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Elvis Runs a World Record!

Why You Should Go on a 'Runcation'

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Click here: The best 5K races in America

1 Mile to the Marathon … and beyond!

Rocking through the Carlsbad 5000

P LU S: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Celebrates 20 Years of Fun!

Click here: 7 Ways to Get Faster in 2017

* 9 Ways to

Improve Your Running in 2017

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Click here: Here’s how you can run a half marathon in 2017

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YOUR PERFECT RUNNING PARTNER Motivation in motion. The Apple Watch Nike+ is the latest in a long-running partnership between two of the world’s most innovative brands. With leading-edge comfort to the way it connects you to running buddies through Nike+ Run Club, it’s your perfect running partner.


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Lisa Hallett and 22 women who lost loved ones to war, ran their first race together at Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle for wear blue: run to remember - a mile-long on-course tribute to military members who have died during service.

2017 At 84, Beth Petersen will be one of our 81 Rock ’n’ Roll Legacy participants who will have run all 20 years in San Diego. In total, she has finished 55 marathons to date, despite her battles emphysema, asthma and chronic bronchitis.


Al Hernandez crosses the finish line in San Jose, completing his 100th race of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.


The inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon took place in San Diego, forever changing the sport of running.


National news personalities, Al Roker and Giuliana Rancic, run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon. Al even returned to run again the following year.


Olympic superstar, Mo Farah wins Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon and his post race interview goes viral.


Miss Texas, Ana Rodriguez, crosses the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon finish line in just over 2 hours.

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CELEBRATE 20 YEARS RUNNING M A R AT H O N | 1 / 2 M A R AT H O N | R E L AY | 1 0 K | 5 K | 1 M I L E

CREAT E YOU R M OM E N T IN 201 7 JAN 14-15


SEP 2-3




SEP 16-17


MAR 11


SEP 24


MAR 18-19




MAR 19




MAR 26


OCT 7-8


APR 1-2


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APR 1-2


OCT 14-15


APR 23


OCT 15


APR 29


OCT 21-22


MAY 27-28




JUN 3-4


OCT 29


JUN 18


NOV 4-5


JUL 15-16


NOV 11-12


AUG 12-13


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AACR RUNNERS FOR RESEARCH 37,000 + YOU When you join the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Runners for Research team, you join the elite company of 37,000 scientific members of the AACR whose goal is to prevent, treat, and cure cancer.

Join us us September 2017ininthe thecity city Join September16-17, 16-17, 2017 of of

Brotherly Love onSaturday Saturday and Brotherly Lovefor foraa5K 5K run run on and thethe AACR Rock ‘n’‘n’Roll HalfMarathon Marathon AACR Rock RollPhiladelphia Philadelphia Half Sunday weraise raise funds funds for on on Sunday asaswe forlifesaving lifesaving cancer research! cancer research! Why just run for fun when you can run to save lives? Join one of our many races around the country!

Sign up at

Stacey Grande (right) and Jenna Dietrich (left), two AACR Runners for Research team members and fundraisers, at the finish line for the AACR Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon, held September 18, 2016. AACR staff volunteered at and participated in the race, which raised funds to support vital AACR initiatives.

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JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7



15 The 2017 Ultimate Running & Racing Guide

12 Starting Lines

We’ve made the definitive list of all of the country’s best races and running events in 2017. Whether you’re tackling a bucket-list marathon, searching for a wacky novelty race or want the ultimate running retreat or racecation, you’ll find it in the following 29 pages. 16 Marathons 20 Half Marathons 26 5K to 10-mile Races 32 Mile Races 34 Trail Races 38 Ultra Racing 101 40 Travel Tips and Destination Races 44 Novelty Races 48 Obstacle Races

54 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 20 years of the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series Presented by GEICO

Welcome to your greatest year yet!

50 Training 9 ways to improve as a runner in 2017 and beyond

Back Page 64 Last Lap Prolific runner Michael Wardian shares how he’s able to race so many marathons in a year, how he recovers, and the hardest part about racing in an Elvis costume.

ON THE COV E R : Carlsbad 5000. Photo: Ryan Bethke B E LOW: Rock ’n’ Roll Oasis Montreal. Photo: Ryan Bethke

Click here: Everything a new runners needs to know to get started

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c o m pe t i t o r . c o m

E d i t o r i a l + De s i g n

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We went to Cuba and ran with some local runners on historic trails.

Matt Harbicht, Jeff Cohen, Sue Kwon, Jeff Lancaster, Nick Nacca, Victor Sailer, Michelle Schrantz, Aric Van Halen, Dustin Whitlow C i r c u l at i o n , m a r k e t i n g & P r o d u c t i o n

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With available Bird’s Eye View Camera* and standard All-Wheel Drive with intelligence (AWD-i). Prototype shown with options. Production model may vary. Before towing, confirm your vehicle and trailer are compatible, hooked up and loaded properly and that you have any necessary additional equipment. Do not exceed any Weight Ratings and follow all instructions in your Owner’s Manual. The maximum you can tow depends on the total weight of any cargo, occupants and available equipment. *The Bird’s Eye View Camera does not provide a comprehensive view of the area surrounding the vehicle. You should also look around outside your vehicle and use your mirrors to confirm surrounding clearance. Cold weather will limit effectiveness and view may become cloudy. ©2016 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

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buzz 12

s ta r t i n g l i n e s

Happy 2017! Welcome to the new, healthier, happier you! Last year is ancient history, but this year is a blank canvas, full of opportunities.

Whatever you did or didn’t do in 2016 is water over the dam now. And that’s a good thing. If you had an amazing year of fitness, running and racing, now’s the time to start planning to build on that and have an even better year in 2017. If you didn’t quite reach your goals or run your A-race, missed your PRs or didn’t even make it to the starting line, it’s time to let it all go, look ahead and move on. Inside the pages of our 2017 Running & Racing Guide, you’ll find hundreds of race

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descriptions for distances ranging from 1 mile to ultramarathons and obstacle races. The hope is that a specific race (or several) might pique your interest or you’ll be inspired by a certain kind of race and decide this is the year you’re going to try to run your best half marathon, dash down the street to a new mile PR, tackle your first 50K—or have fun in an obstacle race or novelty run. Just be sure to make plans and sign up early, because a lot of events fill up fast!

So here’s to new beginnings! New year’s resolutions are foolhardy. Instead, take your January inspirations, set attainable goals, follow a plan, train with your friends and work hard to make those dreams come to life throughout the new year. And if you need more motivation or assistance, check out We’ll be with you every step of the way! Now go lace up your shoes, get moving and have some fun! It’s going to be a an amazing year!—The Editors

photo: ryan bethke

Click here: New Year, New You? Make it Happen!

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Olympic marathoner, Meb Keflezighi, paces the 90-minute group and is named our Vice President of Running.

On the weekend of June 3-4, 2017, the original Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon will celebrate 20 Years Running with more than 30,000 runners taking over the streets of San Diego. It all started in 1998 when a musical marathon concept was put into motion, by placing live bands on stages at each mile along the course, interspersed with cheerleaders and themed water stations to entertain participants and create an outdoor festival 26 miles long. As a runner, there was something fun happening at every mile. With nearly 20,000 entrants and 15,771 finishers, the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon was a chart topping success and still remains the largest inaugural marathon in U.S. history. The alluring mix of combining music and entertainment together with fun and fitness has proven to be a dynamic recipe for success. Today there are 30 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series events in cities worldwide, with more than 500,000 runners each year. In addition to promoting health and wellness, charity partnerships with organizations have inspired people to give help and hope to others. To date, more than $320,000,000 has been raised for charity by runners over the past 19 years. The Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon and 1/2 Marathon is a weekend celebration complete with a two-day free Health & Fitness Expo and a post-race headliner concert. Join us for the biggest celebration in Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series history as we celebrate 20 Years Running in San Diego on June 3-4, 2017.


The inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon took place in San Diego, forever changing the sport of running.


“The most powerful mile in running” debuts in San Diego with the Wear Blue Mile, a tribute to military members who have died during service, displaying American Flags and portraits of fallen soldiers for one mile.

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JUNE 3-4, 2017

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2017 Running & Racing Guide


The Marathon Still Matters

Although half marathons get more attention nowadays, running a marathon is still a very noble pursuit. Whether you’re crossing races off your bucket list, looking to qualify for Boston or earn a PR on a pancake-flat course, there are many races out there just for you. Here are our favorites for 2017—taking place in big cities, small towns and scenic trails. By Jeff Banowetz

PHOTO: Ryan Bethke

GEICO Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon Nov. 12, Las Vegas Viva Las Vegas! The Las Vegas Strip shuts down every fall as runners take over the city at this nighttime marathon that is like no other in the country. In addition to the music along the course, a headliner concert and perhaps the best post-race party around, you’ll also find countless people running as Elvis, getting married, and generally doing things that they hope will stay in Vegas.

