I wouldn’t call myself a running addict, but I may be known to sign up for a race or two or 20. The racing atmosphere is great – the support from fans and fellow runners, the route, and of course, that shiny medal waiting for you at the end!
Below is my bucket list of RACES (in no particular order). Some I’ve done and some I’m hoping to do. Hopefully, this will inspire you to make your own bucket list of races too.
Las Vegas Rock N Roll Half Marathon
Where: Las Vegas, NV
When: Mid November
Why: You get to RUN THE STRIP at night! What better way to start off your trip in Vegas than by running the strip and celebrating it with a night of debauchery or in my case, eating at all the buffets. If I wasn’t running the New York Marathon the weekend before, I would have totally signed up for this.
San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon – Completed 06.04.2014 and 06.05.2016
Where: San Diego, CA
When: Early June
Why: As a San Diego Native, it is my birthright to tell everyone to run this race. It’s organized by the Rock N Roll Series and they do a damn good job of putting on a good show. The race has bands stationed at almost every mile and there is a ton of neighborhood support. There are cheer teams stationed throughout the course to keep you motivated. My favorite group would definitely have to be the cheer drag queens that are stationed in the Hillcrest neighborhood. There are neighbors that will wake up early to give you shots of tequila and whiskey and neighbors that are willing to hose you down with water so you can cool off. If that isn’t support, I don’t know what is. This is a favorite race of mine in San Diego – so much so that I’ve signed up for it for a 3rd time since I first ran it 2 years ago.
*Side note: The Health and Fitness Expo where your packet pick up is is huge and you can literally spend a few hours in there looking at all the neat stuff they’re trying to sell you or give away.
New York Marathon
Where: New York City, NY
When: Early November
Why: Technically not a half marathon, but this is definitely one of those must dos. There is a lottery for this race. That’s how popular this is. Last year alone, 49,500 people crossed the finish line. That’s an insane amount of marathoners congregated in just one city. You get to explore the city by running through the 5 boroughs. The organizers even put together training programs (for a fee) that are specifically detailed to your lifestyle and help you cross that finish line.
Note: I’m crossing this one off this year and I’m extremely excited. It’ll be my first marathon! Eeek!
Nike Women’s Half Marathon – Completed 10.19.2014
Where: San Francisco, CA
When: Mid October
Why: In lieu of a medal that you can only really wear once in your life without looking like a weirdo, you get a Tiffany’s necklace and get your picture taken with firefighters dressed in tuxedos. Also, you get to run with thousands of other women. Can you say girl power? The race isn’t exclusive to women so if you’re a smart guy, you’d sign up for this too.
Note: This race has been discontinued by Nike and they have not yet announced a replacement race in the U.S. They do have a NikeWomen Victory Tour this year if you’re able to travel out of the country to race.
Credit Union’s Cherryblossom 10 Mile Run
Where: Washington D.C
When: Early April
Why: Again, not a half marathon, but you get to run through cherryblossom trees and if you love cherryblossoms, this is the race for you. This race usually coincides with the peak bloom of the cherryblossoms in D.C. so if you’re lucky, you get to frolick through D.C. with cherryblososms here and there for 10 miles. This race is also a lottery so sign up for notifications early and keep a lookout for that email.
Beat the Blerch Half Marathon
Where: Seattle, WA and Las Vegas, NV
Why: Did someone say cake? The race was inspired by this comic that Matthew Inman (aka the Oatmeal) wrote and staying true to the comic, there are cakes at every aid station and Blerches (in fat suits) chasing you throughout the course. I may have to pass on the cakes during the race, but you can bet that I will inhaling some cake post-race. You can’t catch me Blerch.
Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon
Where: Orlando, FL
When: Early November
Why: If you’ve ever run a Disney race, you’ll know that Disney does races well. Each race starts off with fireworks, which are magical and get you all pumped up. Then you get to run through parts of the parks (and neighboring areas) while Disney characters and staff cheer you on. Minnie and Daisy even wear their workout clothes to cheer you on.
It is or was unique from the other Disney races in that it starts in the evening (~10 pm) and you finish in Epcot where you wine and dine your little hearts out. Unfortunately the 2016 race is being held in the morning with the wine and dine portion still held in the evening. Maybe it’s just me, but I like to celebrate immediately after I finish the race. Hopefully, the 2017 or 2018 race will revert to an evening start time and then it’ll be my time to sign up.
Disney’s TinkerBell Half Marathon – Completed 05.10.2015
Where: Anaheim, CA
When: May (typically during mother’s day weekend)
Why: I’m a fan of Disney and more importantly, I’m a fan of Tinkerbell. She has so much sass and I love that. So why not run a Tinkerbell themed Disney race? The first part of course runs through Disneyland and California Adventures and then takes you out through the neighborhoods and finally has you return to a Disney parking lot. Anticlimatic? Nope. The magic is still there cause Disney knows how to get it done. This race is usually held during Mother’s Day weekend and I saw a LOT of mothers and daughters run it together last year. It’s definitely a bonding experience.
Note that all Disney races are not cheap so choose sparingly if you’re on a budget.
So there you have it – my 8 bucket list races. Without a doubt, I will be adding more as time goes on.