Miles to make sure each step gives a little something back. 16. Make it an appointment. It may not sound exciting, but making running part of your schedule will give it a greater purpose. “I always remind myself that it's only 30 or 60 minutes of my day,” says Danica Newon of Chic Runner. “Even if I go slow, it's better than doing nothing.” 17. Channel your inner cheerleader. Experiencing the sport from the sidelines, with a cowbell in hand, is one of the best ways to ignite a passion for running. “Go to a local race and cheer at the finish line!” says Johnson. “The excitement and joy of the finishers will be contagious.” Pescatore encourages other runners as a spectator to help him remember why he loves running. “It gets me fired up,” he says. “The running community is amazing and has pulled me out of my (very introverted) shell.” [caption id="attachment_19002" align="alignnone" width="620"]Muddy Buddy Mud Run Photo: Muddy Buddy Adventure Series[/caption] 18. Race. Race. Race. “Pick out an upcoming race and actually pay the registration fee,” says Johnson. “Paying cold hard cash for something makes it harder to slack off on your training.” With so many events to choose — from colorful fun runs to muddy races to marathons — most runners, including Loudin, agree “getting into the race environment can be incredibly motivating and inspiring. Find a local 5K as your starting point,” she suggests. RELATED: The 30 Best Marathons in the Entire World 19. Speed up. Speed workouts may hurt (OK, they hurt a lot), but we promise you certainly won’t be bored! “Running is simple,” says David Hylton, co-founder of #RunChat and blogger at Running… Because I Can. “Preventing it from getting boring is simpler.” It may sound cruel, but try hill repeats for a change of scenery or give intervals a go ‘round the track for a very literal change of pace. 20. Share the journey. If these tips from running bloggers are any indication, there’s an even larger running community out there that wants you to succeed — so talk about it, tweet about it and blog about it with them! “Sometimes I would ‘hate’ running and I felt so shunned by my friends,” says Curtis. “But once I shared my thoughts and fears, I found out lots of people experience the same things and it helped me to feel more connected.” And don’t forget to (over)share photographic proof of your workouts! “Bring your camera to make the run more like a cinematic adventure,” says Maiuolo. 21. Measure your success. Keep a written log of your life as a runner. If you’re an analytical person, says Orlando, “track your progress through spreadsheets or sites like MapMyRun or RunKeeper.” As you continue to improve and feel more comfortable on your feet, you’ll be able to look back and have tangible notes of your training progress. Impressed by your success? Sounds like it’s time for more treats! [caption id="attachment_20181" align="alignnone" width="620"]Crossing the Finish Line Photo: Pond5[/caption] 22. Challenge yourself. Maybe you’ve done a few local 5Ks and want to take running to the next level. Sign up for a race a few months away that seems a bit out of your league and then chase it down. “Find races that you know you won't PR in so you can approach it differently,” says Hylton. “Whether it has crazy hills or is on a trail or a new distance, you'll avoid falling into a trap of same-old, same-old.” 23. Start streaking. No, we’re still not talking about taking clothes off. An official “running streak” means you vow to run at least one mile every day for an entire calendar year. We don’t think you have to be that extreme to get the idea. Try a shorter streak, like Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day in the winter or Memorial Day to Labor Day in the summer. It’s still harder than it sounds, but it a great tool to keep you motivated and accountable. 24. Take a break. On the flip side, many runners say they start to learn their real relationship with running when they step away from it. Is it true love or are you mortal enemies? “If you really hate running and you've tried all the ‘tricks,’ maybe running isn't for you or it isn't the time for you to be doing it,” says Curtis. Hylton agrees, saying a love for running doesn’t just happen overnight. “It's like being in a relationship,” he says. “First you like it; then you like it a lot; then something happens and you need a break. Then you come back to it and rediscover what you almost missed. Then you fall in love.” RELATED: Real Talk: When It's Actually OK to Quit a Race 25. Want the run. Becoming a runner is about recognizing the value in every step along the way. “You need to want the run you are striving to achieve,” says Roos. “If you want to run a marathon at a goal pace, that end goal is what’s driving you through the run right in front of you (that you might not want at the time). The want for the end goal needs to be greater!” Hofheimer agrees it’s all about remembering why you run. “The bigger picture is the most important thing to me,” she says. “Running makes me feel alive and strong and connected to myself.” Maybe running isn’t for everyone, but you won’t know until you try — and these are some ways to at least have fun while doing so. But according to Feller, the best tip we can offer is to power through. “When you're getting started, the fight is as much mental as it is physical,” she says. “You want running to be fun right away? I assure you, it's not going to be. But once you can find the mental strength to push through the initial tough ones, the runs that follow will truly be a blast.” Originally posted on October 30, 2013. Updated June 2015.

The post Hate Running? 25 Ways to Learn to Love It appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
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The Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/beginners-guide-trail-running/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/beginners-guide-trail-running/#comments Sat, 30 May 2015 10:15:46 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=19585 Trail Running

[caption id="attachment_40514" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Beginner's Guide to Trail Running Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Whether you’re stuck in a running rut, bored by your neighborhood routes or just plain hate the treadmill, it might be time to leave the road behind and head to the trails. And you won’t be alone: More than 5.8 million runners around the country have already discovered an all-natural running high in the great outdoors. According to a recent Sports and Industry Fitness Association survey, trail running in the U.S. increased by more than eight percent from 2011 to 2012. But fresh air and tranquility are only a few of the reasons people are running away from the busy streets and into the wild woods.

The Benefits of Trail Running

"Trail running burns 10 percent more calories than road running."

Compared to hitting the pavement, trail running burns 10 percent more calories, while improving balance and agility. Runners get a tougher workout because the uneven terrain demands more lateral movements (think dodging branches and avoiding rocky patches) that keep the core engaged. Trail running also works different muscles with every step, while a shorter stride strengthens ankles and hips and reduces the impact on joints. Many runners, even at the highest level, incorporate trail running into their training to prevent overuse injuries.

RELATED: 14 Trail Running Adventures to Try Before You Die

But endurance runner Ian Sharman, a trail running expert, certified NASM personal trainer and USATF coach, says trail running is also about adventure. “I first got started with trail running in 2004 when I saw Marathon of the Sands, a documentary about racing in the Sahara Desert,” says Sharman, who wasn’t even a runner at the time. “I called up a friend, convinced him to train with me, and 18 months after seeing the film I ran the Marathon des Sables.” Sharman has since completed more than 180 marathons and ultramarathons, most recently winning the grueling 2013 Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run.

How to Get Started

If you’re ready for an adventure of your own, follow Sharman’s lead as he shares some of the best tips beginners should know before hitting the trails. We’ll cover everything from gear to etiquette to conquering those hills — and how to stay safe every step of the way.

1. Blaze a Trail

You don’t have to trek into a deep, dark forest to begin. “Trail running includes anything that is off-road and away from paved surfaces,” Sharman says. “It could be as simple as a bike path or just running in the grass, dirt or sand.” Beginners can get started on flat terrain, perhaps with a cross-country run in the grass of a park. “Since you’ll still be around other people, you don’t have to worry about getting lost,” he says. From there, consider joining a local trail running group or find popular trails in your area. While it may seem intimidating at first, trail running “is a very welcoming, friendly community and something anyone who enjoys the act of running itself can do,” Sharman says.

2. Grab the Right Gear

While you’re probably not going to reach mud run levels of filthiness, you’re still likely to get pretty dirty in a more rugged environment, so wear clothing you don’t mind getting messy or ripped. As for shoes, whatever running sneakers you normally lace up are generally fine — again, as long as you don’t mind them getting dirty or wet. Many people think trail-specific footwear, much like a hiking shoe, offers runners more stability. But the act of trail running, with all its bouncing around, actually strengthens your ankles all on its own. “Specialized shoes do become important in trail running when you need more grip on trails that are muddy and slippery, or more cushioning for rougher, sharper terrain,” he says.

And just like any adventure, it’s best to come prepared with some basic essentials. These include water (usually in the form of a sleek handheld bottle or a hydration pack), bug spray and a headlamp if you plan to run when it’s dark outside.

RELATED: Ultrarunning: Are We Meant to Go the Distance?

3. Put Safety First

If you do progress out of the local park and go more remote, think of trail running with the same precautions you would use for hiking, Sharman advises. Tell someone where you’re going and bring a map and cell phone (in the off chance you get lost). It’s also a good idea to run with a friend if possible and do a little research on what wildlife might be lurking in the area.

Sharman also suggests leaving headphones at home so you’re able to stay tuned in to your surroundings and mindful of other runners (plus, research says a strong connection to nature does the mind and body good!). As for keeping your eyes peeled, proper road running form generally means keeping your gaze tall, not down at your feet. But with trail running, you’ll need to be more conscious about where you’re stepping. As you run, look a few yards ahead of you on the trail to watch for trail markers — and so you don’t trip on tree roots or land head first in a muddy puddle.

4. Take It Slow (Or Even Walk!)

On smaller trails, it’s proper etiquette to be courteous to walkers and hikers. So don’t blow right by them just because you’re faster; maintain a safe distance between other runners and let faster runners go ahead of you.

“In road running and racing, it’s about competition and times, but trail running is a bit more relaxed and for fun,” says Sharman (the same guy who holds the record for fastest U.S. time in a 100-mile trail race, mind you). If you’re obsessive about crunching your Garmin’s numbers, recognize that trail running is more about effort level than splits and pace per mile.

