We don’t have an exact number, but there are hundreds of 10K races to run in any given year. It makes sense: A 10K is a manageable race to run, and it can be a big milestone for new runners. Plus, they’re fun.
But how do you decide which one (or ones) to run? We picked 10 races and ranked them by running preference or goal. Do you like hills? Do you need a PR? Are you a night-owl? Pick your pleasure — there’s a race for you!
When: April 8, 2017
Where: Mill Valley, California
Why do it: This epic trail race takes you up and down the rolling singletrack of Mount Tam in Marin County in northern California near San Francisco. The trail provides amazing forest views — and the uphill finish quenches any desire for more climbing than what’s already on course.
When: April 15, 2017
Where: New Orleans
Why do it: While it’s known as a party race at the back of the pack, if you’re going for a PR, it’s also the best place to score one. Last year’s winner was just two seconds shy of breaking 28 minutes.The first 10K to be televised nationally, it’s a NOLA tradition — along with Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest.
When: October 7, 2017
Where: Collingwood, Ontario
Why do it: This 10K with a slight downhill course and brisk autumn temps make it a prime race for hitting a personal best. October temperatures in Collingwood average 45℉, the temperature that studies show is ideal for racing.
When: April 23, 2017
Where: Rockville, Maryland
Why do it: The 200-foot net drop over 10 kilometers in this Washington, D.C. suburb, will make your pace speedy and your quads sore the next day — and you’ll have a blast. The fastest time last year was 30:04 for men (34:21 for women), so prepare to potentially score a serious PR. (Just bring a foam roller for after you finish.)
When: May 29, 2017
Where: Boulder, Colorado
Why do it: With 55,000 runners, you certainly won’t be lonely on the street. The finish is in a packed stadium of cheering fans, friends and family. There’s a huge festival at the finish, so don’t rush home right after.
When: August 13, 2017
Why do it: Set in Dallas in August, when temperatures soar above the 90s, this race is a scorcher. The relatively flat course features ice water and sports drink stops every mile — though bringing your own is advisable.
When: November 5, 2017
Where: Annapolis, Maryland
Why do it: If you like bridges, this is your dream race. With more than 2/3 of the race happening over water, you’ll feel a little biblical as you charge over the Chesapeake Bay. Enjoy the glittering water, the boats and the stunning views. As the fifth-largest 10K in the country, the people-watching possibilities are endless.
When: November (specific date TBA)
Where: Dublin, Ireland (and various locations)
Why do it: This night race involves a scenic jaunt through Dublin to support finding a cure for spinal cord injuries. Dublin is especially magical in late November when the Christmas lights twinkle around the city. Pro tip: Run in The Dark has 50 events worldwide — all on the same night.
READ MORE > MAJOR MARATHON CHEAT SHEET
When: January 4, 2018
Where: Orlando, Florida
Why do it: The race course is flat, well-marked and ruthlessly organized: perfect for a new runner. It’s hard to focus on your tired legs when Goofy is bouncing next to you. You’ll run through Epcot — and with an early start time, you’ll be able to bring the whole family, have a cheering squad for the run and then spend the rest of the day at Disney World.
When: January 28, 2018
Where: St. Paul, Minnesota
Why do it: With temperatures averaging 7–24℉, you might want to take part in the costume contest and wear a polar bear suit to keep you warm during this frigid 10K. The race is part of the city’s winter carnival, so you can take advantage of tons of activities after the run.
GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT 10K