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Boys Only: Races for an Awesome Guys Weekend

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Gone are the days, for most of us where our lives stop for a solid week in the middle of March and you jet off to the “nicest” place you can afford on your part-time job to spend a week hanging with your boys. Life’s commitments override those care-free days of our late teens and early twenties where Spring Break is the highlight of the foreseeable future. That doesn’t mean that you can’t still get the gang together and have a really solid weekend.   And this time, most everyone will have their own room, you’ll be drinking top shelf liquor and no one will be bumming money off of you.

So why not plan the much needed guys’ weekend, big birthday weekend or Bachelor party around a fun race in an equally interesting location with plenty things to do?  Here are 4 races that are guaranteed to be a great getaway for you and your bros.

Urban Bourbon Half Marathon

Where: Louisville, Kentucky
When: October 20, 2018

Since Jim Beam is the main sponsor of this race, all participants must be 21 or older. Set in Louisville, Kentucky this is the perfect kick-off to a weekend spent sniffing, sipping and enjoying the best bourbon the country has to offer.  The location makes it an easy drive for most in the East or an affordable flight for those farther out.

Spend Friday night hydrating and eating well and post-race take off to spend the rest of the weekend on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. However, before you take off as a race participant, you will receive a wristband for the post-race Urban Bourbon Bash taking place under the covered street in downtown Louisville called Fourth Street Live from mid-morning to early afternoon.  Participants with a wristband will be able to sample bourbons from various distillers along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, as well as local beer and pizza.

Bigfoot Snowshoe Race 5k & 10k

Where: Traverse City, Michigan
Whene: January 2019

Held in the Northern Michigan town of Traverse City, the race is an outdoor lover’s paradise. The race’s number one requirement is that you bring snowshoes. The best part is that of the estimated 500 participants around 100 rent their snowshoes (which can be included in registration) and are on them for the first time. While there will be a lot people out and about having fun, the race is also a qualifier for the National Championship Snowshoe race, so some impressive feats could be witnessed.

A fun caveat noted on the website is the fact that if ever, for the first time, there is no snow, you simply bring your running shoes. If any of your group is a decent snowshoe runner, the overall awards are bronze- like statues of the character Harry from Harry and the Hendersons.  A unique race with warm chowders and hearty winter food post-race, this is a great start to a weekend full of winter sports not limited to skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing and fat tire biking. After the winter sports there are more than 10 breweries, a micro distillery and craft distilleries in Traverse City to occupy time.

Man Against Horse Race 12, 25, & 50 Mile Run

Where: Prescott, Arizona
When: October 6, 2018

Got a group of really fit guys looking for an interesting yet age old challenge? Try the Main Against Horse Race held in Prescott National Forest on Mingus Mountain in Prescott, Arizona. This affordable 50 mile race has a $100 registration fee to run and if some of your buddies want to ride their horse it’s only $10 more. Runners and riders will be competing together, so prepare to have some of the largest sized competition you’ll ever have. Not to mention aid stations will have water in cups and troughs.

Dinner is taken care of the night before with the pre-race BBQ being included in the 25 and 50 miles registrations and is only $12 extra for the 12 mile race registrants.  Having options for everyone, the 25 mile and 50 mile are moderately difficult and the 12 mile race is gently rolling. And for those into belt buckles, after completing the 50 mile race you receive a finisher buckle.  To get the full ambiance of the park, camp out at base camp. The base camp accommodates RVs and overnight campers.

Krispy Kreme Challenge

Where: Raleigh, North Carolina
When: February 2019

Held in Raleigh, North Carolina close to North Carolina State University, the Krispy Kreme run is a charity to support North Carolina’s Children’s Hospital. There are 3 levels of doughnut runners: No Doughnut Runner, Casual Runner and highest, the Challenger level for which the race is named. In the Challenger level you have to eat 12 doughnuts, cover 5 miles and do it in less than 1 hour. To quote the race manta on the website, “The Krispy Kreme Challenge epitomizes the test of physical fitness and gastrointestinal fortitude.” No word on if accidental exiting of doughnuts disqualifies you, yet since the doughnuts are consumed at the halfway point. Only 2.5 miles needs to be covered with 2.400 calories in your gut. While the No Doughnut Runner is obvious, the Casual Runner is one who can enjoy the number of doughnuts they wish.

Post-race you all can saunter over to some of the great college bars and cheap eateries all college towns are known for. Or if you feel like adding a little to the calorie burn there are an abundance of state parks close by to hike and explore if you all are searching to hang in the great outdoors.

There are a ton of entertaining races in interesting locations that can make what would be another ho-hum guys’ weekend turn into one for the records books. Most races have options for all types of fitness levels which is especially helpful in situations where there are large age gaps or one of the guys along for the weekend is openly anti-fitness. No matter the intent of the guys’ weekend, tossing a race in is a good way to get some good competition going and not to mention potential for some ammunition to use for years to come.

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