Runners will usually be much slower on trails than they are on roads, due to the challenges of the natural terrain and its unforeseen obstacles that force you to slow down. In a recent race, Sharman says he switched from a 20 min/mile to 5 min/mile when he was faced with a massive hill. Unlike road racing, walking is not frowned upon or considered “giving up” and is seen as one of the most important ways of getting to the finish line. “Walking is a very valid part of trail running, especially the longer it gets or the tougher the terrain is,” says Sharman. “Many people, including myself, say they ‘run 100 miles,’ but very few people literally ‘run’ every step.”

5. Find Your High

Trail running may still sound challenging to beginners, but Sharman stresses that time away from the streets — and eventually up in the mountains — should be fun. “Once I’ve done a big climb, I just love the feeling of hammering it downhill,” he says. “It feels like playing and I don’t always feel like I’m playing when I’m just logging miles on the road.”

RELATED: From Day Hikes to Mount Kilimanjaro: Why More Women Are Hitting the Trail

When you’re on the trails, try to capture those special moments that get you most excited. It could be as simple as taking in a mighty view. Sharman has run all over in the world in scenic locations including the Himalayas, European Alps and of course, the Sahara Desert. But he says one of his favorite things about trail running is its unique vantage point to unearth the beauty of your own backyard.

“Around San Francisco where I live, I run a lot in Marin County,” he says. “I could be running along a trail and as I crest the hill, catch a glimpse of the very top of the Golden Gate Bridge. That’s the kind of magic you don’t always get in road racing.”

For more trail running tips, follow Ian Sharman on Twitter at @sharmanian. And to find a trail near you, visit the directories from the American Trail Running Association and Trails.com.

Originally posted October 15, 3013. Updated May 2015. 

The post The Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Trail Running

[caption id="attachment_40514" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Beginner's Guide to Trail Running Photo: Pond5[/caption] Whether you’re stuck in a running rut, bored by your neighborhood routes or just plain hate the treadmill, it might be time to leave the road behind and head to the trails. And you won’t be alone: More than 5.8 million runners around the country have already discovered an all-natural running high in the great outdoors. According to a recent Sports and Industry Fitness Association survey, trail running in the U.S. increased by more than eight percent from 2011 to 2012. But fresh air and tranquility are only a few of the reasons people are running away from the busy streets and into the wild woods.

The Benefits of Trail Running

"Trail running burns 10 percent more calories than road running."
Compared to hitting the pavement, trail running burns 10 percent more calories, while improving balance and agility. Runners get a tougher workout because the uneven terrain demands more lateral movements (think dodging branches and avoiding rocky patches) that keep the core engaged. Trail running also works different muscles with every step, while a shorter stride strengthens ankles and hips and reduces the impact on joints. Many runners, even at the highest level, incorporate trail running into their training to prevent overuse injuries. RELATED: 14 Trail Running Adventures to Try Before You Die But endurance runner Ian Sharman, a trail running expert, certified NASM personal trainer and USATF coach, says trail running is also about adventure. “I first got started with trail running in 2004 when I saw Marathon of the Sands, a documentary about racing in the Sahara Desert,” says Sharman, who wasn’t even a runner at the time. “I called up a friend, convinced him to train with me, and 18 months after seeing the film I ran the Marathon des Sables.” Sharman has since completed more than 180 marathons and ultramarathons, most recently winning the grueling 2013 Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run.

How to Get Started

If you’re ready for an adventure of your own, follow Sharman’s lead as he shares some of the best tips beginners should know before hitting the trails. We’ll cover everything from gear to etiquette to conquering those hills — and how to stay safe every step of the way.

1. Blaze a Trail

You don’t have to trek into a deep, dark forest to begin. “Trail running includes anything that is off-road and away from paved surfaces,” Sharman says. “It could be as simple as a bike path or just running in the grass, dirt or sand.” Beginners can get started on flat terrain, perhaps with a cross-country run in the grass of a park. “Since you’ll still be around other people, you don’t have to worry about getting lost,” he says. From there, consider joining a local trail running group or find popular trails in your area. While it may seem intimidating at first, trail running “is a very welcoming, friendly community and something anyone who enjoys the act of running itself can do,” Sharman says.

2. Grab the Right Gear

While you’re probably not going to reach mud run levels of filthiness, you’re still likely to get pretty dirty in a more rugged environment, so wear clothing you don’t mind getting messy or ripped. As for shoes, whatever running sneakers you normally lace up are generally fine — again, as long as you don’t mind them getting dirty or wet. Many people think trail-specific footwear, much like a hiking shoe, offers runners more stability. But the act of trail running, with all its bouncing around, actually strengthens your ankles all on its own. “Specialized shoes do become important in trail running when you need more grip on trails that are muddy and slippery, or more cushioning for rougher, sharper terrain,” he says. And just like any adventure, it’s best to come prepared with some basic essentials. These include water (usually in the form of a sleek handheld bottle or a hydration pack), bug spray and a headlamp if you plan to run when it’s dark outside. RELATED: Ultrarunning: Are We Meant to Go the Distance?

3. Put Safety First

If you do progress out of the local park and go more remote, think of trail running with the same precautions you would use for hiking, Sharman advises. Tell someone where you’re going and bring a map and cell phone (in the off chance you get lost). It’s also a good idea to run with a friend if possible and do a little research on what wildlife might be lurking in the area. Sharman also suggests leaving headphones at home so you’re able to stay tuned in to your surroundings and mindful of other runners (plus, research says a strong connection to nature does the mind and body good!). As for keeping your eyes peeled, proper road running form generally means keeping your gaze tall, not down at your feet. But with trail running, you’ll need to be more conscious about where you’re stepping. As you run, look a few yards ahead of you on the trail to watch for trail markers — and so you don’t trip on tree roots or land head first in a muddy puddle.

4. Take It Slow (Or Even Walk!)

On smaller trails, it’s proper etiquette to be courteous to walkers and hikers. So don’t blow right by them just because you’re faster; maintain a safe distance between other runners and let faster runners go ahead of you. “In road running and racing, it’s about competition and times, but trail running is a bit more relaxed and for fun,” says Sharman (the same guy who holds the record for fastest U.S. time in a 100-mile trail race, mind you). If you’re obsessive about crunching your Garmin’s numbers, recognize that trail running is more about effort level than splits and pace per mile. Runners will usually be much slower on trails than they are on roads, due to the challenges of the natural terrain and its unforeseen obstacles that force you to slow down. In a recent race, Sharman says he switched from a 20 min/mile to 5 min/mile when he was faced with a massive hill. Unlike road racing, walking is not frowned upon or considered “giving up” and is seen as one of the most important ways of getting to the finish line. “Walking is a very valid part of trail running, especially the longer it gets or the tougher the terrain is,” says Sharman. “Many people, including myself, say they ‘run 100 miles,’ but very few people literally ‘run’ every step.”

5. Find Your High

Trail running may still sound challenging to beginners, but Sharman stresses that time away from the streets — and eventually up in the mountains — should be fun. “Once I’ve done a big climb, I just love the feeling of hammering it downhill,” he says. “It feels like playing and I don’t always feel like I’m playing when I’m just logging miles on the road.” RELATED: From Day Hikes to Mount Kilimanjaro: Why More Women Are Hitting the Trail When you’re on the trails, try to capture those special moments that get you most excited. It could be as simple as taking in a mighty view. Sharman has run all over in the world in scenic locations including the Himalayas, European Alps and of course, the Sahara Desert. But he says one of his favorite things about trail running is its unique vantage point to unearth the beauty of your own backyard. “Around San Francisco where I live, I run a lot in Marin County,” he says. “I could be running along a trail and as I crest the hill, catch a glimpse of the very top of the Golden Gate Bridge. That’s the kind of magic you don’t always get in road racing.” For more trail running tips, follow Ian Sharman on Twitter at @sharmanian. And to find a trail near you, visit the directories from the American Trail Running Association and Trails.com. Originally posted October 15, 3013. Updated May 2015. 

The post The Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-marathons-beginners/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-marathons-beginners/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 12:15:04 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=36466

15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons

If you’ve decided this is the year you’ll run your first marathon, but are overwhelmed at the thought of choosing the perfect race, we understand. With more than 1,100 marathon races in the U.S., each with very different courses and vibes, there are a whole lot of options for beginners! And shouldn’t you look for something that’s a little, well, easier for your first time?

While we don’t believe running 26.2 miles anywhere can really be called “easy,” these 15 U.S. marathons are especially good for those ready to take that first step. From big city races to small rural routes, there’s something for everyone here to ensure a positive and memorable first marathon experience.

To compile this list of 15 beginner-friendly marathons (listed by date, starting in February), we selected races that will help newbies be confident, happy and stress-free on their first go-round. That means you’ll find picks known for their flat and fast courses, scenic destinations, top-notch organization and logistics, ideal weather and high-energy fanfare. Believe it or not, there are even a few race weekends that may just feel like a vacation.

