Mark Your Calendars! These 5 races are sure to motivate!

rocky mtn

1. Rocky Mountain Half

This looks gorgeous! This half is one of the National Park series. They all look gorgeous! I ran the Zion Half a few years back and it was great. The race wasn’t in the park because they couldn’t get the permit for it but the finish was at the entrance to the park (and it’s not like all the beauty is just in the park). I made this race a family vacation and we had a great time. My kids loved it! We probably wouldn’t have gone to Zion if I didn’t find a race there.

Some people might say “Why not just visit the Rocky Mountain National Park and not run?”. First of all, running is what I do and it takes me places I might not have gone otherwise. Secondly, you don’t get a medal for just visiting! Besides, these races are goals that motivate me to keep running.


 

slo marathon

2. SLO Marathon & Half 2017

I am actually registered for this one. It is April 2017. I couldn’t resist. I love San Luis Obispo and I registered when they had a Mother’s Day special for $50! Can’t beat that! This race starts in town and finishes at the Madonna Meadows park by the Madonna Inn. I already booked my room at the Madonna Inn. Looks like fun, (I have never been there). I think the kids will like this one.

There are shuttles from the finish area to the start, before the race, and if you are staying near the start there are shuttles after the race to get you back.

I prefer staying at the finish. It’s just easier.  I have had issues (at other races) trying to find the shuttle to take me back to my hotel when I am tired (and stinky), it was not fun! So I have learned the hard way (that’s why I have this blog, so you don’t have to) to scope out the course and see what’s available for lodging near the finish. Then remember these questions: Is there a shuttle to the start? Is the shuttle free? Can a friend/spouse drop me off near the start? And if so, will it be easy for them? How far am I going to have to walk to the start?

Some races are loops. Meaning they start and finish in the same area. Then you just need to find a hotel in walking distance. Less than a mile is preferable for me.

Remember to book hotels early and with a free cancelation policy so you can always cancel the room if a better room or hotel comes a long (or you can’t run for whatever reason).


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3. Red Rock Canyon Marathon, Half & 5k

This looks like an awesome race. You can run the half or the 5K. I have been wanting to do this for a couple of years now…maybe this is the year! The race is in February, a perfect time for the desert. And for you Vegas people, you can stay on the strip and shuttle to the race. I prefer to stay at or near the host hotel and shuttle to the strip. Looks like for 2017 the host hotel is Suncoast Hotel and Casino. Usually for races the host hotel has special pricing for the runners. I don’t always stay at the host hotel because even though they have special deals, they can be pricey. Shop around and find the best deal that fits your budget or has the amenities that you are looking for. This hotel has a spa,  a pool, hot tub (always a plus!), entertainment and more. I’m sure it comes with a high price (I haven’t looked yet) but sometimes it’s worth it.

Things to look for when you book a hotel for a race: in room refrigerator (for water, snacks, cocktails?), free breakfast (not necessarily for me but for my husband who will be eating breakfast while I’m running. Who’s idea was this anyways?), hot tub, free shuttle to start, walking distance to start or from finish depending on what you need.

Remember, book early! Nothing worse than registering for a race then not being able to find a convenient place to stay for race day. Okay, maybe there are a lot of things worse than that but you want this race experience to be easy and fun all the way around, so you will want to do it again.


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4. Long Beach Marathon & Half

For my local readers (or someone that wants to come visit So Cal) this is a good coastal race. Mostly flat with a couple gradual hills. Fun atmosphere (but when is it not at a half?). Like I said, this is good for the locals, because it’s easy. You don’t have to worry about a hotel, there is plenty of parking and the weather is always nice. The only issue I had was getting out of the area. It took me over an hour to get home because of road closures and I live 15 minutes away.


surf

5. Surf City 10 Miler/10K

Another great local race. This one is especially great because it is only 10 miles! Ten miles is about the time you wish you were done. Guess what? You are! Yay!

If 10 miles is still too far then there’s a 10k or a 5k.

This is a favorite of mine because of the distance. I’ve done it twice and will probably do it again this year. Huntington Beach is where I already do my long runs (8 or 10) but it’s always fun to run 10 miles with a huge group of people.

Get there early to get the best parking. I usually park on Beach Blvd and walk to the start. Last time I parked quite a ways away. It was a bit of a hike back to my car 🙁 (more steps on my Fitbit 🙂 ).


 

I hope you found a race that interests you. There are tons of races out there, these are but a few. Go to Active.com or Google local half marathons (or 5k’s/10k’s) to find one that suits you.

If you are not interested in running in and organized race, don’t worry, there are many runners that choose not to race. And that’s okay. Do what works for you. I like to do races because it gives me a goal, something to work towards. And it gives me an excuse to visit a new place or re-visit a favorite place.

Whatever you choose to do…just keep running my friends!

Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day! 🙂

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