If you’re new to the endurance racing scene it may be a bit stressful to figure out what races to enter. Also, you feel you may not do so well or look silly out there on the course. R-E-L-A-X, not all races are the same. Yes, some races are pretty serious and competitive, while others…well, not so much. Below are reasons to race other than trying to set a new PR for yourself.
Beer & Wine
Many races these days provide free beer or wine with your registration for their after-party. Craft Brew Races is an entire series built on the premise of a 5K followed by great local craft beer event (must be 21 to even enter this event). If trail running and beer is more your speed, then Blood, Sweat & Beers may do the trick. If your are more of a wine connoisseur, then head out to the Napa Valley Marathon – overall male and female winners win their weight in wine, plus a specially etched bottle of Napa Valley wine as trophies. The Wine Country Half Marathon Series is also another fine series that has races and festivities within some of the finest wine country in North America.
Music and Party
Maybe you’re just looking for some good tunes and a fun party after your race. Well, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon Series of races will always provide you with some great tunes. Races like the Color Run or the ROC/Wipeout Races are known for a good party! A good local and older race with a well-known after party is Boilermaker 15K in July in Utica, NY. If you are a triathlete, then maybe head down to Rocky Point Triathlon – just over the U.S. border in Rocky Point, Mexico for a beachfront post-race fiesta!
If you have a sweet tooth than the Hot Chocolate Series is right up your alley with an assortment of chocolate goodies – and some awesome swag as well! The Esprit de She Series has great food & drink at their events – women only, sorry fellas. Doesn’t this just say it all – Fat Ass 5k & Street Party? On the course itself, there are beer, ice cream, donut and corn dog stations! If you are looking for some real food and wish to kick it up a notch, then maybe the Peaks Island Road Race (Maine), which has a great post-race lobster bake.
Why take the race too seriously? Dress up and have a blast. Some of the best known costume races are the Las Vegas Great Santa Run – where everyone dresses up like Santa and runs. Disney has a bunch of fun themed runs during their Walt Disney Marathon Weekend. If you’re looking to dress down…way down to your skivvies then the Undy Walk/Run to raise awareness for colon cancer is a fun day while also making a difference. Bay to Breakers is the most eccentric road race out there, arguably, with over 50,000 participants, many of whom dress up in various eclectic garb.
There are many great team and endurance relay events out there. Some of the top ones would be Spartan Races, Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash – all of these are uber-intense obstacle races both with individual and team competitions – get ready to get dirty, but you’ll have a blast in the process! For endurance relay races you may like the Ragnar Series and also Hood-to-Coast – these are those races where you have 6-12 people run about 200 total miles in about 24-hours.
Yes, there are an endless amount of races out there that fit the “social side of racing” moniker, and these are just a handful. Share with us which races you have enjoyed participating in over the years, more for social reasons than for the actual race itself.