Springtime often provides perfect racing weather for runners; not-too-hot, not-too-cold temperatures and (hopefully) sunny skies with blossoming flowers and trees to make for a scenic backdrop. Unfortunately for most, wintertime (AKA the weeks leading up to spring) may not be the most ideal time to train for a race. (The wrath of the Polar Vortex especially isn’t helping the matter this year.)
There’s no way around it though, runners who dream of splendid spring races will ultimately have to battle the burden of training through chilly winter weather. But the reward of an attractive and exciting springtime race will make all of the frozen fingers, runny noses, and dark early mornings totally worth it.
A spring race is like an inspirational light at the end of a long, cold winter tunnel. So, keep yourself motivated and moving through the next few months by securing a spot at one of the following 14 sensationally scenic spring races. Don’t wait, though. Most are so well-loved that they reach capacity quite quickly. So claim your spot and start counting down those days until spring, one training run at a time.
Wisconsin Marathon— Kenosha, Wis.
This flat-coursed race is all about enjoying unspoiled views of Lake Michigan while experiencing the cheerful atmosphere created by the camaraderie of a large group of fun-loving runners. Few race routes can compare with the Badger State’s lakefront landscapes, and when the scenic journey comes to an end runners are awarded with a Big Cheese medal and invited to a post-race party featuring live music and best of all, a free brat and beer.
May, 3 2014; wisconsinmarathon.com
Kalamazoo Marathon— Kalamazoo, Mich.
A unique race that takes place in the heart of the commonly-referenced Michigan city, the Kalamazoo Marathon offers runners an exciting tour through the area’s parks, trails, neighborhoods and downtown mall. The biggest draw, though: a chance to “earn your mittens.” Runners who complete the Wisconsin Marathon on May 3rd and then the nearby Kalamazoo Marathon on May 4th are presented with a special “mittens” medal. It may not keep your hands warm but it will sure look good hanging next to your other two newly earned awards.
May 4, 2014; thekalamazoomarathon.com
BMO Vancouver International Marathon, Half, & 8K— Vancouver, B.C.
The epitome of a truly superb spring race, runners flock to Vancouver each May to run a perfectly picturesque course that presents what Charlene Krepiakevich, Executive Director of the Vancouver International Marathon society calls “a unique blend of nature and urban city settings.” With a course that boasts 70 percent shoreline views, six public beaches, and 3 major parks during a season that decorates the iconic city with cherry blossoms and snow-covered mountaintops, you’ll hardly have time to realize you’re taking on the crazy challenge of tackling 26.2 miles. One of the oldest races in Canada according to Krepiakevich, the Vancouver International Marathon also offers runners a half-marathon or 8K race distance. When you reach the finish—no matter what distance you choose to run—you’ll be received by a bustling street festival complete with food, entertainment, and endless amounts of fun activities.
May 4, 2014; bmovanmarathon.ca
Who says you have to limit your hiking trip to the closest national park?
Summer has a way of inspiring us to get a little more active than usual — often because we can take more of our activities outside.
Summer is meant to be fun, not painful or itchy, and certainly not deadly.
Enjoy summer more than ever by eating smart as the temperature rises.