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Click here: See a time lapse video of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas course.

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Running & Racing Guide 2017

Click here: See photos from the Los Angeles Marathon course.

Walt Disney World Marathon Jan. 8, Orlando, Fla.

Mercedes-Benz Marathon Feb. 12, Birmingham, Ala.

Asheville Marathon March 13, Asheville, N.C.

What a way to start the year: The Walt Disney World Marathon celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and the race that first helped popularize the destination marathon/vacation combo is still going strong in 2017. Enjoy a fantasy-filled course that covers four of the Disney World theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot.

Experience southern hospitality at its best in this midsize marathon through downtown Birmingham. The two-loop course is offers a nice tour of the city, with trips past the Civil Rights Museum and the University of Alabama Birmingham campus. The course offers a few hills, but nothing too strenuous, and the post-race barbecue will help you with the recovery.

If you’ve never been to Asheville, N.C., this race is a great reason to visit the scenic town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The race takes place on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned home in the United States. The chateau-style home, built by George Washington Vanderbilt II in the late 19th century, will amaze you. But the scenic course on the grounds features packed dirt trails, hardwood forests, meadows and formal gardens to explore.

Surf City Marathon Feb. 5, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Napa Valley Marathon March 5, Napa, Calif.

Take in California’s longest stretch of uninterrupted beachfront at this annual marathon that celebrates the state’s surfing culture. Comfortable winter temperatures and that view of the Pacific much of the way make this a popular getaway marathon for those in snowy climates—or just about anywhere. Listen to surf bands along the course and realize that all of those cold, middle-of-thewinter long runs were worth it.

Known as the “biggest little marathon in the west,” the Napa Valley Marathon celebrates its 39th anniversary this year. The point-to-point course highlights the incredible views of the Napa Valley, while race organizers ensure a high-end road racing experience. Enjoy the views of the vineyards along the route, and then spend a few days afterward sampling.

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SKechers PEformance Los Angeles Marathon March 19, Los Angeles This annual Los Angeles race draws more than 25,000 runners from all 50 states to enjoy a scenic point-to-point course that starts at Dodger Stadium and includes many of the city’s landmarks along the way, including West Hollywood, Chinatown, the Financial District and Beverly Hills. The finish line in Santa Monica overlooks the Santa Monica Pier, where you can enjoy a post-race drink as waves roll in across the Pacific Ocean.

Photo: Courtesy los angeles marathon

Skechers performance Los Angeles Marathon

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2017 Running & Racing Guide


Click here: A free 4-month marathon training plan.

Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

Photos: courtesy cincinnati flying pig marathon; lake placid marathon

St. Jude Rock ’n’ Roll Nashville Marathon April 29, Nashville, Tenn. Perhaps no city is better known for its music than Nashville, and this 18th annual stop on the Rock ’n’ Roll tour in the Music City offers one of the best chances to combine music and running in the country. Formerly known as the Country Music Marathon, the event features an impressive tour of the city, plenty of local musicians that highlight the diverse music scene and a headliner concert to cap it off.

Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon May 7, Cincinnati Yes, it’s an odd name—a shout-out to the city’s historical nickname of “porkopolis” when it was a center of agricultural commerce in the 1800s. Cincinnati has changed, but this 19th annual event has long been a favorite of Midwestern runners. You’d be hard-pressed to find a race focused more on the fun surrounding the marathon, and the tour of Cincinnati’s neighborhoods is a great way to see the city. The first half features some climbs, but you’re rewarded with a gradual downhill over the second half.

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Lake Placid Marathon

Capital City Marathon May 21, Olympia, Wash.

Lake Placid Marathon June 11, Lake Placid, N.Y.

The capital city of Washington State is home to one of the more popular marathons in the northwest. This will be the 36th year that Olympia hosts this annual marathon, which shows off the downtown with a scenic course filled with rolling hills. After the race, the post-race party continues the celebration of running with food, drinks, music and massages.

This small town nestled in the Adirondack Mountains has seen more than its share of sports excellence. The host of the 1980 and 1932 Winter Olympic Games, it’s where speedskater Eric Heiden won five gold medals and the U.S. Hockey team celebrated its Miracle on Ice. The marathon, which starts and finishes at the Olympic Speedskating Oval, offers incredible mountain views the entire route.

Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon June 4, San Diego

The San Francisco Marathon July 23, San Francisco

This year marks the 20th running of the race that stated the Rock ‘n’ Roll running series. The original location is still one of the most popular events in the country, and runners will once again get a spectacular tour of San Diego—including Balboa Park, Old Town and other historic neighborhoods—all while enjoying the great music along the way that helped launch the series. If you’re looking for a late spring or early summer event—and there’s also a half marathon and 10K—head to America’s Finest City, where the weather is always perfect and there’s plenty to do.

You don’t find a lot of big-city marathons in the middle of July, but San Francisco’s cooler summer temperatures make this an excellent option for runners looking for a big mid-summer marathon. This year marks the race’s 40th anniversary, and runners will get an excellent tour of one of the country’s most scenic cities, including running across the Golden Gate Bridge. Expect some hills, although the loop course isn’t as tough as it could be.

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Running & Racing Guide 2017

MARATHONS Click here: Which fall marathon rules? Chicago or New York?

Air Force Marathon Sept. 16, Dayton, Ohio

Chicago Marathon Oct. 8, Chicago

Maui Marathon Oct. 15, Maui, Hawaii.

This annual marathon at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, routinely draws more than 15,000 participants from all 50 states. Runners can expect to be treated to a flyover before the race and see pieces of aircraft history along the course— make sure to visit the onsite museum after the race. Because it’s mostly on an Air Force base, you won’t find big crowds along the route, but the volunteer support is excellent.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of runners traveling from around the world to Chicago for its flat and fast course in hopes of a Boston-qualifying time—or at least a PR. Each fall the 45,000 participants discover a fun tour of the city’s diverse neighborhoods with huge spectator support the entire way. The loop course starts and finishes in Grant Park, making this one of the logistically easier big-city marathons for out-of-towners.

Twin Cities Marathon Oct. 1, Minneapolis, Minn.

Portland Marathon Oct. 8, Portland, Ore.

This is a great race to plan a ‘runcation’ around, especially because the event will be run a month later in 2017 and in future years to avoid the heat of September. The course starts near the Maui airport on Ho’okele St. in Kahului and sends runners south toward Maalai Bay and from there they head west and run the second half of the race along the sea to the finish line at Kaanapali on the western side of the island. There’s also a half marathon and the fast and fun “Run Forrest Run” mile race the day before to get your competitive juices flowing.

There’s a reason that the Twin Cities Marathon is known as the “most beautiful urban marathon in America.” The trip between Minneapolis and St. Paul takes full advantage of the many parks in the Twin Cities, and for an urban course you’ll find an incredible amount of green space—filled with fall colors. The downhill finish past the Cathedral of St. Paul and in front of the state capitol is one of the best you’ll find in the U.S.

This year marks the 46th running of the Portland Marathon, which has become one of the best races in the Pacific Northwest. Starting and finishing in downtown Portland, the course crosses the Willamette River twice and offers a nice tour of the city, including the scenic riverfront, Old Town and residential neighborhoods. Few marathons offer more giveaways than Portland, with a long-sleeve T-shirt, finisher medal, collectable coin, poster and a tree seedling to plant, among other swag.

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Seven Bridges Marathon Oct. 15, Chattanooga, Tenn. Chattanooga, located just across the Georgia border and surrounded by rolling mountains, has become an outdoor Mecca in the southeast. The Seven Bridges Marathon has grown along with the city, and offers multiple river crossings via—yes, seven bridges—over the Tennessee River. Runners will find out why Chattanooga is nicknamed the Scenic City over the course of 26.2 miles.

Photos: courtesy twin cities marathon; chicago marathon

Chicago Marathon

Twin Cities Marathon

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2017 Running & Racing Guide


Space Coast Marathon

Honolulu Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon Oct. 22, Washington, D.C.

New York City Marathon Nov. 5, New York City

The best way to see the nation’s capital is to run the Marine Corps Marathon. Known as the “marathon of monuments,” the race offers more sights than a tour bus as it covers Washington, D.C. It also features the kind of support you’d expect from the U.S. Marine Corps, which has been organizing this race since the beginning.

