Registering for running events becomes an addiction. So many organizations offer fun medals or merch for people who participate, it gives you an opportunity to travel, and it's a great way for you and your friends to stay fit.
In just a few years, my boyfriend and I ran in around 20 different events. Our adventures took us to eight different cities and we have quite a collection of medals, race bibs, towels, gym bags, and t-shirts.
One of the things we loved most about running together was that it was truly something that we had to do together. No way could I keep going on the trails we trained on without his encouragement and tips. And we pushed each other on race day to keep going and celebrated together at the finish line.
I've run races from Virginia Beach, to Asheville, North Carolina, down to Savannah, Georgia, and even in Orlando, Florida. The memories made on these trips truly stand out to me as some of the best times in my life. So here are twenty running events you and your significant other (or best friend or favorite relative) can aim to do together.
1. Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach — Half, 5k, 1-mile
Usually held in early September around (or on Labor Day weekend), this is a personal favorite of mine! This race takes you to Virginia Beach, which is an overall cool city to visit. You'll run on relatively flat, paved roads through the city and along the beach boardwalk. And if you sign up for the one mile event, you'll actually run on the beach in the sand (this event was far more challenging than the regular road race). And when it's over, you can relax by the beach, bike down the boardwalk, visit the aquarium, or recover at one of the many bars and restaurants.
2. Publix Savannah — Half & 5k, Yoga
The Publix Savannah race event is geared towards women, but men are allowed to participate (they just can't place as a finisher). This event, held in early April, brings you to beautiful Savannah, Georgia, which is a beautiful and popular city to explore. Rich in history, there are sights, food, and shopping galore (We went to Paula Deen's buffet). The race itself cuts through downtown Savannah, giving you beautiful views of the Spanish moss hanging from the trees and old homes. Wrap it up with yoga in the park the following morning to stretch out those sore muscles.
3. runDisney — Full, half, 10k, 5k
runDisney is probably one of the most well-known "destination" running series, with events held in California, Florida, and France. What makes these events fun are the photo opportunities with characters, the path that goes through the parks, and the costumes. Many people go all out and dress up for these events. It was always fun planning outfits with my boyfriend and friends for these races! If you're a Disney lover and a runner, you definitely have to do it at least once.
While there are a handful of race events in the Asheville area, this is probably the most beautiful and biggest event. Biltmore Estate in Asheville is one of the largest homes in America and it attracts many visitors. Settled in the mountains of North Carolina, Asheville is a thriving city with lots of great breweries and just a fun overall vibe.
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Tomorrow, I get to run through Bixby Creek Bridge again for Big Sur Marathon tomorrow...this time with my love and other friends! Have a great race to everyone running it...let's enjoy the scenery while we crush those hills! #bigsurmarathon#bigsurinternationalmarathon#bsimevents#boston2bigsur#coupleswhoruntogether#instarunner#igrunning#runnersofinstagram#marathoner#ultrarunner#runthehills#hillsforbreakfast#runitfast#furtherfasterstronger#runtoinspire#runhappy#bixbycreekbridge#bixbybridge#bigsur
Big Sur, California, is an incredibly gorgeous area with lush cliff sides and a spectacular view of the Pacific. There are plenty of distance options so it's possible for anyone at any level to participate.
6. Garden of the Gods — 10-mile & 10k
"Big hills, awesome rocks, all challenge" is the motto of this road race, which takes runners through Garden of the Gods Park. You've got views of Colorado's majestic mountains and the beautiful natural sandstone formations.
7. Xterra Trail Run Hawaii — 21k, 10k, 5k
The Xterra Trail Run takes you through a path on the island of Oahu. Its rainforests, valleys, beaches, and cliffs have been featured in shows and movies like LOST and Jurassic Park.
8. Crescent City Classic — 10k
Run through New Orleans in this event that has become an Easter weekend tradition for many people. The race begins in downtown New Orleans and runs through the French Quarter, then up the scenic Esplanade Avenue to New Orleans City Park.
9. Beach to Beacon — 10k
Held in Maine, this event begins near Crescent Beach State Park and ends next to Portland Head Light with tree-lined roads and stunning ocean views the whole way.
10. River Valley Run — Half, 10k, 5k
This fall event features breathtaking wooded scenery and near-panoramic views of the Gunpowder Valley in Maryland.
11. 7 Sisters Trail Race — 12 mile
The race follows the New England National Scenic Trail in Massachusetts. It's not an easy path, but the views are worth the challenge.
12. Grand Island Marathon — Full, Half, & 50k
This race takes place along Grand Island, off the coast of Michigan. You'll run along beaches and through forests, with views of the crystal blue water of Lake Superior.
13. Rock 'n' Roll Clearwater — Half & 5k
The newly announced event in Clearwater, Florida, offers a flat and fast course as with stunning bridge views of the Gulf of Mexico.
14. New River — Full, Half, & 4-mile
These races take place in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, finishing along the South Fork New River. You'll also pass by Christmas tree farms. According to the race website, it's like "running through a dream."
15. Cooper River Bridge Run — 10k
Runners in this April event get the chance to cross one of the country's most iconic bridges. The race finishes in downtown Charleston, with a finish festival full of local music, food, and vendors.
16. Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas — Full, Half, 10k, & 5k
Yes, there are a lot of Rock 'n' Roll events on this list, because they are just super well done. This race is the only race to shut down The Strip at night so you can discover the sights, lights, and sounds of the famous Las Vegas Boulevard.
17. Run Crazy Horse — Half & Full
This event starts at the Crazy Horse Memorial and goes down through South Dakota's famous Black Hills and Ponderosa pine forests, along the popular George S. Mickelson Trail.
18. Bellingham Bay Marathon — Full, Half, 10k, & 5k
This course runs along a bluff overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands, and the North Cascade Mountains. With its waterfront greenways, this Washington race is not one to pass by.
19. Cherry Blossom 10-miler — 10-mile & 5k
This run in Washington, D.C., occurs when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. Pair that with the national monuments and you've got yourself a historic event.
20. Bay to Breakers — 12k
The hilly course in San Francisco through nine different neighborhoods to finish at the Great Highway along the Pacific Coast's Ocean Beach. This event is known for the creativity and passion put into the running costumes. Both runners and spectators alike make it a big party.