RELATED: The 50 Best Marathons in the Entire World

15 Beginner-Friendly Marathons

[caption id="attachment_36523" align="alignnone" width="620"]Austin Marathon Photo: Mario Cantu[/caption]

1. Austin Marathon
Location: Austin, TX
Date: Sunday, February 15, 2015
First-timers and veterans alike don’t have to worry about unpredictable winter weather at this marathon. With average race temps between 44-65 degrees, the city that keeps it weird welcomes 5,000 runners (with plenty of enthusiastic cheering) to explore its hilly, urban course. Rock on with 30 local bands as you pass Lady Bird Lake, Congress Avenue and more, before crossing the finish at the State Capitol, where Austin’s best food trucks await. Registration fee: $140-$145

[caption id="attachment_36524" align="alignnone" width="620"]Napa Valley Marathon Photo: Arturo Ramos[/caption]

2. Kaiser Permanente Health Care Napa Valley Marathon
Location: Calistoga, CA
Date: Sunday, March 1, 2015
If you’re a wine lover, it’s tempting to go off-course at this popular destination marathon through California’s beautiful wine country. But there’s plenty of time post-race to raise a glass and celebrate the journey to Napa. This point-to-point race features rolling hills and is unfortunately not very spectator-friendly. But you and 3,000 other runners will be too busy drinking in the sweeping views and twists and turns of the Silverado Trail to notice. Registration: $250; sold out

[caption id="attachment_36525" align="alignnone" width="620"]Los Angeles Marathon Photo: ASICS Los Angeles Marathon[/caption]

3. ASICS LA Marathon
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date: Sunday, March 15, 2015
Don’t be intimidated by flashy, big city races! This 30th annual marathon puts 25,000 runners in the spotlight, but more than half of them are first-timers who deserve the star treatment. After a pitch-perfect start at Dodger Stadium, the net downhill course leads you through the sights and sounds of LA neighborhoods including Hollywood and Beverly Hills. You’ll know you’re near the finish line when you can spot the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Registration fee: $180-$205

RELATED: 13 Awesome Podcasts to Get You Through a Long Run

[caption id="attachment_36526" align="alignnone" width="620"]Flying Pig Marathon Photo: Michael E. Anderson[/caption]

4. Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Date: Sunday, May 3, 2015
The people of Cincinnati believe anything is possible. Yes, pigs can fly and even you can run (or walk) a marathon. This 17th annual family-friendly weekend of racing reaches new heights year after year as nearly 5,000 marathoners fly through the city’s neighborhoods and along the Ohio River, while more than 100,000 fans or “Street Squealers” cheer them on. Think that sounds awesome? Just wait until you see the highly-coveted 3-D medal. Registration fee: $90-$115

[caption id="attachment_36527" align="alignnone" width="620"]Eugene Marathon Photo: Eugene Marathon[/caption]

5. Eugene Marathon
Location: Eugene, OR
Date: Sunday, May 10, 2015
There’s no better place than TrackTown, USA, home of American distance running and the old stomping grounds of legends like Steve Prefontaine, to go the distance and earn a fast time. The mostly flat course (save for the hill at mile 8!) takes marathoners on a scenic tour of the Willamette River trails. But it’s the final 200 meters on the historic track of Hayward Field where you can really turn up the speed and find your inner Pre! Registration fee: $95-$115

[caption id="attachment_36529" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vermont City Marathon Photo: Karen Pike[/caption]

6. People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon
Location: Burlington, VT
Date: Sunday, May 24, 2015
First-time marathoners won’t ever feel alone on this charming course through the Burlington streets, along Lake Champlain and among the Adirondack Mountains. Not only do 3,600 other runners make great company, the clover-shaped course is spectator-friendly, so your biggest fans (and lots of friendly strangers) can spot you at several mile markers. Then, celebrate together with a sweet treat at the finish — Ben & Jerry’s ice cream! Registration fee: $90-$125

RELATED: The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. 

[caption id="attachment_36528" align="alignnone" width="620"]Grandmas Marathon Photo: Jeff Frey/Associates Photography[/caption]

7. Grandma’s Marathon
Location: Duluth, MN
Date: Saturday, June 20, 2015
Over 32 rivers, creeks and streams and through the woods, to Grandma’s Marathon we go! This small-town race has been a popular choice for beginners since 1977. The point-to-point course is very flat with a few gentle hills (and a big one at mile 22). It’s fast with a cool northeast tailwind for speedy times. It’s stunning with views of Lake Superior along Old Highway 61. And it’s supportive, with loud crowds right when you need ‘em most. Registration fee: $105-$115

[caption id="attachment_36532" align="alignnone" width="620"]Missoula Marathon Photo: Missoula Marathon[/caption]

8. Missoula Marathon
Location: Missoula, MT
Date: Sunday, July 12, 2015
Experience majestic Missoula bright and early! The beloved point-to-point race kicks off at 6 a.m. with fireworks as 1,750 runners travel through the valleys and among the mountains of Big Sky Country. The countryside roads are pretty flat, except for a hard climb before mile 14. When you cruise into the downtown finish, don’t be surprised if it feels like the whole town is there to congratulate you as you earn the unique horseshoe-shaped medal. Registration fee: $80-$125

RELATED: 12 Secrets from the Pros to Achieve a Personal Best

[caption id="attachment_36538" align="alignnone" width="620"]VIA Marathon Photo: John R. Hofmann[/caption]

9. Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon
Location: Allentown, PA
Date: Sunday, September 13, 2015
If you want your first marathon experience to be as fast as possible, take on this super flat race through the bucolic Lehigh Valley. Designed by Bart Yasso of Runner’s World, it’s the second fastest race in the country, behind the much more grueling Boston Marathon, and boasts an average finish time of 3:49:56. The shady course, capped at 2,500 runners, follows the Lehigh Valley River along a mix of roads and cinder trails. Registration fee: $110-$155

[caption id="attachment_36533" align="alignnone" width="620"]Twin Cities Marathon Photo: Wayne Kryduba courtesy of Twin Cities In Motion[/caption]

10. Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Date: Sunday, October 4, 2015
It’s no surprise first-time marathoners make up 30 percent of the field at this popular race that claims to be the “most beautiful urban marathon in America.” They’ve surely heard about the four sparkling lakes, tree-lined streets, stretches on both sides of the Mississippi River and 300,000 screaming spectators throughout the hilly course from Minneapolis to St. Paul. But what’s new this year for the 12,200 runners? Beer at the finish line! Registration fee: $105-$130

RELATED: The 20 Most Inspiring Runners in the U.S. 

[caption id="attachment_36534" align="alignnone" width="620"]Chicago Marathon Photo: Bank of America Chicago Marathon[/caption]

11. Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Location: Chicago, IL
Date: Sunday, October 11, 2015
It’s one of the largest, most famous marathons in the world, but the Windy City (and its 1.7 million spectators) will blow you away with its efforts to make all 45,000 runners feel special. Beginners and elite athletes alike take on the flat, fast and magnificent miles through 29 diverse neighborhoods, from packed streets of fans in Lincoln Park to vibrant celebrations in Chinatown. Here’s another world-class idea: post-race deep dish pizza. Registration fee: $185-$210

[caption id="attachment_16705" align="alignnone" width="620"]Marine Corps Marathon Photo: Marine Corps Marathon[/caption]

12. Marine Corps Marathon
Location: Washington, D.C.
Date: Sunday, October 25, 2015
This extremely popular marathon is by no means easy (and sells out fast!), but it’s appealing to beginners who make up one-third of the 30,000 total runners. Often called “The People’s Marathon” because it doesn’t offer prize money to winners, this race is a tour to D.C.’s major monuments, along the Potomac River and through Georgetown, so there’s a lot of distraction — not to mention support from the inspiring Marines along the course. Registration fee: $125

RELATED: 5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time

[caption id="attachment_36535" align="alignnone" width="620"]Las Vegas Marathon Photo: RNR[/caption]

13. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Date: Sunday, November 15, 2015
Everyone knows the glitz and glam of Sin City really comes alive after hours, so it’s only fitting this race has a 4:30 p.m. start time! Join other runners, walkers and Elvis impersonators for a 26.2-mile night out on the Las Vegas Strip, as you high-roll past the famous casinos to the tunes of live rock bands. This marathon isn’t all fun and games though — it also gives a major payout to its charity partner, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Registration: $125

[caption id="attachment_36536" align="alignnone" width="620"]Honolulu Marathon Photo: Honolulu Marathon[/caption]

14. Honolulu Marathon
Location: Honolulu, HI
Date: Sunday, December 13, 2015
Do we really need to explain why 30,000-plus runners flock to Hawaii every winter? This huge marathon welcomes racers of all abilities and has no cap on participants or cut-off time. So soak up the sun (and the Aloha spirit) on this flat course in downtown Honolulu, past Waikiki Beach and even around a few volcanoes, with tropical views abound. We give you permission to pamper yourself in paradise post-race, too. Registration fee: $55 early entry, valid through February 4

[caption id="attachment_36537" align="alignnone" width="620"]Disney World Marathon Photo: Disney World Marathon[/caption]

15. Walt Disney World® Marathon
Location: Orlando, FL
Date: Sunday, January 10, 2016
Join Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the gang to make your marathon dreams come true at this fairytale race in “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Disney runs are all about the fun, so channel your childhood memories by competing in costume, like so many other participants. Remember to keep an eye out for your favorite Disney characters along the course through all four theme parks for one-of-a-kind race day photo ops! Registration fee: $175-$205

Any other first-timer-friendly marathons we missed? Share them in the comments!