Along with Boston, the New York City Marathon is one of the most iconic running experiences in the U.S. You start by crossing the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, tour all five boroughs, and finish in Central Park amid overwhelming spectator support throughout the race. It’s a must-do for any runner. However, the toughest part might just be getting an entry—the lottery closes this year on Feb. 17.

Toronto Waterfront Marathon Oct. 22, Toronto, Canada Want a race with international flavor that’s still about as easy to do as any American race? The Toronto Waterfront Marathon shows off Canada’s biggest city with a scenic mostly Lakefront course that’s flat and fast. Get that Boston-qualifying time and then enjoy all the city has to offer. The race is very well organized and offers all the amenities of any big-city race in the U.S. Just bring your passport.

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California International Marathon Dec. 3, Sacramento, Calif. This fast course in California’s capital has long been known as a favorite for West Coast runners looking to qualify for Boston. The 9,000-person race is solid all-around with great spectators along the scenic course—usually with good weather too. The race prides itself on being organized by and for runners, and it shows.

Space Coast Marathon Nov. 26, Cocoa Beach, Fla.

Honolulu Marathon Dec. 10, Honolulu

Florida’s oldest marathon celebrates its 46th running on the east coast of the state near the Kennedy Space Center. The space-themed race includes those running in costume, space props along the course and at aid stations and space shuttle finisher medals. But even if you’re not about to dress up as John Glenn (or Darth Vader), the race offers a very scenic, mostly flat course with fine views of the Atlantic Ocean.

If you’re going to do a destination marathon, why not go all in? Who doesn’t want to end the racing season with a trip to Hawaii? The Honolulu Marathon draws 30,000 people from around the world to enjoy the spectacular course and the Oahu’s amenities. Arrive early for the Friday night luau before the race. Stay afterward to recover on the island’s beautiful, famous beaches.

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Running & Racing Guide 2017


13.1 Miles of Fun

Running 13.1 miles is far and away the most popular racing distance nowadays. Sure, it’s considered an ideal amount of miles to run, both because it’s still a big challenge but not overwhelmingly so like a marathon. Here are our favorite can’t-miss halfs in 2017. Because the distance is so popular, sign up quickly for the ones you want to run.

500 Festival Mini-Marathon May 6, Indianapolis

Click here: A free half marathon training program

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One of the largest half marathons in the U.S., this race draws 35,000 runners each year to Indianapolis. The course highlights the downtown neighborhoods while also taking a lap on the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 41st annual race is part of the city’s month-long celebration of the Indianapolis 500, and it traditionally draws a strong elite field as well as runners from across the country.

Photo: courtesy 500 festival mini-marathon

By Jeff Banowetz

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Run to a better place with the Adrenaline GTS 17. It’s got the perfect balance of support and cushioning to deliver a super smooth ride.

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Running & Racing Guide 2017


San Francisco Half Marathon

Key West is known for its laid-back attitude, so you can’t be too disappointed if you don’t hit a PR at this 19th annual event that draws 2,500 people each year to the island that’s closer to Cuba than Miami. Runners will enjoy a flat and fast course that tours both downtown Key West as well as scenic parts of the island, with ocean views nearly the entire route.

3M Half Marathon Jan. 22, Austin, Texas More than 7,000 runners will converge on the Texas capital for this 22nd annual race. The course features rolling hills—but with a net drop of about 500 feet on this point-to-point course, you’ll find yourself going downhill much of the way. The route offers a good taste of Austin, with both funky neighborhoods, the urban downtown and the University of Texas campus all featured prominently.

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Humana Rock ’n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon Feb. 5, New Orleans The Big Easy is known for its parties. This one just happens to take place across 13.1 miles in one of the country’s most unique cities. Enjoy getting a taste of Cajun culture on this point-to-point half marathon course with lots of local musicians along the route. The post-race party at City Park is sure to do New Orleans proud, and you can enjoy all the French Quarter has to offer before and after your run.

San Francisco Half Marathon Feb. 5, San Francisco Considered one of the most scenic half marathons in the U.S., the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon has been named the road race of the year by the Road Runners Club of America. Most of the course is run in Golden Gate Park and along the Great Highway, with incredible ocean and city views the entire way. The point-to-point route is relatively flat, with a net drop in elevation.

Alamo 13.1 March 19, San Antonio, Texas Be ready to run when the muskets are fired at the Alamo in San Antonio. This popular half marathon starts and finishes at the historic Texas site, and runners will follow a route that offers some of the best cultural icons in the city. After the race, the beer will be flowing at the Alamo to celebrate the finish.

Mercer Island Half Marathon March 19, Mercer Island, Wash. This race just outside of Seattle celebrates its 45th anniversary this year—and you can understand why it continues to be so popular. Held on an island in Lake Washington between Seattle and Bellevue, the race makes a full loop of the island. Runners can expect rolling hills the entire way, with a couple of steeper climbs and descents, plus excellent views.

Photo: courtesy san francisco half marathon

Key West Half Marathon Jan. 15, Key West, Fla.

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2017 Running & Racing Guide


Star Wars Half Marathon—The Dark Side

United Airlines NYC Half March 19, New York City

Photo: Courtesy RunDisney

This half marathon through Manhattan has quickly become nearly as popular as the full marathon through the city’s five boroughs in the fall. That means you’ll most likely need to win a lottery spot or raise money for charity to enter. But if you get a coveted spot, you get to run 13.1 miles New York— including right through Times Square.

Chick-Fil-A Connect Half Marathon April 1, Athens, Ga. Athens, home to the University of Georgia, hosts this annual half marathon that offers runners a tour of the city and much of the campus on this loop course. You’ll find mostly rolling hills along the way, with a big climb between miles 7 and 8, but nothing too outrageous.

Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon April 1, Springfield, Ill.

Star Wars Half Marathon— The Dark Side April 23, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

You don’t need to be a Civil War buff to enjoy the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon, which offers a tour of historic sites in Springfield. This year the race celebrates its 53rd running, and while the first half is relatively flat, the second half offers some hilly terrain, at least by Illinois standards. Participants run past the Old State Capitol, the Lincoln Law Office and the only home Lincoln ever owned.

The ability to finish a half marathon is insignificant next to the power of the Force. Expect to hear this and other Star Wars tributes from fans who have not one but two themed races to choose from at the Walt Disney World Resort this year. The Light Side focuses on the good guys, but everyone knows the Dark Side is more fun—if only to see people running a half marathon dressed in full Darth Vader costume.

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Cinco de Mayo Half Marathon May 7, Portland, Ore. This celebration of Mexico takes place in Portland, starting and finishing at Pioneer Courthouse Square while hitting most of the downtown neighborhoods, including Chinatown, the Pearl District and Slabtown. Live music will be found all along the scenic course, and the post-race party will feature drinks from Lagunitas and Two Towns Cider, plus plenty of food.

Yosemite Half Marathon May 13, Bass Lake, Calif. Not that you need an excuse to visit one of the country’s most beautiful National Parks, but the Yosemite Half Marathon gives you just that. The first 5 miles are on somewhat rugged fire roads and trail. Miles 6 to 10 are on paved roads and feature a significant descent, with the last few miles on relatively flat roads around Bass Lake.

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Running & Racing Guide 2017


Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon

Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon May 29, Boston, Mass.

Run the Rockies Half Marathon

Run the Rockies Half Marathon June 3, Frisco, Colo.

This 13th annual race in downtown Boston honors first responders that have been killed in the line of duty, and money raised is donated to local children’s charities. The race, which draws more than 9,000 runners, starts at Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center and takes runners past many of the city’s historic sites along the way.

This 41st annual race isn’t for the faint of heart, but runners up for a challenge are in for a treat. Frisco sits above 9,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains just west of Denver, so be prepared for the light air. The course is on both paved roads and dirt mountain bike trails, and 75 percent of the race is downhill, which should help those lungs a bit. The views of the Rockies should also help distract you.

Covered Bridges Half Marathon June 4, Woodstock, Vt.

Twilight Half Marathon July 8, Vancouver, Wash.

What better way to tour rural Vermont than by running one of the state’s most scenic half marathons? The Covered Bridges Half Marathon starts in the small town of South Pomfret and features a point-to-point course that follows the Ottauquechee River through farmland and several notable covered bridges along the route. The race finishes in Quechee where you can enjoy food and live music.

If you’re not an early-morning runner, this race is for you. This flat and fast half marathon starts at 6 p.m., which means you’ll finish and enjoy the post-race party in the twilight of a summer evening in “The Couve.” As an added bonus, the pounding beats of The Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers will rev you up at the start.

