Below, seven running bloggers from all over the country rave about their favorite fall races. Their picks range from large, well-known marathons to community-based, holiday-themed fun runs and everything in between. Hopefully, their enthusiasm will inspire you to officially commit to that fall race you’ve been thinking about for weeks now.
And if you’re in San Diego on November 23rd, you can sign up for the Fit Foodie 5K Race, sponsored by Cooking Light and Health. Happy racing!
Santa Barbara Marathon
Santa Barbara, CA
Monica – Run Eat Repeat
“One of my favorite fall races is the Santa Barbara Marathon. (There is also a half marathon option.) The race is well-organized and it’s the perfect excuse to visit beautiful Santa Barbara in November. The finish line is right across the street from the beach and the last mile provides some amazing views!”
Matt – No Meat Athlete
“My favorite race is the Wineglass Marathon in Corning, New York. Besides the fact that it was personally meaningful (I qualified for Boston there, after seven years of trying), Wineglass has a lot more going for it. You can’t beat the scenery of the upstate New York countryside in autumn, and the vibe of the race is tranquil and relaxing. But the goodie bag and finisher’s prizes really make it special: a half bottle of local sparkling wine, a handmade glass medal from a local glass studio, and of course, a wine glass. Sure beats a t-shirt!”
Anne – FannetasticFood
“My favorite fall race is the Army Ten Miler in Washington D.C.! I love this race for a few different reasons. First, my family was military, so the race feels like home to me, and at the end of the race you receive a coin instead of a medal since that’s what they give out in the military as a sign of accomplishment/respect. Second, it’s a great course, taking runners past the monuments in downtown DC and along the water with beautiful views of the city. And lastly, it was my first “long” race back in 2009! Since then, I’ve done 8 half marathons and am now training for my first full marathon, but I’ll always remember the feeling of accomplishment I had crossing the finish line at the Army Ten Miler for the first time and seeing “10” pop up on my watch. I was so proud!”
New York City Marathon
New York City, NY
Theodora – Losing Weight in the City
“My favorite fall race, without a doubt, is the New York City Marathon. I’ll be running it for my second time (fourth marathon) this fall, and I can’t wait! There is nothing like running through the streets of NYC with millions of people cheering you on. My cheeks hurt from smiling the last time I ran it! This year, it feels like an extra special privilege to be able to run it after it was canceled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy last year.”
Paso Robles, CA
Sarah – Skinny Runner
“One of my favorite fall races is the Harvest Marathon in Paso Robles, CA. It’s right before Halloween and the weather’s still nice, but it definitely feels like fall. It’s a small-town race with friendly spectators and volunteers and affordable registration fees. The course winds through vineyards, and starts and finishes at one as well, so you can run and then go wine tasting later in the day– perfect fall combo.”
ALSO Turkey Trot
Julie – Peanut Butter Fingers
“The ALSO Turkey Trot in Sarasota, Florida is my all-time favorite fall race because it’s pressure-free and all about having FUN! My husband and I dress up in goofy turkey-themed costumes every year and have a blast. The Thanksgiving Day course takes runners along the water and it’s easy to remember everything you have to be thankful for when you’re running a gorgeous course with a bunch of happy, upbeat people around you!
San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon
San Jose, CA
San Francisco, CA
Brian – PavementRunner
“I enjoy testing my speed at the San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in early October. It’s a fast and mostly flat course. A month later, I take on the hills and marvel at the views of an out and back across the Golden Gate Bridge at the US Half in San Francisco.”
Read Tina’s daily food and fitness blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake.