Well friends, it’s the last week of 2016 and of course – I am already thinking about my 2017 race calendar. Are you?
Walk, run or crawl, here is my list of races to check out if you need a change or want to go for a more active year:
Cupid Undie Run: yes, you did read that right. In February, grab your friends, drop your pants (for charity) and run the best mile of your life. This party starts and ends at Powerplant Live. Earn fun incentives including a very comfy pair of undies by hitting fundraising goals. This race is definitely more of a party so come on out to support a good cause and watch as jaws drop as you run downtown in your drawers!
B3 Series: start in March with the St. Patrick’s 5k, continue in April with the Sole of the City 10k, and complete the tour of Baltimore in September with the Charles Street 12 (miler). All races include at least 1 post race beer if you are of age and the race shirts are some of the best in Baltimore! All three races are available on their own as well but if you are up for the challenge register for the series.
Atlis Endurance Trail Events: if road races aren’t your cup of tea, check out the events put on by Atlis Endurance. They offer a wide variety of trail races both locally and along the coast. These events are low key and high energy but it could be because the race directors have a bit of a sweet tooth. Oh and the trails they pick are absolutely gorgeous!
St. Michael’s Running Festival: looking for fast and flat? Look no further than the St. Michael’s Running Festival on the Eastern Shore. Brought to you by the same team that puts on the 10k Across the Bay, you’ll enjoy a scenic course and maybe earn yourself a PR.
Zooma Annapolis: this is the ultimate girls race weekend. With a host hotel, beautiful course, great swag and awesome amenities, this is a must do every year for me. Enjoy packet pickup and a cocktail reception on race eve and follow up your race with wine tastings, yoga and massage. Offering distances of 5k, 10k and half marathon, there is something for you and all your girlfriends!
Baltimore Womens Classic: come out and run one the oldest all womens 5ks in the area. This makes a great first 5k for everyone – there are some hills but I don’t think they are terrible. Join the fun and feel the girl power throughout the day. All finishers receive a beautiful medal and a rose as they cross the line!
Dirty Girl Mud Run: this 5k course offers mud and obstacles so grab your girls and go out and play! You can get as dirty (or stay as clean) as you want. Runners receive a medal, fun samples, a clean shirt and free pictures for participating. You can typically find deals on LivingSocial or Groupon.
Boordy Trail 5k: don’t let the name fool you! This course is 3/4 road and 1/4 trail as you leave and re-enter the vineyard. It’s an easy out and back course that ends with – a wine tasting! Another one of my favorites of the season, post race amenities include a wine tasting, wine pairings (bread, fruit, cheese, etc) and a concert. Makes for a great evening out with both your running friends and non-running friends!
Baltimore Running Festival: tour the streets of Baltimore while completing a 5k, half marathon, relay or marathon. You will definitely appreciate your city a lot more after participating in this hometown fave. Swing by the zoo, take a lap around Lake Montebello and run through Camden Yards on your way to Ravens Stadium. Really declare your hometown pride by completing the Baltimoron challenge – running the 5k and half marathon back to back!
10k Across the Bay: start on the Western Shore and finish on the Eastern Shore! You have to run the bridge to beat it! I am looking forward to taking part in this race in 2017 – will you be joining me?
Ugly Sweater Run: Don your best (or worst) holiday clothes for this festive 5k. Runners receive cookies, hot chocolate and a super warm beanie for completing this race. There are fun photo ops before, during and after the event so come out to take an epic holiday card picture!
There are so many great races throughout the running season it is impossible to list them all. I participate in quite a few every year – from big productions to small ones. The above list compiles races that I think would be good for all abilities and offer the most bang for your buck. I am always looking for races that offer something unique (let’s face it, you can only get so many race shirts!).
Happy New Year!