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Humana Rock ’n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon July 16, Chicago The Rock ’n’ Roll tour returns to Chicago for its ninth year of this popular race that brings people from all over the country to the city. Starting in Grant Park, the race takes runners among the downtown skyscrapers and the River North, Loop and Streeterville neighborhoods. Runners then head south before returning to downtown via the Lakefront, making for one of the great finishing views in the country.

Minnesota Half Marathon Aug. 5, St. Paul, Minn. This half marathon in Minnesota’s state capital is unique for a number of reasons, the most obvious being that you don’t have to run it. That is, there’s an in-line skate race over the same course if you’d rather roll the 13.1 miles. But for runners, the outand-back loop course along the Mississippi River provides an excellent way to see St. Paul and much of the green space that marks the city.

Photos: courtesy boston’s run to remember half marathon; run the rockies half marathon


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2017 Running & Racing Guide


Click here: 13 Bucket-List Half Marathons in the U.S.

Photo: ryan bethke

Rock ’n’ Roll Los Angeles

Madison Mini Marathon Aug. 19, Madison, Wis.

Rockfest Half Marathon Oct. 1, Hampton, N.H.

This half marathon offers a scenic tour of downtown Madison and the University of Wisconsin campus. Participants will run past the Capitol building, Camp Randall Stadium and the Henry Vilas Zoo on a clockwise loop around the city. The 14th Mile post-race party is held at the Memorial Union Terrace, which overlooks Lake Mendota. Enjoy plenty of refreshments from the Wisconsin Brewing Company.

This annual trek along the New Hampshire coast draws rave reviews from runners. The course features both waterfront running as well as a tour of some of the inland rural areas, and is considered one of the flattest courses in New England—especially helpful for those looking to PR. After the race, runners are treated to local favorites like lobster rolls, clam chowder, Smuttynose beer and Stonyfield yogurt.

Pier to Peak Half Marathon Sept. 3, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Synchrony Financial Rock ’n’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon Oct. 14, Brooklyn, N.Y.

This race dubs itself the “world’s toughest half marathon,” and there aren’t many races that will dispute it. The race starts at sea level on Stearns Wharf and climbs nearly 4,000 feet to the top of La Cumbra Peak. You at least have some flat terrain through downtown Santa Barbara before the grueling climbing begins. There’s a free ride back down after the race.

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One of the newer races in the Rock ’n’ Roll series, the Brooklyn race started as a 10K before upping the distance to a half marathon in 2015. The streets of Brooklyn will be filled with bands and other live music as runners take a scenic tour of the borough that ends in Prospect Park.

Rock ’n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon Oct. 29, Los Angeles Put on your costume and take to the streets of Los Angeles to participate in the world’s largest Halloween-themed half marathon. Costumes are, of course, optional, but you will have plenty of company if you’re game. The course starts at the Staples Center and finishes at LA Live while giving runners a nice tour of downtown L.A.

GEICO Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Nov. 11-12, Las Vegas There’s nothing in running that comes close to this race, which runs up and down the famous Las Vegas Strip after dark. (The only other time that Las Vegas Boulevard is closed to traffic is on New Year’s Eve.) There are also 5K, 10K and marathon races and there’s always a major headliner to kick off the evening of racing, as Macklemore, Kid Rock and Snoop Dogg have fired up runners with hour-long concerts before the start in recent years. Viva Las Vegas, baby!

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Running & Racing Guide 2017


Short, Fast and Fun

Running 26.2 miles—or even half that—isn’t everyone’s idea of fun. For those with a need for speed, or others who just prefer a shorter distance, America has a ton of races ranging from 5K to 10 miles or more that offer unique or amazing experiences. Some on this list are iconic road races that draw an elite field; others are must-do running-culture experiences. Many, however, offer both. Click here: 10 Bucket List 10Ks in the U.S.

Falmouth Road Race Aug. 20, Falmouth, Mass. This point-to-point 7-miler from the town of Woods Hole to the coastal town of Falmouth is one of the most prestigious races in New England’s rich running scene. It started with 100 people in 1973 but has grown to more than 12,000 annually since then.

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Photo: courtesy falmouth road race

By Adam Elder

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Running & Racing Guide 2017


Great Alhoa Run Feb. 20, Honolulu

Shamrock Run Portland March 19, Portland, Ore.

Carlsbad 5000 April 1–2, Carlsbad, Calif.

More than 24,000 people ran the 32nd edition of this 8-mile race in 2016. The point-to-point course starts downtown and winds along the Nimitz and Kamehameha highways to a big finish in Aloha Stadium. Plenty of bands, deejays and school cheerleaders along the way bring the Hawaiian Islands’ aloha spirit to this popular race.

Run since 1979, the Shamrock Run has grown to more than 30,000 runners who run through Portland’s downtown and along its waterfront. 5K, 8K and 15K distances are offered, with the race adding a half marathon as well in recent years.

“The world’s fastest 5K” returns for its 32nd year, and it’s the ideal place for a PR. This legendary race by the Pacific Ocean is unique in that the elite field is run separately, and draws an enormous crowd. If a 5K doesn’t get you excited, consider the All-Day 20K— running in four heats of 5K races within a few hours.

Gasparilla Distance Classic Feb. 25–26, Tampa, Fla. The15K is the star distance at this race that’s been going since the late ’70s on the Gulf Coast. Participants can also choose from a 5K, 8K and half marathon to shake out the winter cobwebs in Tampa’s warm Florida air.

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Marine Corps 17.75K March 25, Dumfries, Va. Offering guaranteed access to the famed Marine Corps Marathon in the fall, this spring race draws a crowd and offers a unique distance (commemorating the year the Corps was founded). It works out to about 11 miles, for those calculating. Located near Quantico, the course takes place over rolling hills and among a forested backdrop.

Shamrock Shuffle 8K April 2, Chicago With its large Irish population, Chicago loves St. Patrick’s Day. Although the date of this race falls two weeks after that green-beer holiday, there will be lots of green and some crazy costumes can be seen along this 8K course that weaves through downtown and starts and finishes at Grant Park.

photo: courtesy shamrock run portland

Shamrock Run Portland

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2017 Running & Racing Guide


Click here: Why the Bolder Boulder should be on your list

photos: courtesy bay to breakers; bolder boulder

Bay to Breakers

Bolder Boulder

B.A.A. 5k April 15, Boston

Capitol Hill Classic May 14, Washington, D.C.

Bay to Breakers May 21, San Francisco

For those who want to race in Boston—and do it fast—the BAA 5K is a great race that takes place during marathon weekend. Runners pass the Boston Marathon finish line, along with Newbury street and the Public Garden. It starts and finishes in historic Boston Common.

This springtime 10K exclusively on Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Hill takes runners near the Capitol building, then around RFK Stadium and Lincoln Park. There’s even a 3K and a kids’ run available— appropriate, since the race generously benefits D.C. public schools.

Crescent City Classic April 15, New Orleans

Navy Bay Bridge Run mid-May, San Diego

Running costumes don’t get much better than the ones at this classic 12K that starts near the Embarcadero and ends at the Pacific, on the other side of the peninsula. For something different, run as a group tethered together in the Centipede Challenge. Or run naked, as many people still do every year while carrying on a tradition started in the 1960s.

Run 6.2 miles through the Big Easy with more than 20,000 other runners in an iconic race that was first run in 1979. The course takes in plenty of New Orleans sights, starting downtown, then going past the Superdome, through the French Quarter and finishing in City Park.

More than 10,000 runners take the rare chance to run across San Diego’s Coronado Bay Bridge on foot, a 2.1-mile bridge that stretches 200 feet above San Diego Bay. The views alone—of downtown, Coronado Island, shipyards and the Pacific Ocean—make this 4-miler a unique and popular race.

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Bolder Boulder May 29, Boulder, Colo. The first edition of this iconic 10K started way back in 1979. Always held on Memorial Day, the finish ends at Folsom Field football stadium with a patriotic display.

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Running & Racing Guide 2017


Keep Austin Weird 5K June 24, Austin, Texas

Peach Tree Road Race July 4, Atlanta

Boilermaker 15K July 9, Utica, N.Y.

Lots of silly, strange and absurd costumes can be found along this course, part of a celebration recognizing Texas’s capital city’s most famous tagline. Known as “The Slowest 5K on the Planet,” this run features 15 Fun Stops along the course. It’s definietly anything but normal.

