Training through the long, cold winter is not for the faint of heart. It takes guts to get out there in the dark and cold day after day! For many runners, the light at the end of the tunnel is the promise of a strong spring race. But how do you choose the right spring race or marathon? Here are a few factors to consider:
- Price: Marathons and other races vastly vary in prices anywhere from $60 to $400. You’ve also got to factor in costs of accommodation and travel to/from the race.
- Timing: When did you start training and when will you be race-ready? Additionally, think of any trips or events you have planned so that you don’t overlap.
- Location: The main question here is, are you looking for a local race or will this double as a vacation or “runcation”?
- Course Profile: What type of terrain are you looking to run on? Choosing a course that suits your strengths is key.
While you might be thinking of keeping it local and running your hometown event this year, there’s some amazing spring events out there for every month of the season – and you’ve probably never heard of them! Here are four events sure to put a little extra “spring” in your step during this winter training season!
- March: The fifth annual Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore Estate offers runners a unique opportunity to run on the property of America’s largest home! Held the weekend of March 11-12, 2017, this race is run partially on packed trails and partially on roads and offers a hilly, but beautiful challenge! Bonus? Asheville has more craft breweries per capita than any other city in the United States, meaning you can refuel with a pint (or two!) in the city’s eclectic and walkable downtown after the race!
- April: If you’re looking for an excuse to visit Charleston, South Carolina – America’s #1 tourist destination – then look no further than the Cooper River Bridge Run 10k, held on April 1, 2017. The course starts in Mount Pleasant and crosses the 2.5-mile long Cooper River Bridge into downtown Charleston, finishing near the coast. This 6.2-mile party features tons of runners in costume, fun signs, and the best food this side of the Mississippi. What better way to escape those winter blues?
- May: Ever heard of a “runcation?” Traveling to an exotic destination for a race and building a vacation around it is becoming more and more common. The beautiful Caribbean island of Antigua offers the Run in Paradise Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k on Memorial Day Weekend, 2017, and it’s just as beautiful as you’d expect. The race will take you past beautiful Caribbean beaches and through the neighborhoods and resorts on the island, finishing next to the sand and sea! Even better? The race is truly a vacation, as the race committee helps organize flights, hotels, and island tours for all runners!
- June: If you’re hoping to head out west for some cooler temperatures in the late spring, the Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon in North Bend, Washington might be just the race for you. Just 50 miles east of Seattle, the course runs through a three-mile long unlit tunnel to start and the coasts gently downward, allowing for screaming fast times. The mountain scenery isn’t too shabby, either! Come to PR: this race claims to have the best profile in the country for a fast time due to the consistent gentle downhill grade and the low starting elevation.
Tweet @feetures and @thetrexrunner and tell us which races you’re looking at for this spring!