It used to be that fall was my big racing season, but since I’ve switched my focus to triathlons, that’s changed a bit. Doesn’t mean I don’t still have a love for fall races.
1. My big fall race this year is the Army Ten Miler. It’s one of my favorite races, and this will be my 7th consecutive year running. I really love the ten mile distance, and the spirit of this race is phenomenal. There is huge support for our military and our military families and the race is such a celebration of our country. And of course, there are always contingents from foreign militaries running as well. It’s one of my favorites.
2. If you’re a runner in DC, you know about the Marine Corps Marathon. I have never run it. I have run the 10K. But for the past few years, I’ve gone out to cheer. I park myself around mile 22, right after the infamous bridge, and I cheer every runner, from the first to the last, and it’s an amazing experience. First the wheelchairs come through, followed by the super fast runners. The you get the mid-packers, people who look like they’re having way too much fun. And you have the wounded warriors and the people running with full rucksacks and those carrying giant flags. It’s inspirational. And then the final racers come through, and you know how much they’re hurting, but they’re making it happen. It’s an awesome experience.
3. Another great local race is the Baltimore Running Festival. Pick your distance! Marathon, half marathon, 5K, marathon relay, there’s something for everyone. Gigantic race, lots of fun, amazing neighborhood support. Including the couple who dress as tigers and dance atop their car while blasting “Eye of the Tiger.” Talk about commitment.
4. I can’t forget my first fall half marathon, the Disneyland Half Marathon. Okay, so it’s not really fall, but it’s sort of an end of summer race, so it counts, right? That’s going on this weekend, and I’m sad not to be there. It was my first half ever, and I will never forget the joy of crossing that finish line.
5. And then there’s my second half marathon, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. Another Disney race, but this one’s in Florida and it’s at night. It’s a tough one for me since I’m very much not a night person. With all my training, if I’m awake at 10pm, that’s a late night for me. So starting a race at 10:30 is tough. But I love running in the dark and getting a totally different look at the scenery. Also, as a pale girl, I like racing and not worrying about sunburn. Plus the Food and Wine Festival is a lot of fun. I won’t be at this race either this year (had to step back on these expensive races) but I’m sure I’ll run it again sometime.
What are your favorite fall races?