Best races in each state

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Average temperatures for mid-May span from 50 degrees to 70 degrees, but due to wind coming off the ocean, it can feel chillier than other degree days. Few races provide a mix of urban and rural scenery the way this one does: It starts in downtown Santa Fe but quickly climbs into the hills outside of town. The course follows the wide, scenic Nordic Trail—terrain created by glaciers that flowed 10, years ago—through pine forests and open meadows, over rolling hills, and past the remains of old pioneer settlements. Established in by running great Joan Benoit Samuelson, the event has grown to a field nearing 6, participants. The Netflix documentary is a must-see.

Best races in each state. The Best Race To Run in Every US State


Long-distance runners can choose to complete in the half-marathon 20K course, and 10K and 5K distances are an option as well. Alaska: Iditasport Bike Race. Heralded by Bicycling. The race was first run in the s, and can often occur in temperatures well below freezing. Competitors race through the Alaskan snow on bikes equipped with fat tires at distances of k, miles, or miles. This is definitely a race where you break out your cold weather gear , your best cycling gloves , and all the stops when it comes to warmth.

Embarking on a rim-to-rim run can range from While there are many organized events, it is more of something that you schedule, train for, and do. It makes our list because, although it is not a large single event like some of the others, it is an established route that attract thousands of destination runners each year. Train well and know the risks, this is a self-supported and spectacular run.

Consider a hydration pack given the elements you will encounter. Arkansas: Arkansas Marathon — Booneville. We were tempted to go with the larger, springtime Little Rock Marathon, but we opted for the older Arkansas Marathon.

One of the oldest and most unique marathons in the South, the Arkansas Marathon is a great October race option in a laid-back setting. The out-and-back route places you right next to Mt. Magazine—the tallest mountain in eleven states—as well as near the borderline between the Ozark National Forest and the Ouachita National Forest.

There are a couple notable hills, but otherwise is a nice, gently rolling course. California: Malibu Half Marathon and 5K. Choosing a single race in a state as large as California is very difficult — there are so many iconic ones. Set along the famed Pacific Coast Highway, sand and surf will be your backdrop as you inch towards the finish line. Celebrate your finish by cooling off in the crisp, blue ocean! Colorado: Bolder Boulder Run. A 10K race, it attracts over , spectators each year!

This is a great race for those who have been training for years, or those who are just starting running and need something to shoot for. A close second was the Steamboat Marathon. Delaware: Wilmington Grand Prix Bike weekend. Celebrating its eleventh anniversary in , the Grand Prix is one of the premier biking races in the nation.

Florida: Walt Disney World Marathon. Georgia: Peachtree Road Race. The largest 10K in the world, the Peachtree Road Race is held every July 4 and will be entering its 48 th year in While July temps in Atlanta and be warm, this race is in the morning so should be tolerable. Covered Bridge Half Marathon , Pomfret. Vermont is home to many scenic trail runs and arduous mountain climbs with rewarding views, but no race is quite as unique as this small-town charity event held every June.

Capped at 2, entries which sell out in minutes , the race winds along country roads and passes by or under four historic covered bridges along the way.

Runners climb and descend three different mountains, all with magnificent views of the Roanoke Valley below, on this annual April race along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The companion Bellingham Bay Marathon , Bellingham. Runners pass through rural farmland and along waterfront greenways before finishing in downtown Bellingham—the northernmost city in the contiguous United States.

For a shorter tour around this Pacific Northwest wonderland, choose the half marathon, 10K, or 5K option, all held the same day in September. Ice Age Trail 50 , La Grange. Held each May in the Southern Kettle Moraine Forest, this is one of the oldest trail races in the country.

The course follows the wide, scenic Nordic Trail—terrain created by glaciers that flowed 10, years ago—through pine forests and open meadows, over rolling hills, and past the remains of old pioneer settlements. Choose from a miler, 50K, or half marathon. Choose between , , , and mile options, all on rugged mountain trails and four-wheel drive roads. The race, held during wildflower season every June, is extremely challenging—with elevations of up to 10, feet—but is designed to highlight the scenery of the wild and primitive Bighorn Mountains.