This annual gem is the largest 10K in the world. With 60,000 runners and thousands of spectators along the course on the Fourth of July, it’s become an American bucket-list race. Enduring the heat and humidity of the South in the summer is worth it for this iconic 10K.

15Ks don’t often come more challenging than this long-running race in update New York. The hilly, point-to-point course is tough, but worth it: The prize purse at this nearly 40-year-old race is sizeable. More than 17,000 runners take part every year for this race with a beautiful backdrop.

NYRR Retro 4-Miler June, New York City

Surf City Run 5K July 4, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Beat the Tide July 10, Plymouth, Mass.

Put on the short shorts, headbands, tube socks and throwback shoes for this fun event. Or throw on your best Run DMC costume—if it’s retro and you can run in it, it’ll work. Just like races did way back before chip timing, timers shout out finishing times as runners cross the finish line.

Huntington Beach’s annual Fourth of July run takes racers past the beaches in this quintessential SoCal town that calls itself “Surf City USA.” Enjoy the views— and don’t miss the patriotic parade, which follows the race at 10 a.m.

This event is only four years old, but its innovative challenge—run fast enough to avoid getting wet by the incoming tide over a 5K or 5 mile distance—is plenty of fun, and capped off at the end with an evening clam bake.

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photo: paul kim/atlanta track club

Peach Tree Road Race

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2017 Running & Racing Guide


Click here: 25 iconic American road races

photo: kevin morris/td beach to beacon

Beach to Beacon

Beach to Beacon Aug. 5, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Lake Union 10K Aug. 13, Seattle

Army ten miler Oct. 8, Arlington, Va.

One of the Northeast’s most respected road races, Beach to Beacon draws a world-class elite field every year. The point-to-point 10K was started by legendary Olympian Joan Benoit Samuelson and takes runners around picturesque New England coastal scenery.

This 10K in the heart of the Emerald City circumnavigates one of Seattle’s central lakes that ties many of its neighborhoods together. Obviously, the views of downtown, the Space Needle, Gas Works Park, seaplanes and all the water traffic are amazing, and the Northwest’s summer weather can’t be beat.

This race offers a great glimpse at some can’t-miss D.C. landmarks. Starting near the Pentagon, runners cross the Arlington Memorial bridge into the District and run along the National Mall, taking in some of America’s most iconic memorials and buildings. The 33-year-old race gives out a finisher coin to all participants.

Run Internacional 10K Aug. 5, El Paso, Texas

Twin Cities 10 Mile Oct. 1, Minneapolis-St. Paul

This is one of the few races requiring runners to carry a passport—this run starts in El Paso and crosses the U.S.-Mexico border into Juarez. This run takes in historic sites and promotes a spirit of togetherness, with planty of American and Mexican flags in sight.

The Upper Midwest’s hardy running culture makes this fall 10-miler a can’t-miss, and the race is literally run from one Twin City to the other. This fast, point-to-point course starts in Minneapolis and finishes in St. Paul, near the Minnesota state capitol building.

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Manchester Road Race Nov. 23, Manchester, Conn. A New England Thanksgiving tradition, this 81st annual race often draws a top field for the 4.746mile run. The 15,000-person race also draws a lot of Thanksgiving-themed costumes.

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Click here: Master the mile with this training plan


Whether you’re a mile specialist chasing an elusive benchmark, trying to best your long-ago times or you just like a short, fast effort, mile races present a rare and fun opportunity to go all-out against a big crowd on a closed street. Here are some of the best mile races in the U.S. BY ADAM ELDER

GRAND BLUE MILE April 25, Des Moines, Iowa

STATE STREET MILE June 4, Santa Barbara, Calif.

PEARL STREET MILE Aug. 9, Boulder, Colo.

Taking place just ahead of the famed Drake Relays track and field meet, this flat race in the heartland takes two left-hand turns before a straightaway finish. It’s a fast race, having been won in the past by some of the fastest humans: like 2016 Olympic 1500-meter gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz Jr.

This straight shot race runs pleasantly, gradually downhill down Santa Barbara’s scenic State Street downtown, and tends to draw a handful of sub-4 runners each year. Even though it takes place in early summer, the coastal climate tends to stay cool and provide ideal race conditions.

This race is practically in the backyard of scores of elite runners who call Boulder home either part-time or year-round. Winding through the city’s famed Pearl Street area, this late-summer run draws a fast field—which includes the rest of the city’s famously fit and sporty population.

MEDTRONIC TC 1 MILE May 11, Minneapolis


FIFTH AVENUE MILE Sept. 2, New York City

Run in the heart of Minneapolis near Gold Medal Park, this is a fast mile and often doubles as the USATF 1-mile road championship—which attracts the best mile road racers in the country among the 2,500 total participants. The point-to-point race travels through a lively part of downtown before finishing at the Hennepin Avenue Theater District.

Billed as St. Louis’ fastest mile, the downhill Macklind Mile welcomes more than 1,400 runners to Macklind Avenue every June. This family-friendly event has a wave for all abilities. Walkers, strollers and even pets are welcome in the recreational wave. Then competitive and elite racers head out before the big finale: the Kids Quarter Mile Dash.

This 20-block race southward alongside Central Park on the Upper East Side draws 6,000 runners for prime, late-summer conditions in the big city. It’s one of the few road miles that gets the TV treatment on ESPN, due to its elite field. The course is straight as an arrow, yet those fast 5,280 feet feature a sneaky mix of flatness, uphill and downhill.

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Ambition Refueled: A Working Forward Story


Carol stopped running for 13 years. Now, running has transformed her life.


hen Carol Chau signed up for her first race, she wasn’t anticipating much to come from it – a medal, she assumed, and perhaps a bit of weight loss. She certainly didn’t expect running to transform her life. As a newly-hired manager in San Jose, Carol dedicated all of her time to her clients and career. She traveled often for her job, her days filled with meetings and networking. For years, she insisted she didn’t have time to run. Besides, she wasn’t the running type, anyway – she had been a casual runner in her youth, but that was 13 years ago. As an adult, her knees ached and her breath was labored. But in 2013, that all changed with one simple declaration. What got me back into running was my sister Helen. Helen had cancer, and it was a surprise for all of us.” Helen underwent a full recovery, and began focusing on her health. “My sister told me she was running a 10K in Hong Kong,” recalls Carol, “and that sparked my interest. I remember saying, ‘Someday, I would like to be able do that.’” Carol set a goal to make “someday” a reality. First, she saw her doctor to address the knee pain that had kept her from exercising. After that, she found a way to work a training plan into her busy schedule. Finally, she entered a race.

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At the finish line of that first race, Carol gleefully sent a selfie to her sister in Hong Kong. They immediately began planning to race a 10K together. A third sister decided to join them as well, and Carol enjoyed their daily group chat of workout summaries, training advice, and selfies at races. An ocean separated her family, but a love of running bridged the gap. Since that fateful phone call with her sister, Carol has run dozens of races. Her knee pain is gone, she is in the best physical shape of her life, and Carol has even inspired her co-workers to take up running and find time for wellness. Today, Carol will tell you she still doesn’t have the time to run – she makes the time to run. “Running has certainly changed how I organize my schedule. When I run, I don’t check my emails. Yet somehow, I am able to accomplish more than just sitting in my office doing my job every day.” Carol’s ambition to be a runner has improved all areas of her life. The processes of working forward – establishing a goal, coming up with a plan, and finding the right resources – have helped her succeed in running and beyond. “I want to be in the best physical and mental health I can be. Running helps with my selfconfidence, stamina and endurance, which makes me better at my job and my life.”

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Running & Racing Guide 2017

Trail Running Races

The big appeal of trail running is the amazing terrain and the stunning views. Sure, the challenge, social scene, personalities and unique bits of schwag are all great, too. But courses that show off raw, natural beauty only accessible by trails is what’s most memorable. Here’s a look at some of the country’s best off-road races. By Lisa Jhung

Click here: North America’s most grueling trail running races

Based out of the Ritz Carlton on gorgeous Kapalua Beach on Maui’s west shore, this one-day race festival with a 10K, 5K, 2.5K and a “Keiki K” for the little ones climbs to 700 feet with views of nearby islands Molokai and Lanai. The combination of a sandy beach, ocean and island views, and running through Hawaiian forest trails is hard to beat.

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Xterra Kapalua Trail Runs Oct. 21, Oahu, Hawaii

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2017 Running & Racing Guide


Gorge Waterfalls 50K/100K

Orcas Island 25K Jan. 28, Orcas Island, Wash.

