8 Exciting Races You'll Want To Train for This Spring

Photo: Sha’Neal Joordan for RUNGRL

Photo: Sha’Neal Joordan for RUNGRL

by Ashlee Lawson

Whether you’ve already set goals and intentions for the New Year, or you’re still working things out, it’s the perfect time to begin thinking about where the miles will take you in 2019. Sign up for your first 5K or make the commitment to finally run a full marathon and these eight domestic spring races should be at the top of your list.

Best of all, we’ve picked our recommendations at varied distances, so you’ve got no excuse not to get out there and get those medals.

5K - Courage to Run 5K

April 13, 2019, Arlington, VA

Returning for its second year, the Courage to Run 5K is the leading non-partisan 5K celebrating women becoming more civically active and championing a healthy lifestyle that ensures women are able to effectively lead at all levels for the long term. Supported by organizations like Higher Heights and Black Women Organized for Political action, this run/walk is the perfect combination of physical and civic fitness.

8K - Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle

March 24, 2019, Chicago, IL

A St. Patrick's Day tradition in Chicago for the last 40 years, the Shamrock Shuffle 5K was not only my own very first race, but also an amazing way to kick off the Spring race season. One of the most popular races in a city that embraces it’s running community, the just-long-enough 8K-course weaves through the Chicago loop and finishes in iconic Grant Park, where there will be a cold brew waiting for you.

10K - Crescent City Classic

April 20, 2019, New Orleans, LA

To many runners, both avid and beginner alike, the 10K is a go-to distance for racing. Not too long, but long enough to feel accomplished. I can’t think of a better way to spend 6.2 miles than by taking in the sights, sounds and smells of one of New Orleans’ oldest events. From elite runners to daiquiri-wielding walkers, this race has a little something for everyone.

Honorable Mentions: NYRR New York Mini, Copper River Bridge Run

12K - Bay to Breakers

May 19, 2019, San Francisco, CA

First held in January of 1912 as an event to lift local civic moral after San Francisco suffered a devastating earthquake and fires, Bay to Breakers has become a yearly celebration of a truly unique city. More than 40,000 participants make their way from the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Coast’s Ocean beach in this lovely race with a view.

Honorable Mention: Lilac Bloomsday Run  

Marathon Relay - One City Marathon

March 3, 2019, Newport News, VA

Entering its 5th year, the One City Marathon takes place in Newport News, Virginia, and offers race distances for everyone--including the marathon relay. What I love about relays is the opportunity to grab your girls, train, cross the finish line together as you spend a weekend focused on health, wellness and celebration. This year, with the races falling at the start of Women’s History Month, there will be activities and programming specifically geared toward promoting women’s health.

10 Miler - Cherry Blossom Ten Miler

April 7, 2019, Washington, D.C.

Also known as "The Runner's Rite of Spring®", the Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler is arguably Washington D.C.’s most famous and most popular race. The mostly flat, scenic course takes you near and around iconic Washington monuments and Hain’s Point. Weather permitting, you’ll catch D.C’s famed cherry blossom trees in full bloom along the course. Whether you’re working your way to your first half marathon or your first half in a long time, this race is a perfect long distance training run.

*Note: the lottery period for Cherry Blossom 10 Miler has closed. Those that desire to enter can return in February and purchase a bib through the bib transfer program.*

Honorable Mention: Soldier Field 10 Mile, Tar Heel 10 Miler

Half Marathon - AirBnb Brooklyn Half Marathon

May 19, 2019, Brooklyn, NYC

The largest half marathon in the United States, the Brooklyn Half Marathon takes runners on a unique, 13.1-mile tour of the fast-growing NYC borough, starting at the Brooklyn Museum and finishing on the Coney Island boardwalk. With spectators cheering you on through the rolling hills of Prospect Park and down the straight-away of Ocean Parkway, there’s nothing quite like being greeted by “The Cyclone” and the beautiful views of the Bay as you accept your medal.

*Note: Registration for this race sells out in hours! Be sure to keep an eye out for registration dates to be announced on NYRR.com.*

Honorable Mention: United Airlines NYC Half Marathon  

Marathon - Boston Marathon

April 15, 2019, Boston, MA

The Mecca. If you can make it in Boston on Marathon Monday, you can make it anywhere. Qualifying and getting into the Boston Marathon can be tough, but it is possible to toe the line in Hopkinton by running in support of one of their many charity partners. Although a challenging course, the pride of donning a famous Boston Marathon Jacket and crossing the finish line in Copley Square is indeed worth it.

Honorable Mentions: Los Angeles Marathon, Big Sur Marathon

So, which one are you choosing? Let us know what races you have coming up in the comments below.

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Ashlee Lawson

Co-founder + CEO