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You can find out more about our use, change your default settings, and withdraw your consent at any time with effect for the future by visiting Cookies Settings , which can also be found in the footer of the site. Wellness Fitness. Amanda MacMillan is a health and science writer and editor. Given the desert terrain there are also stages in the race where runners can see the entire field on the course.

All proceeds go to the Navajo people and there is even a Navajo blessing at the beginning of the event. There is a junior race, as well as an overs event. Entrants have 30 hours to complete this mile endurance race, run through William B Umstead State Park.

There is also a mile option, but the offers runners an excellent option for those who want to transition from mile races to longer, more demanding races. With a distance to suit everybody, this event is 12 years old. The full marathon starts and finishes inside the Fargodome, with a huge Jumbotron and plenty of fans cheering on, while the course is lined with bands and DJs throughout the route. The Cheddar Challenge is a truly unique race.

First run in , it now attracts approximately 25, entrants from all over the world. One of the longest relay races in the world, usually hitting the mile mark it changes slightly every year , with the course consisting of 36 legs and each team member running three in rotation.

Each year 1, person teams are chosen by lottery on a course that takes in the the Springwater Corridor and Willamette River trails. In honor of the battle of Gettysburg, this race actually pits the North against the South, with runners representing each side and takes them through the battlefield itself. The course includes beautiful rolling hills with a couple of trips through the East Cavalry Field Section of the battlefield.

Runners go through Providence almost all the way to Pawtucket, where they make the turn and then head back to where they came from. As a result, the beginning and end of the race sees runners alongside the Providence Harbor. Run on the stunning Kiawah Island, located 25 miles southwest of Charleston, this is about as stunning as a race can get.

There are plenty of turns, but when each one offers a new view more spectacular than the last, it more than makes up for it. The course is point to point, following a mostly gentle downhill slope, and is open to, walkers, runners, cyclists, hikers and even horseback riders.

Where else are race points marked by pages in a book? Or makes you run underneath a prison? Or selects a competitor they know will be the first to give up? The Netflix documentary is a must-see. Held on the Seabrook nature trails, surrounded by fresh and salt marsh and the coastline of the Galveston Bay, there is an abundance of wildlife to see, particularly birds. This event has become well known for its enthusiastic volunteers, brilliant bag of swag and awesome post-race party.

Not for the faint-hearted, this is run across very difficult terrain — think deep, soft sand, rocks, water and various other obstacles along the way. Large parts of the course are on very narrow trails, with huge drops immediately to the side.

The Covered Bridges Half Marathon was set up by a group of community members to create a half marathon along some of the best running routes around Woodstock, Vermont. The race, of course, takes in the unique four covered bridges along the way, two of which the runners pass through. Made up of 30, entrants, there is something for everyone.

The BolderBoulder International Team Challenge invites countries to put together three-person squads to compete for a prize purse. The race is also wildly entertaining, with live music, dancers, and other types of performance art on nearly every corner of the course. The point-to-point course is located more than a mile above sea level, with the highest point at 5, feet elevation.

Boulder can get warm in late May, with an average high of 76 degrees. Note, however, that sun exposure is more direct at this altitude, so make sure to slather on the SPF! Pricing varies, depending on which registration package you choose. Now nearly 10, runners take part in its marathon. The event is followed by an all-day post-race celebration that includes drinking and local live music. It has yet to be announced if the party will be moved back to its traditional setting.

It runs along scenic Highway 61 and the coast of Lake Superior for most of the race, until around mile 22, where it passes through downtown Duluth before circling around to finish in Canal Park. Over the past four years, the route was altered due to construction but its traditional route will be reintroduced in The course is fast and mostly flat or gently rolling with few major hills save the steep-but-short Lemon Drop Hill at mile While Duluth has an average high of around 68 degrees in mid-June, the weather is unpredictable.

