When it comes to remaining active on vacation, the options are limitless. One of my favorite ways to ensure that I get moving is to try to find a race that takes place during my stay. It’s a fun way to take in the sights while working up a sweat. I’ve even taken it a step further and planned entire vacations around a particular running event. To me, blending a race weekend with a vacation is the perfect way to stay in shape while on the road. If you’re ready for a race-cation of your own, you can find them all over the country. From fun and fast to totally daunting, there are definitely destination races out there for everyone. Here are five great destination races.
7-Mile Bridge Run
This annual race is held in the Florida Keys by the Marathon Runners Club to raise money for youth activities in the area. The main draw of this race is clearly the scenery. It takes place entirely over water and offers views that cannot be beat. It may just be the best 6.8 miles of your life. Yes, the course is a little shorter than the name suggests, but that doesn’t stop people from running it year after year.
Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half
While this race boasts a great course, it is definitely more famous for its after party. The final mile takes runners straight to City Hall, where the post-race celebration just so happens to be the Wine & Music Festival. The festival includes massage tents, wine-tasting booths, great food, and live music. Can you think of a better ending to a race?
If you’re looking for an all-around amazing experience, stop what you are doing and sign up right now. From the pre-race Hawaiian prayer to the beautiful scenery from start to finish, this race is steeped in local culture. The best part may just be celebrating your finish relaxing on the beach, though. After all, you’ll be in beautiful Hawaii!
Moab 5K Adventure Run
For those of us not exactly ready for a marathon or half in the desert, there is the adventure run option. Throughout the race, you’ll run through natural and manmade obstacles, including arches, caves, creeks, culverts, sand pits, a rock maze, an obstacle course, and so much more.
Blue Ridge Marathon
If you’re ready for a real challenge, look no further. Billed as the “toughest” road marathon in the country, this race is not for those wanting to take it easy on vacation. Starting and ending in Roanoke, the marathon includes three intense climbs and descents. Runners agree that the effort is worth it, due in large part to the bragging rights you’ll walk away with after the finish.
Have any other destination races to add to the list? Leave a comment below!