The post 15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons If you’ve decided this is the year you’ll run your first marathon, but are overwhelmed at the thought of choosing the perfect race, we understand. With more than 1,100 marathon races in the U.S., each with very different courses and vibes, there are a whole lot of options for beginners! And shouldn’t you look for something that’s a little, well, easier for your first time? While we don’t believe running 26.2 miles anywhere can really be called “easy,” these 15 U.S. marathons are especially good for those ready to take that first step. From big city races to small rural routes, there’s something for everyone here to ensure a positive and memorable first marathon experience. To compile this list of 15 beginner-friendly marathons (listed by date, starting in February), we selected races that will help newbies be confident, happy and stress-free on their first go-round. That means you’ll find picks known for their flat and fast courses, scenic destinations, top-notch organization and logistics, ideal weather and high-energy fanfare. Believe it or not, there are even a few race weekends that may just feel like a vacation. RELATED: The 50 Best Marathons in the Entire World

15 Beginner-Friendly Marathons

[caption id="attachment_36523" align="alignnone" width="620"]Austin Marathon Photo: Mario Cantu[/caption] 1. Austin Marathon Location: Austin, TX Date: Sunday, February 15, 2015 First-timers and veterans alike don’t have to worry about unpredictable winter weather at this marathon. With average race temps between 44-65 degrees, the city that keeps it weird welcomes 5,000 runners (with plenty of enthusiastic cheering) to explore its hilly, urban course. Rock on with 30 local bands as you pass Lady Bird Lake, Congress Avenue and more, before crossing the finish at the State Capitol, where Austin’s best food trucks await. Registration fee: $140-$145 [caption id="attachment_36524" align="alignnone" width="620"]Napa Valley Marathon Photo: Arturo Ramos[/caption] 2. Kaiser Permanente Health Care Napa Valley Marathon Location: Calistoga, CA Date: Sunday, March 1, 2015 If you’re a wine lover, it’s tempting to go off-course at this popular destination marathon through California’s beautiful wine country. But there’s plenty of time post-race to raise a glass and celebrate the journey to Napa. This point-to-point race features rolling hills and is unfortunately not very spectator-friendly. But you and 3,000 other runners will be too busy drinking in the sweeping views and twists and turns of the Silverado Trail to notice. Registration: $250; sold out [caption id="attachment_36525" align="alignnone" width="620"]Los Angeles Marathon Photo: ASICS Los Angeles Marathon[/caption] 3. ASICS LA Marathon Location: Los Angeles, CA Date: Sunday, March 15, 2015 Don’t be intimidated by flashy, big city races! This 30th annual marathon puts 25,000 runners in the spotlight, but more than half of them are first-timers who deserve the star treatment. After a pitch-perfect start at Dodger Stadium, the net downhill course leads you through the sights and sounds of LA neighborhoods including Hollywood and Beverly Hills. You’ll know you’re near the finish line when you can spot the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Registration fee: $180-$205 RELATED: 13 Awesome Podcasts to Get You Through a Long Run [caption id="attachment_36526" align="alignnone" width="620"]Flying Pig Marathon Photo: Michael E. Anderson[/caption] 4. Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon Location: Cincinnati, OH Date: Sunday, May 3, 2015 The people of Cincinnati believe anything is possible. Yes, pigs can fly and even you can run (or walk) a marathon. This 17th annual family-friendly weekend of racing reaches new heights year after year as nearly 5,000 marathoners fly through the city’s neighborhoods and along the Ohio River, while more than 100,000 fans or “Street Squealers” cheer them on. Think that sounds awesome? Just wait until you see the highly-coveted 3-D medal. Registration fee: $90-$115 [caption id="attachment_36527" align="alignnone" width="620"]Eugene Marathon Photo: Eugene Marathon[/caption] 5. Eugene Marathon Location: Eugene, OR Date: Sunday, May 10, 2015 There’s no better place than TrackTown, USA, home of American distance running and the old stomping grounds of legends like Steve Prefontaine, to go the distance and earn a fast time. The mostly flat course (save for the hill at mile 8!) takes marathoners on a scenic tour of the Willamette River trails. But it’s the final 200 meters on the historic track of Hayward Field where you can really turn up the speed and find your inner Pre! Registration fee: $95-$115 [caption id="attachment_36529" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vermont City Marathon Photo: Karen Pike[/caption] 6. People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon Location: Burlington, VT Date: Sunday, May 24, 2015 First-time marathoners won’t ever feel alone on this charming course through the Burlington streets, along Lake Champlain and among the Adirondack Mountains. Not only do 3,600 other runners make great company, the clover-shaped course is spectator-friendly, so your biggest fans (and lots of friendly strangers) can spot you at several mile markers. Then, celebrate together with a sweet treat at the finish — Ben & Jerry’s ice cream! Registration fee: $90-$125 RELATED: The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S.  [caption id="attachment_36528" align="alignnone" width="620"]Grandmas Marathon Photo: Jeff Frey/Associates Photography[/caption] 7. Grandma’s Marathon Location: Duluth, MN Date: Saturday, June 20, 2015 Over 32 rivers, creeks and streams and through the woods, to Grandma’s Marathon we go! This small-town race has been a popular choice for beginners since 1977. The point-to-point course is very flat with a few gentle hills (and a big one at mile 22). It’s fast with a cool northeast tailwind for speedy times. It’s stunning with views of Lake Superior along Old Highway 61. And it’s supportive, with loud crowds right when you need ‘em most. Registration fee: $105-$115 [caption id="attachment_36532" align="alignnone" width="620"]Missoula Marathon Photo: Missoula Marathon[/caption] 8. Missoula Marathon Location: Missoula, MT Date: Sunday, July 12, 2015 Experience majestic Missoula bright and early! The beloved point-to-point race kicks off at 6 a.m. with fireworks as 1,750 runners travel through the valleys and among the mountains of Big Sky Country. The countryside roads are pretty flat, except for a hard climb before mile 14. When you cruise into the downtown finish, don’t be surprised if it feels like the whole town is there to congratulate you as you earn the unique horseshoe-shaped medal. Registration fee: $80-$125 RELATED: 12 Secrets from the Pros to Achieve a Personal Best [caption id="attachment_36538" align="alignnone" width="620"]VIA Marathon Photo: John R. Hofmann[/caption] 9. Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon Location: Allentown, PA Date: Sunday, September 13, 2015 If you want your first marathon experience to be as fast as possible, take on this super flat race through the bucolic Lehigh Valley. Designed by Bart Yasso of Runner’s World, it’s the second fastest race in the country, behind the much more grueling Boston Marathon, and boasts an average finish time of 3:49:56. The shady course, capped at 2,500 runners, follows the Lehigh Valley River along a mix of roads and cinder trails. Registration fee: $110-$155 [caption id="attachment_36533" align="alignnone" width="620"]Twin Cities Marathon Photo: Wayne Kryduba courtesy of Twin Cities In Motion[/caption] 10. Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Location: Minneapolis, MN Date: Sunday, October 4, 2015 It’s no surprise first-time marathoners make up 30 percent of the field at this popular race that claims to be the “most beautiful urban marathon in America.” They’ve surely heard about the four sparkling lakes, tree-lined streets, stretches on both sides of the Mississippi River and 300,000 screaming spectators throughout the hilly course from Minneapolis to St. Paul. But what’s new this year for the 12,200 runners? Beer at the finish line! Registration fee: $105-$130 RELATED: The 20 Most Inspiring Runners in the U.S.  [caption id="attachment_36534" align="alignnone" width="620"]Chicago Marathon Photo: Bank of America Chicago Marathon[/caption] 11. Bank of America Chicago Marathon Location: Chicago, IL Date: Sunday, October 11, 2015 It’s one of the largest, most famous marathons in the world, but the Windy City (and its 1.7 million spectators) will blow you away with its efforts to make all 45,000 runners feel special. Beginners and elite athletes alike take on the flat, fast and magnificent miles through 29 diverse neighborhoods, from packed streets of fans in Lincoln Park to vibrant celebrations in Chinatown. Here’s another world-class idea: post-race deep dish pizza. Registration fee: $185-$210 [caption id="attachment_16705" align="alignnone" width="620"]Marine Corps Marathon Photo: Marine Corps Marathon[/caption] 12. Marine Corps Marathon Location: Washington, D.C. Date: Sunday, October 25, 2015 This extremely popular marathon is by no means easy (and sells out fast!), but it’s appealing to beginners who make up one-third of the 30,000 total runners. Often called “The People’s Marathon” because it doesn’t offer prize money to winners, this race is a tour to D.C.’s major monuments, along the Potomac River and through Georgetown, so there’s a lot of distraction — not to mention support from the inspiring Marines along the course. Registration fee: $125 RELATED: 5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time [caption id="attachment_36535" align="alignnone" width="620"]Las Vegas Marathon Photo: RNR[/caption] 13. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon Location: Las Vegas, NV Date: Sunday, November 15, 2015 Everyone knows the glitz and glam of Sin City really comes alive after hours, so it’s only fitting this race has a 4:30 p.m. start time! Join other runners, walkers and Elvis impersonators for a 26.2-mile night out on the Las Vegas Strip, as you high-roll past the famous casinos to the tunes of live rock bands. This marathon isn’t all fun and games though — it also gives a major payout to its charity partner, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Registration: $125 [caption id="attachment_36536" align="alignnone" width="620"]Honolulu Marathon Photo: Honolulu Marathon[/caption] 14. Honolulu Marathon Location: Honolulu, HI Date: Sunday, December 13, 2015 Do we really need to explain why 30,000-plus runners flock to Hawaii every winter? This huge marathon welcomes racers of all abilities and has no cap on participants or cut-off time. So soak up the sun (and the Aloha spirit) on this flat course in downtown Honolulu, past Waikiki Beach and even around a few volcanoes, with tropical views abound. We give you permission to pamper yourself in paradise post-race, too. Registration fee: $55 early entry, valid through February 4 [caption id="attachment_36537" align="alignnone" width="620"]Disney World Marathon Photo: Disney World Marathon[/caption] 15. Walt Disney World® Marathon Location: Orlando, FL Date: Sunday, January 10, 2016 Join Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the gang to make your marathon dreams come true at this fairytale race in “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Disney runs are all about the fun, so channel your childhood memories by competing in costume, like so many other participants. Remember to keep an eye out for your favorite Disney characters along the course through all four theme parks for one-of-a-kind race day photo ops! Registration fee: $175-$205 Any other first-timer-friendly marathons we missed? Share them in the comments!