Expect anything from a pleasant 50 degrees to a scorching 90 degrees, with winds from any direction—which can be significant on the lakefront. Post-race Fourth of July festivities are hosted at Piedmont Park , where a stage hosts live performances and an awards ceremony.

The 6. This is a challenging course. Be prepared for high temperatures and muggy weather. Atlanta averages a high of around 88 degrees in early July and rarely falls below 65 degrees. Race organizers take precautions regarding the weather, including providing an alert system to keep runners up to date on the conditions and how they may affect the race.

Additionally, water is provided at each mile along the course. Opening registration is held from March 15 to March This historic race will return to a live competition after a two-year hiatus.

Location: Grafton Course: Mostly flat Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: Runners begin in the rural countryside, then pass through suburbs and finish in view of Milwaukee’s downtown skyline.

Location: Seattle Course: Some parts hilly, some parts flat Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: Part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll series, the marathon features a festive atmosphere with live music and a post-race concert. Location: Richmond Course: Mostly flat with a few large hills Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: Runners enjoy Richmond’s scenic neighborhoods along the James River as well as pizza and cold beverages at the finish line.

Location: Burlington Course: Not very hilly but a few challenging climbs Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: The marathon offers to match runners with similarly paced competitors so that groups of participants can race together.

Location: Salt Lake City Course: Mostly downhill but with some inclines Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: Race-day activities include a cheer and entertainment zone competition, arts and crafts and a bounce house for kids, and a beer garden. Location: College Station Course: Mostly flat with a few hills Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: Runners enjoy enthusiastic crowds along the way and a fireworks show at the race’s conclusion.

Location: Knoxville Course: Several rolling hills with some flat sections Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: The course takes runners through several of Knoxville’s most beautiful neighborhoods while they enjoy live music. Location: Providence Course: Significant hills at the beginning and end; the middle is mostly flat Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: The race takes place on the shady East Bay bike path, which features beautiful Rhode Island scenery.

Location: Philadelphia Course: Flat and fast Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: Participants in this large-scale race enjoy fall weather, historical Philadelphia landmarks, and the company of thousands of other runners.

Location: Oklahoma City Course: Gently rolling hills, no steep inclines Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: The race commemorates the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, and runners pass by banners in their honor. Location: Fargo Course: Fast and flat Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: It’s a massive event, with more than 20, participants and over 40 live bands. Location: Ellerbe Course: Two steep climbs during the course Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: The course takes runners through secluded scenery, and they’re rewarded at the end with homemade chicken and dumplings.

Location: Albuquerque Course: Beginner-friendly, out-and-back trail Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: The race is one of New Mexico’s premier events, and thousands of runners participate. Location: Bristol Course: Starts out hilly but becomes flat downhill Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: The race has a great small-town feel, and amenities include entertainment and post-race massages.

Location: Lovell Canyon Course: Challenging, with elevation changes in a hot climate Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: Runners enjoy breathtaking views of the canyon as they pass through the course.

Location: Omaha Course: Paved roads, mostly flat Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: Runners run a scenic route through Omaha, with aid stations located every two miles. Location: Helena Course: Mostly downhill, but some rolling hills Boston Qualifier: Yes Registration: Click here Why it’s a great race: The summertime race, which is Montana’s oldest marathon, takes runners through scenic country back roads, finishing in downtown Helena.


Best races in each state


Nothing beats the butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling of lining up with hundreds—and sometimes thousands—of other runners at an early-morning start, hearing the gun go off, and racing through a picturesque city, trail, or coastline with spirited spectators cheering you on along the way.

Mark your calendar , pin your race bib, and meet us at the starting line! Where: New Orleans, Louisiana Register: runsignup. Why Run It: Billed as the oldest running race in the southeast, this year-old event takes runners on a 9K 5. The postrace bash at Natchez Dock overlooks both the Mississippi River and the city and features unlimited draft beer plus unique local eats, such as jambalaya, king cakes, and baked cheese curls.

