Last week I told you about how Independence Day is my favorite holiday. Now I have to wait 358 more days for that to come again. But in the meantime I will still find something to appreciate with every celebration because thankfully there is a race for every occasion whether you are here in Northern New Jersey and want to stay local or want to escape for the weekend. Here are a few I’ve done, are on my race calendar for the next year, or are on my racing bucket list (re-check web sites, some dates have not been fully confirmed by race directors):
Local: Verona Labor Day Classic (5k), Monday, September 5, Verona, NJ organized by Essex Running Club
Columbus Day Weekend
Destination: Newport Marathon & Half, Sunday October 9, Newport, RI Why? Well, this year because I’ll be there! Their website boasts that it’s “the only marathon and half-marathon in Newport, the course is simply astounding: winding ocean-side roads, miles of waterfront views and sweeping vistas of the grand mansions along Bellevue Avenue.” So yeah, that’s why I’m doing it…but only the Half.
Local: Halloween 5k to Scare Hunger Away, Sunday, October 30, Garret Mountain, Woodland Park, NJ
Destination: Chase the Devil 6.66 miler, Saturday, October 29, Salem, MA Why? It’s been named one of the top costume races in the world, and really, there aren’t too many better places to celebrate Halloween than the place of the Salem Witch Trials. Plus at 6.66 miles it will be an instant personal record!
Local: Ashenfelter 8k Classic, Thursday, November 26, Glen Ridge, NJ
Destination: Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day Race (10k), Cincinnati, OH. Why? This year marks the 107th Annual running of this event making it the oldest race in the midwest. It crosses the Ohio River twice and supports great causes like Ronald McDonald House and Girls on the Run.
Local: The AMBS Reindeer Run (5k), Saturday, December 3, Franklin Lakes, NJ
Destination: A Christmas Carol Classic (5k & 10K), Saturday, December 17, Denver, CO
New Year’s Eve or Day
Local: First Day 5k, Sunday, January 1, Fair Lawn, NJ
Destination: Harmony Silvester 5k, Saturday, December 31, Harmony, PA. Historic Harmony honors its German heritage by celebrating Silvester (New Year’s Eve) on
German time 6:00 PM (midnight in Germany). They count-down to a ball-drop in German, followed by fireworks and singing of Auld Lang Syne.
Super Bowl Sunday
Local: Pre-Game 4 Miler, Sunday, February 5, Morristown, NJ
Destination: Surf City Marathon and Half, Sunday, February 5, Huntington Beach, CA. Why? Because its California. And because it’s February. I’m already signed up for 2017 and it will be my 3rd time going back to do the Half at this beautiful beach town.
Valentine’s Day Themed
Local: Cupid’s Chase (5k), Saturday, February 11, Glen Rock, NJ
Destination: Cupid’s Chase (5k), Saturday, February 11, 34 locations in 10 states. Why? Raises money for Community Options, Inc. improving the lives of people with disabilities.
St. Patrick’s Day Themed
Local: St. Paddy’s Day 5k, Saturday, March 11, Morristown, NJ
Destination: Shamrock Marathon Weekend (Marathon, Half, 8k), Saturday & Sunday, March 18 & 19, Virginia Beach, VA. Why? Scenic course passes one of the oldest lighthouses in the country; 2-day finish line celebration on the beach with live music, beer, and Murphy’s Irish stew.
Destination: Crescent City Classic (10k), Sunday, April 15, New Orleans, LA. Why? A New Orleans tradition along with Marti Gras and Jazz Fest. Touted as “America’s Fastest 10k.”
Memorial Day Weekend
Local: The Fred d’Elia Ridgewood Run (5k & 10k), Monday, Ridgewood, NJ organized by North Jersey Masters Track & Field Club
Destination: Spring Lake 5-mile Run, Saturday, Spring Lake, NJ Why? Because “summer at the shore begins with the Spring Lake 5.” Not far enough away? Not Long enough? How about The Soldier Field 10-Mile, Saturday, Chicago, IL Why? Great course that finishes inside Soldier Field, with really cool finishers medals, and a fabulous post-race celebration.
Father’s Day Weekend
Local: Westwood Dad’s Dash (5k), Westwood, NJ
Destination: Shelter Island Run (10k & 5k), Shelter Island, NY Why? Incredibly beautiful race course (I wrote about it here), great race weekend activities, celebrities, wonderful place to spend a weekend, and ferry ride to and from the island is an added bonus.
Fourth of July
Local: Glen Rock Tribute Run, (5k) Glen Rock,NJ
Destination: Peachtree Road Race (10k), Atlanta, Ga Why? With 60,000 participants it’s the world’s largest 10k road race.
Huntington Beach, CA February 2016 (site of the Surf City Marathon & Half)