6 Winter Races You Don’t Want to Miss
Winter is known for festive indulgences and holiday parties orchestrated to help us forget how bitterly cold it is outside. The holiday season, punchy drinks, cozying up to the fire are all things one associates with winter. Running outside usually isn’t one of them. It’s during this frosty season that it becomes increasingly easier to convince yourself to stay in bed an hour longer rather than get up to train or even go for a jog around the block. Unless, of course, you’re lucky enough to live in one of those magically warm all-year-round kind of places. If you don’t reside in the latter category, consider registering for one of these races to give yourself that extra boost of motivation to get out and run- you’ll be so happy you did. (Plus, endorphins help to relieve that hangover you might have from the smattering of holiday parties you’ll endure as well as work to cure those mid-winter blues.)
When: December 10, 2017
Where: Honolulu, Hawaii
You can’t have a list of best winter races without including one in Hawaii. Take this opportunity to set out on a warm weather vacation while also competing in the third largest marathon in the United States. Sounds like a win-win to us. Keeping with the Aloha Spirit there is no time limit or cutoff time. The finish line is kept open until the last finisher crosses. The race boasts “26.2 miles in paradise” and that’s no lie. The course offers up ocean views of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head and Koko Head volcanic craters. Hang out in the finishers village after the race and you’ll be privy to freshly made malasadas (a Hawaiian delicacy that is similar to a donut).
When: December 31, 2017
Where: Bellingham, Washington
Just as its name indicates, this race really is your last chance to do a full or half marathon in 2017. If you had running a marathon or half on your bucket list this year head over to Bellingham, Washington to cross it off your list. With a relatively low registration fee of $45, you can easily convince your friends into running it with you. The races are also a great way to burn off some extra calories before the New Year’s festivities begin.
When: January 1, 2018
Where: Various Locations
If those crazy Polar Bear Plunges aren’t for you on New Year’s Day consider this 5K. These race organizers want you start your new year off on the right foot. With races in 25 states from coast to coast the goal of the Commitment Day 5K is to get you to invest in your health. We all make New Year resolution lists and rather than simply saying you’ll get up and run on January 1, this 5K holds you to it. Plus you’ll feel great knowing you started 2018 off right by running! This race is also walker friendly so you can get your whole family on board.
When: February 4, 2018
Where: Huntington Beach, California
The average race day temperature is a balmy 68 degrees – need we say more? You’ll quickly forget about icy streets and snow covered trees while you run along the longest stretch of uninterrupted beachfront anywhere on the West Coast. (10 miles to be exact!) After you get your ocean views, you can head over to the free post-race beer garden while donning your iconic surfboard medal. (This unique medal has won design awards and features a classic wooden surfboard.)
When: March 18, 2018
Where: San Diego, California
Run to a finish line of unlimited chocolate? Sign us up. While it may sound too good to be true this race is all about chocolate and offers the best motivation to cross the finish line. Once you’ve finished running you’ll be given a mug to encourage consumption of over 4,000 pounds of melted dark chocolate fondue. As if that weren’t enough, sweet stations will dot the course offering mid-race snacks like marshmallows, M&M’s and chocolate chips. Not to fear if this San Diego race doesn’t line up with your schedule. There are Hot Chocolate races in 19 cities spanning the U.S.
When: March 17 & 18, 2018
Where: Asheville, North Carolina
With the two half marathons (one on each day) and the marathon on Sunday you can turn your race into a weekend getaway to celebrate the end of winter. Enjoy the scenic views of this 8,000-acre estate created by George Vanderbilt in 1895. Along the course you’ll be privy to views of hardwood forests, meadows, and gardens. Your race day entry also includes self-guided tours of the Biltmore House & Gardens and the Antler Hill Village featuring a winery, Village Green and farm.