Where: Orlando, Florida Register: rundisney. Years later, Walt Disney has that experience dialed. Before 20, runners pass through all four Walt Disney World parks, entertainers of all kinds—costumed characters, live bands, acrobats, comedians—post up at each half-mile.

Luckily, the course has a seven-hour time limit. Each runner must maintain a mile pace throughout the race. Runners must be in their corrals a half hour before the a. Where: Tampa, Florida Register: rungasparilla. At the halfway turnaround point, runners are greeted by the Tampa Rough Riders, a crew of costumed cavalrymen in a decked out train trolley who dole out beads and a limited supply of donuts.

After pivoting, runners will receive another treat: a view of the downtown Tampa skyline that lasts all the way to the finish line. Where: New York City Register: nyrr. Where: Carlsbad, California Register: carlsbad A staggered age-based start system puts elite runners last, which allows the everyday athlete a chance to watch history happen while basking in the Pacific Ocean breeze and sipping suds at the finish line beer garden.

World record breakers are honored with a new brew specially crafted and named for them. Where: Washington, D. Register: cherryblossom. An out-and-back course means that back-of-the-pack runners can observe the elites, who in the past have included Olympic medalists like Meb Keflezighi and Joan Benoit Samuelson.

Where: Austin, Texas Register: cap10K. The Finish Line Festival features more live tunes, local food trucks, a beer and Bloody Mary garden, a dronie station selfies, but taken with a drone , a massage tent, and photo booths.

Where: New Orleans Register: ccc10k. The fast, point-to-point course starts in front of the Superdome, home of the Saints. Between miles 1 and 2, runners pass the historical Jackson Square then make their way through the French Quarter and up Esplanade Avenue to the stunning City Park.

Where: Monterey, California Register: bsim. When you think bucket list races, Big Sur should be near the top of the list. This point-to-point course closes down Highway 1 in California. You will start among the giant Redwoods in Big Sur and work your way onto one of the most scenic marathon routes in the country.

At the halfway point, you go over the iconic Bixby Bridge, where a piano player serenades you at the top of the giant uphill. Where: Indianapolis, Indiana Register: indymini. Why Run It: More than 80 entertainment groups and spirit squads line the course of this fairly flat half marathon that ranks within the top 20 largest road races in the U. The route includes a full 2. It starts as runners cross the White River at mile 12 and begin to spot the telltale black-and-white checkered flags and hear the roar of the crowds.

Festivities continue at the postrace party in Military Park, which is open to runners and spectators and includes live tunes, a live video feed of the race, and food from local restaurants. Where: Spokane, Washington Register: bloomsdayrun. Why Run It: This historic 12K was born during the running boom in when local runner and Olympian Don Kardong suggested the city should have a downtown run of its own; 1, runners finished in the inaugural event.

The hilly course features two tough inclines. While some consider Cemetery Hill between mile 2 and 3 the most challenging part of the course, most give that honor to Doomsday Hill, located between miles 4 and 5. To get you through those tough spots, there are over 25 bands playing tunes from almost every genre of music along the way.

Where: Philadelphia Register: broadstreetrun. Runners will also breeze by sports stadiums for the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, and the Sixers before finishing on the Marine Parade Grounds in the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where ships and cheering crowds await.

Support is provided along the route as well in the form of music groups, high school bands, cheerleading squads, church choirs, and drill teams. Where: San Francisco, California Register: baytobreakers. The hilly course beware of Hayes Street Hill, a 0. Approximately , spectators cheer on the field and take in the uber-creative, downright weird, and larger-than-life costumes that runners are known to wear. Where: Chicago Register: soldierfield Postrace tailgating on the nearby Stadium Green features food, beer, two hours of live music, and clear views of Lake Michigan.

Where: Boulder, Colorado Register: bolderboulder. Runners can enjoy even more fresh-air Boulder festivities at the annual Creek Festival, a three-day extravaganza of local food, drink, vendors, carnival rides, and live music hosted that weekend.