The post 15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
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Ultrarunning: Are We Meant to Go the Distance? https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/ultrarunning-going-the-distance/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/ultrarunning-going-the-distance/#respond Wed, 26 Mar 2014 15:15:31 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=26328 Ultrarunners

[caption id="attachment_26335" align="alignnone" width="620"]Ultrarunners Photo: Pond5[/caption]

If you thought anyone who ever laced up for a marathon was crazy, maybe you’ve never heard of ultrarunning. These extreme athletes go even greater distances — running more miles in a single day than some of us can log in an entire month — and far beyond the 26.2-mile marker.

“What’s ‘crazy’ is all relative,” says Krissy Moehl, an elite ultrarunner and two-time Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc champion. “It depends who you’re hanging around with to know what normal is anymore.”

Back in her college days, Moehl, 36, was hanging around with the likes of Scott Jurek and Scott McCoubrey, her coworkers at the Seattle Running Company and two big-name ultrarunners. She ran in high school and college, but it wasn’t until that crew took her out on the local trails of Cougar Mountain that she fell in love with going long — really, really long. Fourteen years later, Moehl has finished more than 100 ultras and is training for her first 220-mile run on the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevadas this summer.

“People always ask me, ‘Well, what are you running from?’” she says. “But I honestly feel like I’m running toward answers. There aren’t many issues in life that a long run can’t solve and sometimes a run has to be a little longer than others.”

 Just How Long Are We Talking? 

“As humans, we’re designed to explore. We love stories of people overcoming boundaries and obstacles in order to succeed...”

Ultrarunning is considered any distance longer than a standard 26.2-mile marathon, though the “shortest” ultramarathon distance is generally 50K (31.07 miles). Most running is done on trails rather than road, but typical ultraracing distances include the 50-mile, 100-mile and fixed-time events that challenge runners to see how far they can go for a specific period (12-hour, 24-hour or even multi-day).

Whether you think it’s crazy or not, the sport is growing. According to UltraRunning Magazine, 69,573 people completed ultras in 2013. In 1980, there were just 2,890 finishers. And they’re not just the young and foolish out there. More than 65 percent of participants are between the ages of 30 and 49. So why are more and more runners adding more and more miles?

“People are always looking for new challenges and trying to push the envelope,” says Dr. Brian Krabak, a sports medicine physician at the University of Washington with expertise in endurance running events. “As humans, we’re designed to explore. We love stories of people overcoming boundaries and obstacles in order to succeed and it’s just another version of that story for a group of people who love running.”

Dr. Krabak, 46, has completed more than 30 endurance events himself, from 36-hour adventure races to a 250-mile mountain bike race through the Rocky Mountains to a slew of Olympic and Ironman distance triathlons. 

“I have this dual hat as athlete and physician,” he says. “I understand what it means to stress myself to near exhaustion to cross a finish line. And that amazing, euphoric feeling is what motivates me to start looking at the sport from a more scientific perspective.”

Is Running That Much Good for You? 

With the sport increasing in popularity, experts including Dr. Krabak say there’s a real need for more medical knowledge. He admits we don’t yet have all of the answers when it comes to ultrarunning’s effects on the body.  

A recent study published in PLOS ONE, however, started to look at these very questions. The Ultrarunners Longitudinal TRAcking (ULTRA) Study surveyed 1,212 ultramarathon runners (including Moehl) about their health and exercise history. Researchers wanted to see if there were any potential health consequences associated with exercising “beyond the moderate amounts known to have health benefits.”

Dr. Marty Hoffman, chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the VA Northern California Health Care System, led the study and discovered the prevalence of most chronic conditions (cancers, heart disease and diabetes, among others) was actually lower in ultrarunners, when compared to the general population. The presence of asthma and allergies, however, was higher in ultrarunners — something that has been previously linked to traditional marathon runners (and makes sense given the amount of time they spend outdoors).

“The ‘Deans’ of the world have certain genes and aerobic capacity that allow them to run forever. But for the rest of us, we need to slowly adapt to that change over time...”

More than half of the ultrarunners surveyed also reported an exercise-related injury in the past year (24 percent were knee issues; 5.5 percent were stress fractures). Interestingly, the majority of those sidelined were younger, less experienced runners. Dr. Hoffman, 57, a very experienced ultrarunner himself (the 2008 USATF Grand Masters National 100-mile Champion, in fact), says these pain points are not necessarily a cause for freak-out. The annual incidence of injuries in ultramarathon runners is very comparable to that of shorter distance runners, he says. 

Dr. Krabak agrees, but reminds all runners “there is four to seven times your body weight on a joint when you land in running. So if you have had a significant injury and you want to start running longer distances, in all likelihood, that injury may progress more quickly.” 

According to Dr. Hoffman, who is also the research director of the Western States Endurance Run (the world's oldest 100-mile trail run), the overall results of the ULTRA study aren’t really that surprising — other than the wealth of media coverage it attracted. Its findings were simply meant to set the baseline for future research, as the study is scheduled to continue for 20 years. 

“This is a healthy group of people already,” says Dr. Krabak, of the runners surveyed. “What we need to know is the longevity of all of this. The real interesting aspects will be when we can look at the effects over 10 years and see how and if they are different from a normal population.” 

[caption id="attachment_26336" align="alignnone" width="620"]Ultrarunning Photo: Pond5[/caption]

So, Can Anyone Become an Ultrarunner?

Both Dr. Hoffman and Dr. Krabak believe there aren’t many major health or safety red flags when it comes to going the ultra distance. But is ultrarunning really for everybody?

“Most people with fairly reasonable biomechanics can get through an ultramarathon successfully if they set their mind to it and put in the proper training,” says Dr. Hoffman. “Running is not that complicated. You just need to be able to put one foot in front of the other, and do that for a long time.”

Still, we can’t help but wonder if it’s nature (some people like Moehl are just “born to run”) or nurture (anyone with ambition can do it with the proper training) when it comes to ultrarunning success. Beyond the physical elements, these athletes actually want to run this far — for fun. Moehl says ultrarunners aren’t as masochistic or totally nuts as many outsiders might assume. But they are crazy-focused when it comes to their dedication, sacrifices and commitment to putting in the miles.

“It takes a special mindset for sure,” Moehl says. “This community shares an understanding of what it takes to be a runner even though we come to this sport from very different walks of life. We all ‘get’ how important it is to each of us to want to meet at a start line or trailhead to enjoy the miles.”

While Dr. Krabak agrees ultrarunning requires that special mind/body balance, he jokes “it’s usually those who are genetically blessed that say it’s 90 percent mental.” 

“Some people are just designed to jump higher and run faster and longer,” he adds. “The ‘Deans’ of the world have certain genes and aerobic capacity that allow them to run forever. But for the rest of us mere mortals, we need to slowly adapt to that change over time based on our bodies.”

Do You Want to Go Long?

“The athletes I see that have longevity in the sport are the ones who are not afraid to take a little bit of downtime – not only physically, but emotionally.” 

How we prepare our bodies for ultrarunning, says Dr. Krabak, is with a smart approach to training and injury prevention.

“Your body is designed to adapt to stress,” he says. “So if you want to lift more weight, you slowly increase how you train. Running is the same thing. If you want to run longer distances, you have to work up by stressing the system a little bit, in a very structured program.” He recommends the 10 percent rule — slowly increasing the time and distance you run by no more than 10 percent each week.

Moehl’s elite training emphasizes strength training, stretching and cross-training (she likes swimming and yoga) to stay injury-free. She also says nutrition — keeping a close eye on the balance of calories in vs. calories out — is crucial for staying strong when you’re logging all those miles.

Ultrarunners can also get in trouble, says Moehl, by not respecting the amount of rest and recovery their bodies need with such an increase in physical activity. She learned that lesson the hard way in the summer of 2012, when she ran three 100-mile races in just nine weeks.

“It was all too close,” she says. “The athletes I see that have longevity in the sport are the ones who are not afraid to take a little bit of downtime – not only physically, but emotionally.” 

All of the experts we spoke to said it’s important to listen to your body, no matter how many miles you run. 

“While there is a need to push through some serious training if you want to be competitive, it is still best to adjust your training if you feel an injury or illness coming on,” says Dr. Hoffman. “And learn from the old dogs, but also take what they say with some healthy skepticism.” 

