10 Destination Races You Need to Run Before You Die
See the world and fit in a workout on these unforgettable getaways.
Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Charlotte Andersen- Shape Magazine
Vacations are fun. Running races is fun. So what could be more fun than combining your vacay with your own amazing race? From running wine tours to running tours of New York City, using your feet can be the perfect way to enjoy your new surroundings and fit in your workout. There's no shortage of beautiful places to vacation that also have road races, but if you need a little inspiration, here are 10 destination races you need to try before you die!
1. Avia Wildflower Triathlon
The Avia Wildflower Triathlon at Lake San Antonio in California is known as the "Woodstock of races." Not only do you have three distances to choose from, but you'll enjoy all the beauty of the Big Sur region with the added fun of camping, live bands, and gourmet food.
2. The Carlsbad 5000
Called "the world's fastest 5K", the Carlsbad 5000 race in Carlsbad, California gets high marks for breaking PRs but also for the scenic beauty and for accommodating all levels and types of runners, with 5Ks for kids, wheelchairs, and dogs.
3. Snowshoe the Bear
Spring and summer may be prime racing season, but the Snowshoe the Bear race in Big Bear Lake, California shows that a little snow can be a lot of fun. Whether you're a novice or a pro at running in snowshoes, this race can be great motivation to keep your training up when it's cold outside.
4. Rock 'n' Roll Marathon
If the exclusive parties, live music, and elite runners aren't enough to get you excited about doing a Rock 'n' Roll marathon, then consider that not only are there 24 stops all over North America—Vegas, anyone?—but it's also hitting Europe in 2012. Grab your running shoes and start practicing your Spanish! Or Portuguese! Or Italian!
5. Down 2 Earth Endurance Races
If you're more of an off-road type, then you need to try the Down 2 Earth Endurance races near Miami Beach in Florida. While their motto is "no whiners!" all your hard work will pay off with amazing views of both the beach and the largest of Florida's urban state parks. With distances for all levels, you'll never even miss the pavement.
6. Bay Shore Marathon
The Bay Shore Marathon in Traverse City, Michigan is known for being a beautiful course along the oft-overlooked Lake Michigan. Not only do you get to take in one of the Great Lakes, but this flat course is also known as a great Boston Marathon qualifier if you're looking to up your game.
7. Devil Mountain Ultra
Don't let the name of the Devil Mountain Ultra Marathon scare you. While you certainly can do the 50-mile or 50k trail run in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado (known as one of the toughest races in the U.S.), you can enjoy the same gorgeous mountain scenery with a less-hardcore half marathon. No one said that running through the mountains will be easy, but for adventurous types, this race is well worth it.
8. Metro Dash Obstacle Run
Described as "a gut wrenching, muscle pounding, make you want to throw up obstacle course race," the Metro Dash Obstacle Course is about more than just finishing. In their words, "It's compact, it's intense, and it's one hell of a good time." With races all over the U.S., the only hard part will be getting over the fact that you're going to ruin your good shoes. (Kidding! Sorta.)
9. Kaua'i Marathon
Featured as a "race of the month" in Runner's World magazine, the Kaua'i Marathon in Hawaii has everything a running girl could want: a fast course, beautiful weather, spa treatments, fabulous restaurants, and let's not forget you're in Hawaii. As if we need to sell you on this one any more.
10. Disney Marathon and Princess Half-Marathon
No destination running list would be complete without the Walt Disney World Marathon and Princess Half-Marathon in the theme park in Orlando, Florida. More than just a race, runners get a whole Disney-themed weekend with lush hotels, delicious food, and, of course, all the Mad-Hatter tea-cup rides you can handle.