Where: Seward, Alaska Register: mmr. Because these conditions are not for the average 5Ker, first-timers must complete the entire course prior to race day. But the treacherous trail is countered by stunning scenery along the route and at the peak.

Think: vibrant green and snow-capped mountains, glacial cirques, and sparkling blue waters in the Gulf of Alaska. Where: Atlanta, Georgia Register: atlantatrackclub. Why Run It: Upwards of , spectators plus four radio broadcasts along the course rally runners as they wind their way through Buckhead into midtown Atlanta in this year-old Independence Day race, the largest 10K in the world.

Philip around mile two. The support is especially needed about half a mile later as runners tackle Cardiac Hill, which rises more than feet in approximately 0. While conquering Cardiac, participants are cheered by patients at the Shepherd Center, which specializes in spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation.

Where: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Register: libertymile. Why Run It: The fastest race in Pittsburgh kicks off at 7 p. With a variety of one-mile races for participants to choose from, such as the Youth One for Fun Mile and the Youth Pup Trot Mile, there is something for the entire family.

The certified, looped course starts on Penn Avenue in the heart of the Cultural District. Racers then make a turn onto 11th Street, and another quick turn onto Liberty Street for the final stretch.

The start and finish lines are only a block apart, so spectators can catch both the beginning and the end—if they move quickly. After the masses finish, runners and spectators can watch the pro athletes battle it out for a hefty purse. Where: Davenport, Iowa Register: bix7. Why Run It: This out-and-back race through downtown Davenport is rife with seriously steep hills.

Another doozy, McClellan Boulevard hill, arrives at the turnaround point. The event celebrates its 46th year in , and owes much of its success—and popularity with elites—to distance runner Bill Rodgers who joined the race in in lieu of the boycotted Moscow Olympics. Since then, the race regularly draws top talent from around the globe, including Joan Benoit Samuelson and Meb Keflezighi , who compete yearly alongside Rodgers.

Where: Cape Elizabeth, Maine Register: beach2beacon. The winding route takes runners along tree-lined roads with panoramic Atlantic Ocean vistas. Samuelson herself greets runners at the finish line. Where: Falmouth, Massachusetts Register: falmouthroadrace. Why Run It: This 7-mile course is nearly completely seaside, beginning in Woods Hole with the first three miles on narrow, hilly, winding and tree-shaded roads. From there, the race is all downhill to the finish along Falmouth Heights Beach.

Bridge, the longest cable-stay bridge in North America. Young runners can get in the fun too with the kids run and festival held the day before at Hampton Park, the largest park in the Charleston peninsula. Where: St. Paul, Minnesota Register: tcmevents. The race starts in downtown Minneapolis, then crosses the Mississippi River into St. The course bills itself as the most beautiful urban marathon in the country, and it might just live up to the hype—the route loops around four lakes and parallels the river, giving runners a nature fix in the middle of two big cities.

Where: Utica, New York Register: boilermaker. Why Run It: This hilly course is billed as a big city event held in a small town. The 15K is the premier event of the weekend, attracting national-caliber elites. Along with panoramic views signature to upstate New York, the Boilermaker is known for its spectator support and challenging inclines. Where: Washington D. Register: armytenmiler. Why Run It: This miler is staffed by more than active-duty soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Regiment.

Runners cross the Arlington Memorial Bridge, which features spectacular views of the Potomac River, then pass a handful of national monuments including the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Washington Monument.

Roughly 35, military personnel, runners, and spectators mingle out front of the Pentagon at the postrace party. Where: Chicago, Illinois Register: chicagomarathon.

Where: Boston, Massachusetts Register: baa. You will either need to clock a qualifying time or nab a highly coveted charity bib. Where: Arlington, Virginia Register: marinemarathon.

Where: Mill Valley, California Register: dipsea. Why Run It: This treacherous 7.


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