‘Why Do You Run?’

When he first meets with running patients, Dr. Krabak always asks them, “Why do you run?” Their answer usually tells him how serious or passionate they are about the sport and helps him determine the proper course of training or treatment.

“I’d like to think for the right people, ultrarunning is just another activity that promotes health,” he says. In his experience running, working ultramarathons as a physician around the world, and researching the sport, Krabak says ultrarunning is not actually that dangerous for a runner’s physical and mental state, despite its intense nature.

“People do relatively fine despite the ‘craziness’ of running really long distances,” he says.

As the research on ultrarunning continues for the next two decades, Dr. Hoffman — who is setting his sights on something longer than a 100-miler soon — says people will continue to run and push the limit in the sport. That’s good news for the strong, ever-growing tribe of ultrarunners — especially for Moehl as she prepares for that 220-mile journey along the John Muir Trail this summer.

“We’re going for a three-day, 20-hour record,” she says. “It’s got me nervous and excited and all those emotions that go along with it. And it will double my biggest run ever which is pretty, well… crazy.”

The post Ultrarunning: Are We Meant to Go the Distance? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Ultrarunners

[caption id="attachment_26335" align="alignnone" width="620"]Ultrarunners Photo: Pond5[/caption]

If you thought anyone who ever laced up for a marathon was crazy, maybe you’ve never heard of ultrarunning. These extreme athletes go even greater distances — running more miles in a single day than some of us can log in an entire month — and far beyond the 26.2-mile marker.

“What’s ‘crazy’ is all relative,” says Krissy Moehl, an elite ultrarunner and two-time Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc champion. “It depends who you’re hanging around with to know what normal is anymore.”

Back in her college days, Moehl, 36, was hanging around with the likes of Scott Jurek and Scott McCoubrey, her coworkers at the Seattle Running Company and two big-name ultrarunners. She ran in high school and college, but it wasn’t until that crew took her out on the local trails of Cougar Mountain that she fell in love with going long — really, really long. Fourteen years later, Moehl has finished more than 100 ultras and is training for her first 220-mile run on the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevadas this summer.

“People always ask me, ‘Well, what are you running from?’” she says. “But I honestly feel like I’m running toward answers. There aren’t many issues in life that a long run can’t solve and sometimes a run has to be a little longer than others.”

 Just How Long Are We Talking? 

“As humans, we’re designed to explore. We love stories of people overcoming boundaries and obstacles in order to succeed...”

Ultrarunning is considered any distance longer than a standard 26.2-mile marathon, though the “shortest” ultramarathon distance is generally 50K (31.07 miles). Most running is done on trails rather than road, but typical ultraracing distances include the 50-mile, 100-mile and fixed-time events that challenge runners to see how far they can go for a specific period (12-hour, 24-hour or even multi-day).

Whether you think it’s crazy or not, the sport is growing. According to UltraRunning Magazine, 69,573 people completed ultras in 2013. In 1980, there were just 2,890 finishers. And they’re not just the young and foolish out there. More than 65 percent of participants are between the ages of 30 and 49. So why are more and more runners adding more and more miles?

“People are always looking for new challenges and trying to push the envelope,” says Dr. Brian Krabak, a sports medicine physician at the University of Washington with expertise in endurance running events. “As humans, we’re designed to explore. We love stories of people overcoming boundaries and obstacles in order to succeed and it’s just another version of that story for a group of people who love running.”

Dr. Krabak, 46, has completed more than 30 endurance events himself, from 36-hour adventure races to a 250-mile mountain bike race through the Rocky Mountains to a slew of Olympic and Ironman distance triathlons. 

“I have this dual hat as athlete and physician,” he says. “I understand what it means to stress myself to near exhaustion to cross a finish line. And that amazing, euphoric feeling is what motivates me to start looking at the sport from a more scientific perspective.”

Is Running That Much Good for You? 

With the sport increasing in popularity, experts including Dr. Krabak say there’s a real need for more medical knowledge. He admits we don’t yet have all of the answers when it comes to ultrarunning’s effects on the body.  

A recent study published in PLOS ONE, however, started to look at these very questions. The Ultrarunners Longitudinal TRAcking (ULTRA) Study surveyed 1,212 ultramarathon runners (including Moehl) about their health and exercise history. Researchers wanted to see if there were any potential health consequences associated with exercising “beyond the moderate amounts known to have health benefits.”

Dr. Marty Hoffman, chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the VA Northern California Health Care System, led the study and discovered the prevalence of most chronic conditions (cancers, heart disease and diabetes, among others) was actually lower in ultrarunners, when compared to the general population. The presence of asthma and allergies, however, was higher in ultrarunners — something that has been previously linked to traditional marathon runners (and makes sense given the amount of time they spend outdoors).

“The ‘Deans’ of the world have certain genes and aerobic capacity that allow them to run forever. But for the rest of us, we need to slowly adapt to that change over time...”

More than half of the ultrarunners surveyed also reported an exercise-related injury in the past year (24 percent were knee issues; 5.5 percent were stress fractures). Interestingly, the majority of those sidelined were younger, less experienced runners. Dr. Hoffman, 57, a very experienced ultrarunner himself (the 2008 USATF Grand Masters National 100-mile Champion, in fact), says these pain points are not necessarily a cause for freak-out. The annual incidence of injuries in ultramarathon runners is very comparable to that of shorter distance runners, he says. 

Dr. Krabak agrees, but reminds all runners “there is four to seven times your body weight on a joint when you land in running. So if you have had a significant injury and you want to start running longer distances, in all likelihood, that injury may progress more quickly.” 

According to Dr. Hoffman, who is also the research director of the Western States Endurance Run (the world's oldest 100-mile trail run), the overall results of the ULTRA study aren’t really that surprising — other than the wealth of media coverage it attracted. Its findings were simply meant to set the baseline for future research, as the study is scheduled to continue for 20 years. 

“This is a healthy group of people already,” says Dr. Krabak, of the runners surveyed. “What we need to know is the longevity of all of this. The real interesting aspects will be when we can look at the effects over 10 years and see how and if they are different from a normal population.” 

[caption id="attachment_26336" align="alignnone" width="620"]Ultrarunning Photo: Pond5[/caption]

So, Can Anyone Become an Ultrarunner?

Both Dr. Hoffman and Dr. Krabak believe there aren’t many major health or safety red flags when it comes to going the ultra distance. But is ultrarunning really for everybody?

“Most people with fairly reasonable biomechanics can get through an ultramarathon successfully if they set their mind to it and put in the proper training,” says Dr. Hoffman. “Running is not that complicated. You just need to be able to put one foot in front of the other, and do that for a long time.”

Still, we can’t help but wonder if it’s nature (some people like Moehl are just “born to run”) or nurture (anyone with ambition can do it with the proper training) when it comes to ultrarunning success. Beyond the physical elements, these athletes actually want to run this far — for fun. Moehl says ultrarunners aren’t as masochistic or totally nuts as many outsiders might assume. But they are crazy-focused when it comes to their dedication, sacrifices and commitment to putting in the miles.

“It takes a special mindset for sure,” Moehl says. “This community shares an understanding of what it takes to be a runner even though we come to this sport from very different walks of life. We all ‘get’ how important it is to each of us to want to meet at a start line or trailhead to enjoy the miles.”

While Dr. Krabak agrees ultrarunning requires that special mind/body balance, he jokes “it’s usually those who are genetically blessed that say it’s 90 percent mental.” 

“Some people are just designed to jump higher and run faster and longer,” he adds. “The ‘Deans’ of the world have certain genes and aerobic capacity that allow them to run forever. But for the rest of us mere mortals, we need to slowly adapt to that change over time based on our bodies.”

Do You Want to Go Long?

“The athletes I see that have longevity in the sport are the ones who are not afraid to take a little bit of downtime – not only physically, but emotionally.” 

How we prepare our bodies for ultrarunning, says Dr. Krabak, is with a smart approach to training and injury prevention.

“Your body is designed to adapt to stress,” he says. “So if you want to lift more weight, you slowly increase how you train. Running is the same thing. If you want to run longer distances, you have to work up by stressing the system a little bit, in a very structured program.” He recommends the 10 percent rule — slowly increasing the time and distance you run by no more than 10 percent each week.

Moehl’s elite training emphasizes strength training, stretching and cross-training (she likes swimming and yoga) to stay injury-free. She also says nutrition — keeping a close eye on the balance of calories in vs. calories out — is crucial for staying strong when you’re logging all those miles.

Ultrarunners can also get in trouble, says Moehl, by not respecting the amount of rest and recovery their bodies need with such an increase in physical activity. She learned that lesson the hard way in the summer of 2012, when she ran three 100-mile races in just nine weeks.

“It was all too close,” she says. “The athletes I see that have longevity in the sport are the ones who are not afraid to take a little bit of downtime – not only physically, but emotionally.” 

All of the experts we spoke to said it’s important to listen to your body, no matter how many miles you run. 

“While there is a need to push through some serious training if you want to be competitive, it is still best to adjust your training if you feel an injury or illness coming on,” says Dr. Hoffman. “And learn from the old dogs, but also take what they say with some healthy skepticism.” 

‘Why Do You Run?’

When he first meets with running patients, Dr. Krabak always asks them, “Why do you run?” Their answer usually tells him how serious or passionate they are about the sport and helps him determine the proper course of training or treatment.