Gorge Waterfalls 50K/100K March 25 or April 8, Columbia River Gorge, Ore.

Sehgahunda Trail Marathon May 27, Mount Morris, N.Y.

This 25K course takes runners around gorgeously green Orcas Island, one of the San Juan Islands in the Puget Sound off the coast of Washington State. Mount Constitution, at 2,410 feet, stands between you and the finish line (but hands you epic views with the climb).

There are other scenic races in the state of Oregon, delivering on dense forests, soft trails, moss, ferns and more. But these races—both the 50K and the 100K—serve up the added bonus of passing by numerous waterfalls to offer a truly unique experience. The route skirts the base of the Cascade Mountains above the mighty Columbia River.

If your idea of beauty lies in focusing your attention on the gnarly, rooty, rocky trail before your eyes and passing over numerous gullies, then this race in Upstate New York is your ticket. The course runs through the Genesee River Valley (known as the “Grand Canyon of the East”) in Lechworth State Park, old stomping ground of the Seneca People. Not sure you can handle the full marathon? Consider running it as a relay with some of your running buddies.

Photo: Glen Tachiyama

Catalina Island Marathon March 11, Catalina Island, Calif. Now it its 40th year, this is the oldest trail marathon in California. Similar to the Catalina Eco Marathon held in November (and organized by the same race group), this race sends runners on the rugged dirt fireroads and trails of Santa Catalina Island, 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. The races—a marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K and kids’ run—climb up in the hills of the island, providing 360-degree views of the surrounding Pacific.

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XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Runs May 21, Pelham, Ala. Pristine singletrack nestled within Oak Mountain State Park near Birmingham welcomes runners to this trail running race festival, with three distances to choose from—.20K, 10K or 5K. The course meanders along a lakeshore and dips into densely wooded forest.

Double Dipsea June 17, Mill Valley, Calif. The Double Dipsea doubling the scenery of the legendary Dipsea, along with the distance. The 14.1mile course climbs and descends through dense forests lined with firs, and pines, and delivers on views of the Pacific Ocean, if you can see straight after a couple monster climbs. The Double course hits the beach and heads back up.

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Running & Racing Guide 2017

TRAIL RACES Click here: More photos from The Rut trail races

Crow Pass Crossing July 22, Girdwood, Alaska

Tahqua Trail Run Aug. 5, Paradise, Mich.

Breck Crest Aug. 26, Breckenridge, Colo.

Run amid the Alaska wild in late July, this race is takes place on the rugged Crow Pass National Historic Trail in Chugach State Park, north of Alyeska and southeast of Anchorage. This challenging 22.5-mile race offers up a tour of the Eagle Glacier, forging across the Eagle River partway through and ends at the Eagle River Nature Center.

Run along the Tahquamenon River to the famed North Country Trail and past the lower Tahquamenon Falls before finishing near the Upper Falls in the 25K. The 10K starts at the Lower Falls and finishes near the Upper Falls (it’s a one-way course). Both routes pass through dense old-growth forests.

Summit County, Colorado serves up some impressive high-mountain trails and views of surrounding peaks and valleys, and Breck Crest captures all of it. The Marathon stays high for miles, while the Half climbs and descends—but not before a huge dose of Rocky Mountain high.

Ragnar Trail Appalachians Aug. 11–12, Bruceton Mills, W.V.

The Rut Sept. 1–3, Big Sky Resort, Mont.

This relay-format race pits teams of eight or four against each other, all based out of a camp home base at Big Bear Lake to refuel and hang out by a communal bonfire, with music and all. Runners take turns of 14.6 or 29.2 miles hitting soft and pristine trail loops through dense forests in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.

This three-day mountain running event isn’t just another a goofy fun run. It’s part of the Skyrunner World and USA competition series—the terrain is super challenging. It includes a 50K, 12K and a Vertical Kilometer amid big mountains and big skies. But the race maintains a sense of humor too, advising spectators that “an orange camo vest and nothing else” is acceptable on-course attire.

Jupiter Peak Steeplechase July 29, Park City, Utah Park City in the summer—bright sun shining on deep green trees, breezes making the aspens flitter. The massive climb and descent (3,000 feet) of this 16-mile race means a hearty dose of pain, but it also means massive views of the Wasatch mountains. Park City’s Mid Mountain Marathon is held in September and also ridiculously scenic.

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Photo: Ian Corless

The Rut

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Click here: America’s Most Scenic Trail Running Races


EMERALD BAY TRAIL RUN Sept. 17, Lake Tahoe, Calif.


MOUNTAIN MASOCHIST Nov. 4, Lynchburg, Va.

There’s an increasing number of great trail running races in the Tahoe area, but this 7.5-mile one takes the cake for beauty with its point-to-point course. The trail undulates alongside crystal blue Lake Tahoe and by breathtaking Emerald Bay before finishing on the sandy shore.

It’s hard to beat fall leaves in Vermont. The mid-October timing of this marathon and half delivers on beauty in spades, and the gorgeous trails of the Green Mountains both challenge runners and make the miles fly by. Add to all that the hub of the race: the Trapp Lodge (yes, of the family Von Trapp), and this race is a winner.

This hearty 50-miler sends runners over hill and dale, and hill again throughout rugged and beautiful trails between Lynchburg and Montebello, Virginia. Trails wind through the George Washington National Forest in the Appalachian Mountains, serving up a mix of dense forest terrain and epic eastern mountain views.


SURFING MADONNA RUN Nov. 5, Encinitas, Calif.


GOLDEN LEAF HALF MARATHON Sept. 23, Aspen, Colo. A one-way course in the Colorado high country during prime leaf-peeping season? It’s enough to keep the Golden Leaf Half Marathon on our list two-years running. This past year’s race was cancelled due to snow and mud, so racers will be champing at the bit more than usual this year.

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The headliner—the marathon—here serves as the USATF Trail Marathon National Championships, but it’s the rugged and adventurous course that’s the star. Traversing Moab, Utah’s desert landscape, with slick rock, dusty washes, and all that comes with the wild of the desert, the races don’t disappoint.

Yes, a sandy beach counts as a trail. This event, which includes a 10-miler, a 10K and a 5K, is run entirely on the sand in Encinitas, north of San Diego. November weather is like it is most days in the San Diego area: usually in the 70s and sunny. The race’s start time changes each year to coincide with low tide for plenty of flat, hard, sand-running surface.

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Running & Racing Guide 2017

ULTRARunning 101

Move up to Ultras

Ultra-endurance athlete Meredith Edwards offers tips on how you can go beyond the marathon this year. By Lisa Jhung

Click here: 16 Weeks to Your First 50K Race

1. Start slow. “Run 50Ks,” says Edwards, who laments that too many people pick a 50-miler, 100K or even a 100-miler for their first foray into ultrarunning. Take time to build a base over 6 to 8 months, focusing on gradually increasing your weekly long runs runs to 3 to 6 hours in length and on trails, if possible. “I think it’s smart to start slow,” she says, “to build a solid foundation.”

2. Learn to recover. “If you can’t recover just as hard as you put the effort in, you’re screwed,” says Edwards, who explains the importance of running fast on the days you need to run fast, and on the days that you’re

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just out putting in mileage, to run a relaxed effort. Edwards says she often runs with heart rate as her gauge, and warns that runners who think they need to be running fast all the time might see success for a month, but often burn out.

3. Get Stronger. Edwards, who’s proud to say she can deadlift twice her bodyweight and do five conventional weighted pull-ups (with 15 pounds in tow), is a huge proponent of strength training—and full-body movements in particular. The most important thing is building functional strength—by strengthening the muscle groups related to your running motion. “My strength coach always says, ‘Strength equals speed over time.’ You need to be strong to run fast over distance.” Edwards credits her strength training for helping her stay injury-free.

4. Eat. A lot. Edward’s regular diet is what she calls “as clean as possible,” in other words, free of processed foods. The trend is to reduce carbs and focus more on protein and fat, but she recommends doing what works for you. “When I want bread, I’ll buy a baguette. I don’t limit what I eat.” During

ultras, she relies on gels, chews, waffles and soup. And she explains how she and ultrarunner friend Jim Walmsley joke that “ultrarunning is an eating contest. I eat every 30 minutes during a race.” As an added tip, train with whatever fuel you’re going to race with, and if your system doesn’t agree with it, change things up and try again.

