So you want to run a race. Sure, there are probably a number of local runs in your home town, from a charity 5K fun run to full and half marathons. But if you’re going to put in the time to train to run a race, why not commit to running one to remember? There are dozens of races held in fun and unexpected location and with themes that will make the whole experience even more fun, and unforgettable.
The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: Men are technically allowed at this Florida event, which has a Tinkerbell-themed sister run at the southern California park, but it’s clear that women rule the road for this one. You can run a 5K, 10K, or half marathon; costumes are, of course, encouraged. (February 2015)
The Austin 10/20: It’s never too early to start training for this 10-mile, 20-band race in the heart of the Texas music scene. The 2014 event was held on April 14th, and the 2015 run—its 4th year on the books—will undoubtedly attract even more runners and spectators. If you’re over the 5K but not quite ready for a half marathon this might be the distance for you. (2015 date TBA)
Barkin’ Dog Duathlon: If you want a side of biking along with your run, this race in Denver may be just the thing. Sure, it’s held in the mile-high city, but the run-bike-run format through Cherry Creek State Park will help you focus more on the sights than the thin, albeit fresh air. (May 10)
Nike Women’s Marathon and Half Marathon: The San Francisco event—which happens in October—is the largest women’s only race in the world. The 30,000+ finishers take home Tiffany necklaces and are greeted by men in tuxedos at the finish. A sister race will be held in D.C. this month. (April 27)
The Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon: You may not actually want to drink wine during your 13.1 miles, but why not grab a glass once you’re over the finish line? This event, which is held an hour west of D.C., features more than a dozen wineries at the end as well as live music. (May 31)
Thelma and Louise Half Marathon: Even without the fun theme this race is unforgettable: The course stretches along the Colorado River near the red rocks and earth of Moab, UT. And, with just 20 feet of elevation gain its a good place to cut your teeth on longer running races. (June 7)