“I’d like to think for the right people, ultrarunning is just another activity that promotes health,” he says. In his experience running, working ultramarathons as a physician around the world, and researching the sport, Krabak says ultrarunning is not actually that dangerous for a runner’s physical and mental state, despite its intense nature.

“People do relatively fine despite the ‘craziness’ of running really long distances,” he says.

As the research on ultrarunning continues for the next two decades, Dr. Hoffman — who is setting his sights on something longer than a 100-miler soon — says people will continue to run and push the limit in the sport. That’s good news for the strong, ever-growing tribe of ultrarunners — especially for Moehl as she prepares for that 220-mile journey along the John Muir Trail this summer.

“We’re going for a three-day, 20-hour record,” she says. “It’s got me nervous and excited and all those emotions that go along with it. And it will double my biggest run ever which is pretty, well… crazy.”

The post Ultrarunning: Are We Meant to Go the Distance? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
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Why Runners Need to Strength Train https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/runners-strength-training/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/runners-strength-training/#comments Mon, 09 Sep 2013 11:15:44 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=18065 Runners Strength Training

[caption id="attachment_18076" align="alignnone" width="620"]Runners Strength Training Photo: Pond5[/caption]

For most runners, the time spent on the road is very rarely in pursuit of big guns and a killer six-pack to match. But that doesn’t mean strength training shouldn’t complement all of those miles for other beneficial reasons. Experts say incorporating just 20 minutes of strength training a few times a week can help runners prevent injuries, aid recovery and reach their full athletic potential. So why don’t all runners strength train?

“It's a combination of feeling like you don't have enough time and simply not valuing the non-running activities as much as you do the running activities,” says Jay Johnson, a former Division I track coach, expert on strength training for runners and founder of RunningDVDs.com. “With that in mind, I think runners of all abilities need to be doing some sort of general strength and mobility training every day.”

The first step toward integrating strength training into a runner’s workout is to understand why it shouldn’t be viewed as something “extra.” Let’s take a closer look at the benefits.

1. Builds Muscle Mass
“The more you run, the more you’re breaking down muscle fibers, so you need to build them back up,” says Rich Airey, a running, strength and CrossFit coach, six-time ultra-marathoner and creator of RunningWOD.com. Strength training does just that by strengthening muscles, tendons and bones. Increasing lean muscle and decreasing body fat also allows the body to burn more calories, making it easier to maintain your weight.

2. Prevents Injuries
According to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, nearly 70 percent of all runners become injured each year. Most of these incidents are common running injuries including “runner’s knee,” shin splints, plantar fasciitis or the dreaded iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS). Fortunately strength training can fortify these weak areas. Airey and Johnson say runners should specifically target the abductors and gluteal muscles (especially those who sit at a desk in front of a computer all day), core, hamstrings, quads and hip flexors.

3. Improves Performance
Think about it: If runners are never hurt, then they have more time to train and log miles at a higher intensity. “Some of the athletes I coach to get stronger end up becoming faster too,” says Airey. “It's a matter of being able to work out harder and recover quicker.”

4. Challenges Your System
“Endurance athletes focus more on muscular endurance, which is high reps of low weight,” says Airey. “But, once they learn proper technique, I encourage runners to switch it up with low reps of higher weight.” Airey’s recommendation to “move more weight” is supported by several new studies, which link strength training to improved running economy, or the measure of how much energy it takes to run at a given speed. Over time, adding anaerobic activity (lifting weights) can make runners more complete athletes.

How to Get Started

Hitting the weights (or simply using your bodyweight) to build strength can be intimidating to beginners and might explain why runners generally shy away from this auxiliary work. Here are a few things to remember before heading to the gym.

  • Know Your Goal. “The more specific the goal, the more specific the training needs to be,” says Airey. “Do you want to look good in a bikini at the beach, or do you want to be an elite marathoner?”
  • Take It Slow. Both Airey and Johnson agree that learning technique is first and foremost. Practice each move with just your bodyweight first, focusing on good posture and proper positioning.
  • Be Patient. Success doesn’t happen overnight, but Johnson says you can usually start noticing some results in three or four weeks.
  • Change It Up. According to Airey and Johnson, the three to four week mark is also when the body starts to adapt to its routines, so you should try to change up the movements, weights and/or reps to continue to see results.

What to Do

To get started, Airey recommends general bodyweight strength moves and calisthenics, but strongly encourages the addition of weights as you advance. “For the serious runners,” Johnson says, “there is good research that shows that intense power work, such as plyometrics, also improves running economy and performance.”

Johnson recommends doing a five-minute warm up before a run and then general strength and mobility work post-run. Here are some videos to help you get started.

Like any new fitness endeavor, strength training takes some time to get right and make it a permanent part of your routine. But the benefits can be limitless for runners.

“I definitely believe that if you want to be a good runner you need to run more,” says Johnson. “But all of this non-running work simply helps you safely handle more running.”

The post Why Runners Need to Strength Train appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Runners Strength Training

[caption id="attachment_18076" align="alignnone" width="620"]Runners Strength Training Photo: Pond5[/caption]

For most runners, the time spent on the road is very rarely in pursuit of big guns and a killer six-pack to match. But that doesn’t mean strength training shouldn’t complement all of those miles for other beneficial reasons. Experts say incorporating just 20 minutes of strength training a few times a week can help runners prevent injuries, aid recovery and reach their full athletic potential. So why don’t all runners strength train?

“It's a combination of feeling like you don't have enough time and simply not valuing the non-running activities as much as you do the running activities,” says Jay Johnson, a former Division I track coach, expert on strength training for runners and founder of RunningDVDs.com. “With that in mind, I think runners of all abilities need to be doing some sort of general strength and mobility training every day.”

The first step toward integrating strength training into a runner’s workout is to understand why it shouldn’t be viewed as something “extra.” Let’s take a closer look at the benefits.

1. Builds Muscle Mass
“The more you run, the more you’re breaking down muscle fibers, so you need to build them back up,” says Rich Airey, a running, strength and CrossFit coach, six-time ultra-marathoner and creator of RunningWOD.com. Strength training does just that by strengthening muscles, tendons and bones. Increasing lean muscle and decreasing body fat also allows the body to burn more calories, making it easier to maintain your weight.

2. Prevents Injuries
According to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, nearly 70 percent of all runners become injured each year. Most of these incidents are common running injuries including “runner’s knee,” shin splints, plantar fasciitis or the dreaded iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS). Fortunately strength training can fortify these weak areas. Airey and Johnson say runners should specifically target the abductors and gluteal muscles (especially those who sit at a desk in front of a computer all day), core, hamstrings, quads and hip flexors.

3. Improves Performance
Think about it: If runners are never hurt, then they have more time to train and log miles at a higher intensity. “Some of the athletes I coach to get stronger end up becoming faster too,” says Airey. “It's a matter of being able to work out harder and recover quicker.”

4. Challenges Your System
“Endurance athletes focus more on muscular endurance, which is high reps of low weight,” says Airey. “But, once they learn proper technique, I encourage runners to switch it up with low reps of higher weight.” Airey’s recommendation to “move more weight” is supported by several new studies, which link strength training to improved running economy, or the measure of how much energy it takes to run at a given speed. Over time, adding anaerobic activity (lifting weights) can make runners more complete athletes.

How to Get Started

Hitting the weights (or simply using your bodyweight) to build strength can be intimidating to beginners and might explain why runners generally shy away from this auxiliary work. Here are a few things to remember before heading to the gym.

  • Know Your Goal. “The more specific the goal, the more specific the training needs to be,” says Airey. “Do you want to look good in a bikini at the beach, or do you want to be an elite marathoner?”
  • Take It Slow. Both Airey and Johnson agree that learning technique is first and foremost. Practice each move with just your bodyweight first, focusing on good posture and proper positioning.
  • Be Patient. Success doesn’t happen overnight, but Johnson says you can usually start noticing some results in three or four weeks.
  • Change It Up. According to Airey and Johnson, the three to four week mark is also when the body starts to adapt to its routines, so you should try to change up the movements, weights and/or reps to continue to see results.

What to Do

To get started, Airey recommends general bodyweight strength moves and calisthenics, but strongly encourages the addition of weights as you advance. “For the serious runners,” Johnson says, “there is good research that shows that intense power work, such as plyometrics, also improves running economy and performance.”

Johnson recommends doing a five-minute warm up before a run and then general strength and mobility work post-run. Here are some videos to help you get started.

Like any new fitness endeavor, strength training takes some time to get right and make it a permanent part of your routine. But the benefits can be limitless for runners.

“I definitely believe that if you want to be a good runner you need to run more,” says Johnson. “But all of this non-running work simply helps you safely handle more running.”

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5 Expert Tips for Proper Running Form https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/tips-running-form/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/tips-running-form/#respond Thu, 05 Sep 2013 11:15:24 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=17733 Running Form

5 Expert Tips for Proper Running Form

There’s more to knowing how to run than simply lacing up your sneakers, hitting the road and doing what feels natural. Research shows that proper running form puts less stress on the body and decreases the risk of injuries, allowing runners to go longer, train harder and get faster. From posture and arm swings to foot strikes and stride turnover, seemingly minor adjustments can make all the difference when it comes to running form. We talked to running form expert Pete Larson, author of Tread Lightly: Form, Footwear, and the Quest for Injury-Free Running and creator of Runblogger.com, to find out how small improvements can have big (and fast) effects.