5. Break up the week. Edwards believes in a structured week . She typically fits a track workout, two weight training workouts, two high-mileage days and some recovery runs all into a typical week of training during ultrarunning season. On Mondays, when she does up to 12 miles of speed work on the track, she hits the gym afterward (so the running workout was the emphasis of her week). She returns to the gym on Wednesdays, sometimes before a running effort, like hill repeats on trail. Tuesdays and Thursdays are recovery runs. Fridays and Saturdays are long runs (back-to-back high mileage). Sundays are days off. The formula has worked for her. “I’m at a point where I’m making gains, and not lifting to repair injuries,” she says. “I’m the strongest I’ve ever been, and the fastest I’ve ever been. It’s all kind of come together.”

Photo: The Wolpertinger

Ultrarunner/ski mountaineer Meredith Edwards knows a thing or two about going long distances in the mountains. The 32-yearold from Wilson, Wyo., finished second at the 2016 TDS, a 119-kilometer trail race through the heart of the Alps in parts of Italy, Switzerland and France. In 2015, she finished eighth in the 101K CCC race held on similar trails. This year she has her sights set on the 170K Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc on Sept. 1-2. Here are Edwards’ tips on how to successfully jump into ultrarunning.

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From pre -race meals, to post-race ice bags and VIP area access, the Westin VIP Marathon Package helps you get to the start line stress free. We also offer late checkout so you can relax after your big day. Book a VIP Marathon Package at

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Running & Racing Guide 2017

Why You Should plan a ‘Runcation’ By Emily Polachek

Planning a “runcation” is like any other vacation, except the trip’s main attraction is a race, a running camp or other running-related event. Instead of packing the usual travel essentials, you’ll be stuffing your suitcase with running clothes and shoes, Body Glide, and all the chews, bars and liquids (within TSA regulations) you can possibly fit. But what makes a runcation more exciting than a regular trip is the ability to view a new place from an entirely different perspective than if you weren’t traveling there to run. Running frees you from the tourist traps and allows you to explore the secret nooks and crannies of a city or discover an outdoor wonder. It also makes you feel better after a trip. Ever come back home feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation? A runcation, especially one centered around a running camp, retreat or race, can actually make you feel more rejuvenated, motivated and fit than before you left. And because that’s what a vacation should be about—tending to both your physical and mental health and wellness—we’ve put together this guide of running camps and race destinations (mostly outside of the U.S.) to mark down on your 2017 calendar, and inspire your best (and healthiest!) running adventure yet.

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5 Quick Travel Tips for Runners 1. Pack light. The best part of running apparel these days is that everything is lightweight and made of quick-drying fabrics. So no need to bring every pair of running shorts and tees you own—a pair of shorts, a couple tops and a light weatherproof jacket can last you an entire week. 2. Bring a large plastic bag. This will come in handy for muddy or wet runs, and sweaty clothing you need to pack away right after use. 3. Carry on running clothes and shoes. If you’re flying, pack a running outfit, shoes and other essentials, like meds, in your carry-on. If your checked bag doesn’t arrive with your or gets lost, at least you have what you need to run. 4. Stand and walk around the airport as much as possible. You’ll be doing plenty of sitting on the plane. Plus, it sets an active tone for the rest of the trip. 5. Make running a part of your itinerary. If you’re attending a running camp, then this is a no-brainer. But if you’re going for a race or just want to incorporate running into the trip, then you’ll be held more accountable when you’ve made it part of your schedule, just like at home.

PHoto: Courtesy of Great Ocean Running Festival

You’ve probably had some memorable runs on just about every vacation you’ve ever been on, but have you ever planned a vacation almost solely around running?

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Running & Racing Guide 2017

Running Camps

If you’re in a running rut or looking to rediscover yourself through running or just want a little “me time,” the following running camps and retreats will help you find what you’re looking for.

Click here: Adult running camps you should check out

REI Outessa Summit

Mammoth Running Escape August, Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

Adult runners of all levels can experience running in an African safari type of environment without having to leave the country. This five-day retreat is hosted at the White Oak Conservation Center in Florida, a 700-acre land preservation home to some of Africa’s most endangered species. Runners will have access to 25 miles of the center’s dirt roads and receive guidance from Coach Roy Benson, whose program develops personalized training plans for an upcoming goal race using his Effort Based Training method. Also, campers go on a group wildlife tour of the grounds.

Three-time Olympian Deena Kastor will be leading this running camp, but the program is less about hardcore training and running fast, and more about overall running wellness. Hence, the camp is a mix between sport, relaxation and fun that includes non-running activities like a cooking class led by Kastor, delicious post-run brunches, a sunset uphill race, and an insightful discussion about adding positivity to your life. The program is all-inclusive and meant for all levels of runners—and more importantly, reflects what Kastor believes to be the key ingredients to running success.

Wilder Running & Writing Retreats May 26–29 (women only), Aug. 25–28 (men and women), Sisters, Ore.

Hut Run Hut July/August, Aspen, Colo.

This three-day retreat organized by professional runner and author Lauren Fleshman is designed to plow through writer’s block, overcome running ruts and open runner-writer’s eyes to how both of their passions can overlap and influence each other. Author and sociologist Marianne Elliott offers her expertise in writing, while former professional runner and entrepreneur Lauren Fleshman takes attendees through carefully planned runs designed to both challenge and inspire your writing. In order to attend, each attendee is selected based on an extensive application process, matching personalities together for small group interaction.

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This six-day run covers 100 miles from Aspen to Vail, Colo., traversing a portion of the Rockies while resting at five of the secluded 10th Mountain Division Hut Association structures, remotely nestled at 11,000 feet. The intimate adventure—only 11 spots are available, plus five running guides—is open to “anybody that is up for the challenge,” according to their site. But be aware that this run requires 10 to 25 miles of running each day at elevations between 9,000 to 13,000 feet. Otherwise, look forward to a warm rustic hut and gourmet high-mountain dinners (like grilled lamb chops and lemony kale salad) every night for a week after a long yet satisfying day of running.

REI Outessa Summit July (Northern California), August (Pacific Northwest), September (Northeast) Although this three-day women’s-only outdoor summit isn’t strictly a running camp—with opportunities to participate in beginner to advanced climbing, hiking, camping, mountain biking, yoga, kayaking, and gourmet campfire cooking activities too—it does include plenty of trail running within a stunning alpine setting. From quick sunrise mountain runs to night runs through forested paths as well as opportunities to run with professional trail runners like Stevie Kremer and Magdalena Lewy-Boulet on every outing, this camp is perfect for the wellrounded wild woman seeking adventure.

Running With the Bruces July/August, Flagstaff, Ariz. Husband and wife professional running duo Stephanie and Ben Bruce lead this four-day Training Camp in their home city of Flagstaff. According to the camp description on the Bruces’ website, “The camp has no speed limits and is open to all levels of ability.” Nonetheless, expect drills and stride sessions, and a focus on improving form early on in the camp that aims to make you a more efficient runner than before. Trainees will also have access to the Bruces’ masseuse and chiropractor for bodywork and assessment, along with the endless dirt trails among the aspens and pine trees of this quaint mountain town.

Photo: Alice Baker

Nike Adult Runners Retreat Feb. 22–26, Yulee, Fla.

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TRAVEL Click here: Global running adventures around the world

2017 Running & Racing Guide


Destination Races

Going on a trip? Why not do a race, too, in one of these six racing destinations that’ll rouse your inner wanderlust.

Kyoto Marathon

Kyoto Marathon Feb. 19, Kyoto, Japan In Japan, the Tokyo Marathon receives most of the international spotlight. However, the Kyoto Marathon reveals Japan’s more culturally traditional side. The point-to-point course passes by seven temples and historical sites built centuries ago, finishing near Heian-Jingu Shrine. It also provides scenic views of the five surrounding mountains, and winds through the Kyoto Botanical Gardens, providing a more natural and peaceful contrast to the towering buildings and flashing lights of Tokyo

Photo: Courtesy of Kyoto Marathon

The Great Wall Marathon May 21, Tianjin, China Put this once-in-a-lifetime race on your bucket list, but train as if you’re going to run an ultra-distance mountain race. While it’s “only” a 26.2-mile marathon, it has a ridiculous amount of vertical gain and drop on steep staircases as the Great Wall of China winds through the Chinese countryside.

Great Ocean Running Festival May 20–21, Victoria, Australia Formerly known as the Great Ocean Road Marathon, this stunning race along Australia’s southernmost coastline has expanded to several races from 1.5K to 60K. Grab a mate and enjoy panoramic views of the ocean in any of the distances.

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Rio Maratona June 18, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil This race will give you the chance to see Rio de Janeiro you saw on Olympic broadcasts last summer. The course passes by the sandy shores of Ipanema and Copacabana and 2016 Olympic venues, with lively crowds that give this race a party atmosphere. Views of the impressive and towering Christ the Redeemer statue welcome runners at the finish, where the real party begins.

