I am very low budget as a runner… That does not mean I do not dream of certain races. This list will grow and shrink over time, but as of today, these are THE races. The ones I feel like I just HAVE to do.
What is on your list?
Dipsea - Need I say more? fIrst run in 1905, the Dipsea is the oldest trail race in America. It is run every year on the second Sunday in June. The scenic 7.4 mile course from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful courses in the world. The stairs and steep trails make it a grueling and treacherous race. And its unique handicapping system has made winners of men and women of all ages. Because of its beauty and challenge, it is a very popular event, and because of safety and environmental concerns the number of runners is limited to about 1,500. While racers enter from all over the world, the Dipsea is primarily a Northern California event and the entry process is tilted slightly to favor local contestants. Please see the section on How To Enter for details.
The Northface Bear Mountain Half Marathon – Runners can expect technical terrain and rocky footing that cuts to the chase, with some trails heading steeply uphill rather than zig-zagging at a gentler grade. Descents end in wooded hollows before the next rapid climb ending with a breathtaking view. Make no mistake: this will be a tough test of off-road endurance. Talk about a test of wills… I am willing to challenge myself with this
Boilermaker (again) - This is one of my favorite races of all time. I ran it back in college. I am excited about the process of running it again. I am more excited to share it with people who are close to me now -
The Boilermaker Road Race was established in 1978 by Earle C. Reed. Reed was looking for a way to give back to the community that had supported his family’s business, Utica Boilers (now ECR International). The 15K road race began with just over 800 runners and a budget of $750.
In 1983, renowned distance runner, Bill Rodgers, not only participated but won the race with a time of 44:38. Rodgers elevated the race by bringing both national exposure and credibility to the event. Since then, the Boilermaker has attracted elite runners from all over the world, including Olympians and world record holders. In fact, the Boilermaker has been named by the Analytical Distance Runner as the most competitive 15K road race in the world.
Today, the Boilermaker 15K road race hosts over 17,000 runners per year. Boilermaker Weekend offers events for participants of every age and skill level. It has grown to include fitness and special events, such as a 5K Race, a 3 Mile Walk, a Kids’ Run, an Invitational Mile, Youth Olympics, a Health and Fitness Expo, and more. Designed around the weekend’s crown jewel, the Boilermaker 15K Road Race, Boilermaker Weekend promotes a healthy lifestyle with a focus on fun, family, and community spirit!
Shamrock Marathon - A destination as well as a race full or irishness- I love Irishness – and I think I will love this race. The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon is the oldest continuously running road race in Virginia Beach, and it will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in March, 2012! The marathon course takes you south from the Virginia Beach resort area across Rudee Inlet–the gateway to the Atlantic Ocean–and through stately neighborhoods and the Camp Pendleton military base before returning north along the oceanfront and past more welcoming residential areas. It then traverses tree-lined Shore Drive adjacent to First Landing State Park on its way to Joint Expeditionary Base, Ft. Story. In Ft. Story participants will pass by the site where John Smith, Christopher Newport, John Rolfe adn the other Jamestown colonists first landed in America in 1607, and by Cape Henry light house–the oldest standing light house in the United States. The course then heads south again for a finish on the world famous Virginia Beach boardwalk, just past the majestic figure of King Neptune, and with the beautiful Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop. The marathon course is flat and fast and the perfect place for a PR (personal record).
Niagara Falls International Marathon – Close to home and unique – The Niagara Falls International Marathon celebrated its inaugural running in 1974. The race was known as the Skylon Marathon. Beginning during the first wave of the North American running boom, it quickly became a favourite as it was, and still is, the only marathon in the world that starts in one country and finishes in another… a destination marathon that crosses an international border, providing the runners with an experience of a lifetime.