Form 101

Before we can finesse our form, it’s important to figure out what we’re doing right and what might need some work. “The main thing to remember is that the way you run affects the way forces are applied to your body’s muscles, tendons and joints,” says Larson, who is also a gait analyst at Performance Health Spine and Sport Therapy in Concord, NH.

If you’re prone to running-related injuries, or just want to know where you stand — or run — Larson recommends asking a running buddy to record you in action. Just a quick iPhone video should do the trick. Trust us, a video will be much safer (you’ll be less likely to trip on the pavement) than trying to stare at yourself in storefront windows as you run (not that we’ve ever done that, of course).

“A lot of times, you see things you didn’t even notice or feel before,” Larson says. “See what you look like when you run and be your own analyst.” That said, if you’ve never had running-related injury before, there may be little reason to change things up, Larson says.

Quick Tips

Here are five tips to keep in mind for evaluating and improving your running form:

1. Shorten Your Stride
According to Larson, many people assume a longer stride means a faster finish time, and in part they are correct since stride length and stride rate determine speed. But, too many runners increase stride length by reaching the foot too far out in front of the body, which leads to overstriding. When it comes to proper running form, he recommends short, light steps where the feet don't extend too far out in front of the body. Aim to have your knee above your foot and your shin vertical as your foot touches the ground. When you need to increase speed, increase your turnover and focus on driving the leg back from the hips rather than reaching forward with the foot. Many experts, including New Balance’s Good Form Running, say 180 steps per minute is an optimal cadence for the most efficient stride turnover.

2. Run “Tall”
Long distance runners often repeat mantras to stay motivated. When it comes to proper running form, Larson says the mantra should be “running tall.” Good posture is an important component of your form, so remember to stay upright (as if someone is pulling you up from your hair), with a slight forward lean to help propel the body forward. Check in on your posture throughout a run. Not only is it often the first thing to suffer when you’re feeling sluggish, a tall posture will give you a boost of confidence, too.

3. Move Forward
It sounds pretty obvious. The whole point of running is to move forward, right? But Larson says he often sees runners with a lot of side-to-side action, most often in the arms. Picture your body split down the middle. The movements of each side shouldn’t cross the middle line. Many experts recommend bending the arms at a 90-degree angle (though, some elite runners like Ryan Hall do let their arms hang low). It’s most important to “do what feels natural—just so they are going forward and back, not side to side,” Larson says. And the same goes for your eyes. “Unless you’re on a trail, don’t stare at the ground or at your shoes,” Larson advises. Keep your eyes off those storefront window reflections, too!

4. Stay Relaxed
“I see many runners with way too much tension in their bodies,” says Larson. As you swing your arms forward and back, it’s important to keep your shoulders relaxed and hands loose — no fist clenching allowed! Runners are often told to hold their hands as if they are holding drumsticks (to play the drums — not chicken wing drumsticks) or as if they have a fragile egg in each hand.                                                                                   

5. Avoid Extremes
Larson says many runners today worry especially about how their foot strikes the ground, not wanting to become known as — gasp! — a heel striker. “Just don’t do anything extreme,” he says. “Don't land on your toes, but don't have your toes pointing to the sky either." To practice avoiding a huge heel or forefoot strike, Larson recommends heading to a track and leaving your shoes behind — sort of.

There’s more research (and debate) than ever these days on the barefoot running movement, which was spurred on in large part by the success of Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, and popularity of minimalist shoes like the Vibram FiveFingers.

While Larson admits it might not be for everyone and does require some transitioning, he says going barefoot and switching to a minimalist shoe occasionally can be valuable in your running toolbox. "When you take shoes away, things do happen to your form,” he says. At a track, sprint the straights and jog the curves in a racing flat or lighter shoe. Or head to the grass to run barefoot strides (60 to 100-meter speedy sets) with the intention of landing on the midfoot.

Still in doubt about whether you’re “doing this right?” Seek the help of an experienced running coach, who can analyze your form and offer advice in real-time (so there’s no need to keep replaying that iPhone recording). But remember, the best tip is to keep it simple, as proper running form can be different for everyone.

“Don't mess with something that's not warranted just to try to have a ‘perfect form,’” Larson says, “because that can lead to injury too.”

For other tips on proper running form and much more about the science of running, follow Pete Larson at Runblogger.com or on Twitter @Runblogger.

Photo: Pond5

The post 5 Expert Tips for Proper Running Form appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Running Form

5 Expert Tips for Proper Running Form

There’s more to knowing how to run than simply lacing up your sneakers, hitting the road and doing what feels natural. Research shows that proper running form puts less stress on the body and decreases the risk of injuries, allowing runners to go longer, train harder and get faster. From posture and arm swings to foot strikes and stride turnover, seemingly minor adjustments can make all the difference when it comes to running form. We talked to running form expert Pete Larson, author of Tread Lightly: Form, Footwear, and the Quest for Injury-Free Running and creator of Runblogger.com, to find out how small improvements can have big (and fast) effects.

Form 101

Before we can finesse our form, it’s important to figure out what we’re doing right and what might need some work. “The main thing to remember is that the way you run affects the way forces are applied to your body’s muscles, tendons and joints,” says Larson, who is also a gait analyst at Performance Health Spine and Sport Therapy in Concord, NH.

If you’re prone to running-related injuries, or just want to know where you stand — or run — Larson recommends asking a running buddy to record you in action. Just a quick iPhone video should do the trick. Trust us, a video will be much safer (you’ll be less likely to trip on the pavement) than trying to stare at yourself in storefront windows as you run (not that we’ve ever done that, of course).

“A lot of times, you see things you didn’t even notice or feel before,” Larson says. “See what you look like when you run and be your own analyst.” That said, if you’ve never had running-related injury before, there may be little reason to change things up, Larson says.

Quick Tips

Here are five tips to keep in mind for evaluating and improving your running form:

1. Shorten Your Stride
According to Larson, many people assume a longer stride means a faster finish time, and in part they are correct since stride length and stride rate determine speed. But, too many runners increase stride length by reaching the foot too far out in front of the body, which leads to overstriding. When it comes to proper running form, he recommends short, light steps where the feet don't extend too far out in front of the body. Aim to have your knee above your foot and your shin vertical as your foot touches the ground. When you need to increase speed, increase your turnover and focus on driving the leg back from the hips rather than reaching forward with the foot. Many experts, including New Balance’s Good Form Running, say 180 steps per minute is an optimal cadence for the most efficient stride turnover.

2. Run “Tall”
Long distance runners often repeat mantras to stay motivated. When it comes to proper running form, Larson says the mantra should be “running tall.” Good posture is an important component of your form, so remember to stay upright (as if someone is pulling you up from your hair), with a slight forward lean to help propel the body forward. Check in on your posture throughout a run. Not only is it often the first thing to suffer when you’re feeling sluggish, a tall posture will give you a boost of confidence, too.

3. Move Forward
It sounds pretty obvious. The whole point of running is to move forward, right? But Larson says he often sees runners with a lot of side-to-side action, most often in the arms. Picture your body split down the middle. The movements of each side shouldn’t cross the middle line. Many experts recommend bending the arms at a 90-degree angle (though, some elite runners like Ryan Hall do let their arms hang low). It’s most important to “do what feels natural—just so they are going forward and back, not side to side,” Larson says. And the same goes for your eyes. “Unless you’re on a trail, don’t stare at the ground or at your shoes,” Larson advises. Keep your eyes off those storefront window reflections, too!

4. Stay Relaxed
“I see many runners with way too much tension in their bodies,” says Larson. As you swing your arms forward and back, it’s important to keep your shoulders relaxed and hands loose — no fist clenching allowed! Runners are often told to hold their hands as if they are holding drumsticks (to play the drums — not chicken wing drumsticks) or as if they have a fragile egg in each hand.                                                                                   

5. Avoid Extremes
Larson says many runners today worry especially about how their foot strikes the ground, not wanting to become known as — gasp! — a heel striker. “Just don’t do anything extreme,” he says. “Don't land on your toes, but don't have your toes pointing to the sky either." To practice avoiding a huge heel or forefoot strike, Larson recommends heading to a track and leaving your shoes behind — sort of.

There’s more research (and debate) than ever these days on the barefoot running movement, which was spurred on in large part by the success of Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, and popularity of minimalist shoes like the Vibram FiveFingers.

While Larson admits it might not be for everyone and does require some transitioning, he says going barefoot and switching to a minimalist shoe occasionally can be valuable in your running toolbox. "When you take shoes away, things do happen to your form,” he says. At a track, sprint the straights and jog the curves in a racing flat or lighter shoe. Or head to the grass to run barefoot strides (60 to 100-meter speedy sets) with the intention of landing on the midfoot.

Still in doubt about whether you’re “doing this right?” Seek the help of an experienced running coach, who can analyze your form and offer advice in real-time (so there’s no need to keep replaying that iPhone recording). But remember, the best tip is to keep it simple, as proper running form can be different for everyone.

“Don't mess with something that's not warranted just to try to have a ‘perfect form,’” Larson says, “because that can lead to injury too.”

For other tips on proper running form and much more about the science of running, follow Pete Larson at Runblogger.com or on Twitter @Runblogger.

Photo: Pond5

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