While the weather forecast might beg to differ, spring is right around the corner. And runners know that this is when major race planning kicks into high gear.
The options are endless, so we’ve removed some of the guesswork by picking a few races happening between March and June that we think you’ll love to try.
LOS ANGELES MARATHON
March 19 | Los Angeles
Spring officially kicks off on March 20, so you can start the season early by running 26.2 in sunny L.A. This course, which takes runners from Dodgers Stadium down to the shores of Santa Monica, is known for its fast finishing times thanks to being a net downhill. If you’ve never been to the City of Angels, this marathon is the perfect way to sightsee as you run by the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, down the Sunset Strip, through Beverly Hills and more.
UKROP’S MONUMENT AVENUE 10K
April 1 | Richmond, Virginia
More than 30,000 participants take to the streets of Richmond for this 10K turned block party, an annual event since 2000. The 10K encourages costumes and offers mile after mile of on-course entertainment and spirit groups. USA Today named it one of the best races in the country. It encourages the community to get out, move and mingle, while raising money for Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center and Kids Run RVA.
COOPER RIVER BRIDGE RUN
April 1 | Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
The Cooper River Bridge Run takes runners from Mount Pleasant, over the Cooper River to downtown Charleston. The highlight of the 10K is getting to run across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, which spans 2.5 miles of the course. The race attracts 50,000 runners, with entertainment along the course and stunning views from the bridge.
April 23 | London
This marathon, first run in 1981, holds the honor of being one of the six World Marathon Majors. It is broadcast by the BBC and takes runners around the River Thames, starting in Greenwich Park and finishing in The Mall. Runners get an up-close look at Big Ben, the London Eye and Buckingham Palace, among other sights. Another noteworthy detail is that this race holds the Guinness World Record as the largest annual fundraising event.
BIG SUR INTERNATIONAL MARATHON
April 30 | Big Sur, California
If you are looking to run a marathon with some of the most stunning views around, the Big Sur International Marathon might be for you. The race attracts roughly 4,500 runners who are intrigued by the challenges that come with running along the Pacific Coast Highway. The book “Ultimate Guide to Marathons” named this race the best marathon in the world. The spectacular, unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean and coastline make up for the climbs along the course.
May 7 | Vancouver, British Columbia
The second-largest marathon in Canada, the Vancouver Marathon attracts runners from all over the world. A unique feature of this race is that it’s organized by the Vancouver International Marathon Society, a nonprofit that works to promote a healthy lifestyle among the city’s residents. This scenic course takes runners along the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path, meaning 70% of the course has shoreline views.
LILAC BLOOMSDAY RUN
May 7 | Spokane, Washington
This race has been a tradition in Spokane since 1977 and boasts more than 40,000 participants annually. It’s noted for its uncommon race distance of 7.46 miles — perfect for runners looking to switch up their race routine. This year the official charity for the race is World Relief Spokane, but the race does even more outreach, offering a program for 7,000 elementary school students to train to walk or run the race every spring.
BAY TO BREAKERS
May 21 | San Francisco
This 12K was established in 1912 and is an iconic event in San Francisco. Bay to Breakers was at one point the world’s largest footrace, and it is known for participants wearing costumes and embracing a festival-like atmosphere. A highlight of the race includes being cheered on by crowds as you travel through Golden Gate Park, headed to the finish line alongside the Pacific Ocean.
May 29 | Boulder, Colorado
This is the second-largest 10K in the United States, with over 50,000 participants annually. The race attracts a number of elite runners and ends in a Memorial Day tribute — the largest in the United States — at the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field. As you take in the sights of Boulder, you’ll see bands, dancers and cheerleaders as well as skydivers and a flyover.
June 17 | Duluth, Minnesota
End spring with a point-to-point marathon from Two Harbors, along Lake Superior to the town of Duluth. The race embodies the spirit of community, as local Grandma’s Restaurant was the only business that would sponsor the race when it began in 1977. Now over 10,000 runners take part in the marathon every year.