Islandsbanki Reykjavik Marathon Aug. 19, Reykjavik, Iceland Travelers have discovered the stunning beauty of Iceland’s snow-covered mountains, glaciers and other natural features. Luckily for runners, Iceland also has a marathon in the country’s small but captivating capital. After the race, celebrate with locals at Culture Night, a festival with live music, food and beer and a fireworks show.

Kauai Marathon Sept. 3, Kauai, Hawaii Starting from Poipu, the course makes its way out to the coastline where picturesque beaches and rugged volcanic peaks come into view before heading into the island’s lush tropical forests. The highlight comes in last few miles on the climb to the finish at Kukui’ula Resort.

Cape Town Marathon Sept. 17, Cape Town, South Africa The breathtaking course of this race starts in Green Point Urban Park near the sea and takes runners along Cape Town Harbor, through the city, along the tree-lined streets of the outlying neighborhoods below Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain, and past iconic landmarks in the city center before finishing in Cape Town Stadium.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal Marathon Sept. 23-24, Montreal, Canada Rock out on the streets of Quebec’s largest city in one of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series international races. (Other race distances included a 1K, 5K, 10K and half marathon.) Running through the streets, you’ll experience neighborhoods with cobblestoned, French colonial influences that’ll mentally place you in Europe, and not just across the border.

Berlin Marathon Sept. 24, Berlin, Germany This flat and fast course has been the site of nine world records over the past 18 years. The course winds through the Berlin metropolis and starts and finishes near Brandenburg Gate, the city’s iconic 18th century neoclassical triumphal arch.

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Running & Racing Guide 2017

wacky, weird and wild

You ran a holiday 10K while sporting a Santa hat? Wild stuff, but it might take a little more than that to make an impression at this collection of unusual events. From a humans-vs.-equestrians adventure in the Arizona high country to high times at the 420-themed pot-awareness games, these contests offer serious, and not-so-serious, running fun. Now get on out there, you crazy kids.

Man Against Horse Oct. 7, Prescott, Ariz.

Click here: Watch a video of pack burro racing in Colorado

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Can you outrun a horse? This is your chance to find out. This longstanding event pits horses and their mounts against runners on looped courses of 50, 25 and 12 miles. Most of the course is on mountainous trails and back roads through the tall pines of Mingus Mountain, with racers reaching a highpoint of 7,600 feet.

Photo: john kordish/az cowgirl photography

By Mark Eller

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Running & Racing Guide 2017


Insane Inflatable 5K

Murder Mystery 5K Jan. 7, San Diego March 18, San Francisco Ever do one of those murder mystery dinners? In this unique event in downtown San Diego, you’ll have to solve a mystery as you navigate 3 to 4 miles around the crime scene gathering clues. This team event involves solving riddles and collecting information around the route, and dares must be accomplished if you’re unable to decode a riddle.

Insane Inflatable 5K March 4, Sarasota, Fla. (plus 120 locations nationwide) Get more bounce to the ounce with these 5K runs featuring numerous inflatable obstacles. The emphasis is definitely on fun more than competition for these un-timed “races,” but with multiple climbs and sliding descents your heart will still be pumping.

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Burning Man 50K

420 Games April 1, Santa Monica, Calif. July 15, Denver Aug. 26, San Francisco The 420 Games promote the healthy and responsible use of cannabis. In 2016, events were held in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington— something must have worked because pot-friendly legislation at the state level is on the rise. The festivities include a 4.2-mile run course, as well as educational speeches and music.

Bronx Zoo Run for the Wild April 29, New York City In the heart of New York City’s concrete jungle, the Bronx Zoo hosts this annual fundraiser event for the Wildlife Conservation Society. The popular celebration also features a silent disco, face painting, an artificial rock climbing wall and a beer garden.

Legacy Health Starlight Run June 3, Portland, Ore. There’s a great satification to running for a cause and having fun doing it. This Portland 5K combines a small-town feel with a big-time emphasis on costumes and fun. The charitable beneficiary, Playworks, is a nonprofit that reaches kids throughout the region and makes a perfect match for this family-friendly event.

Burning Man 50K Aug. 28, Black Rock City, Nev. If the thought of running an ultra in the desert in the middle of a world-famous festival while occasionally being chased by partiers waving bottles of whisky seems appealing, then this is your race. The event is free but you will need to purchase a ticket to Burning Man.

Photos: courtesy insane inflatable 5k; chris goodman/bmorg


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2017 Running & Racing Guide


Click here: More photos from the Red Bull 400

Photos: beat the blerch; Red Bull Media House

Beat the Blerch

Red Bull 400

Beat the Blerch Sept. 16–17, Carnation, Wash.

Denver Gorilla Run Oct. 23, Denver

SkyRise Chicago Nov. 5, Chicago

Inspired by a comic about running, Beat The Blerch features 10K, half- and full-marathon distances. The Snoqualmie Valley trail is a great running venue, and the races feature plenty of unusual features, such as aid stations that serve cake and multiple couches placed along the course.

Now it its 14th year, this is a 5K race in which everybody dresses up in gorilla (or banana) costumes in a fun event that raises money for the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund. Don’t have a costume? Don’t worry, the race provides them for everyone and you get to keep it when it’s over. You can register as an individual, a team or a family and everyone is invited to the Silverback After Party.

Welcome to vertical running. In this event, you’ll sprint, jog or walk fast to the top of Willis Tower in the world’s highest indoor stair-climbing race. From the start line, you’re just 2,109 steps and 103 floors away from SkyDeck Chicago, which features amazing views of the city and panoramic views of up to four states on a clear day.

Red Bull 400 Sept. 27, Park City, Utah A 400-meter race is usually a full-on sprint … but not when it sends runners straight up a ski jump. There are other Red Bull 400s events, but this one, held in a facility where Olympic ski jumpers train, has the added distinction of being the highest, with the start line at 6,870 feet. It’s a near-vertical and flat-out grueling.

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Swim Run NC Oct. 29, Hanging Rock, N.C. New to the U.S. in 2016, swim and run racing includes teams of two (for safety and camaraderie) racing together and carrying all the gear they need for the duration of the event that includes a variety of segments in water and on land. Enjoy the magic and challenge of about 14 miles of running and 3k of swimming broken up into 11 runs and 9 swims, plus a lot of elevation gain for some added fun.

A Christmas Story 5K/10K Dec. 25, Cleveland A must-do for enthusiasts of the classic “A Christmas Story” movie, this charity race uses the featured Higbees Department Store building and a museum dedicated to the movie to demarcate the (roughly) 5K and 10K distances. Look for costumed “leg lamp” and bunny suits among the homages.

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Running & Racing Guide 2017



Built on the notion that everyone likes to play in the mud and maneuver through obstacles like they when did when they were kids, obstacle racing has exploded in recent years. Despite attrition of some smaller races and races series in recent years, the sport continues to grow and become more organized in the U.S. and around the world. Here’s a rundown of some of the best events in the U.S. in 2017. By John Byrne

Warrior Dash events are aimed at building fun and camaraderie while tackling 12 obstacles on a 5K course. Obstacles range from mud pits and cargo nets to a barbed-wire crawl and the “Warrior Roast” fire jump. There are more than 20 U.S. events planned from February through Octobers and each includes a post-race festival with a live deejay, sponsor giveaways, Maverick’s Grille, beer garden and numerous challenges (hot wings eating contest, best beard competition and a dance-off).

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Photo: Courtesy of warrior dash

Warrior Dash Multiple dates/locations

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2017 Running & Racing Guide


Click here: Obstacle racing tips for beginners

Click here: Photos of Spartan Race obstacles

Spartan Race Multiple dates/locations

Photo: Courtesy of Spartan Race

Spartan Race has established itself as the leading race series for competitive athletes and participants interested in timed events. With more than 50 Spartan Sprint, Super and Beast Races across the U.S. and Canada on the schedule in 2017, chances are there is an event (or several) in your region sometime this year. Sprint races are relatively short (TK TK), while Super (TK TK) and Beast (TK TK) events take longer. The 2017 Spartan U.S. Championship Series is a five-race series (Seattle, Salinas, Calif., Palmerton, Pa., Asheville, N.C., and Glen Jean, W.V.) between April and August that will be televised on NBC Sports. The Spartan Race World Championship returns to Squaw Valley Ski Resort in North Lake Tahoe, Calif., on Sept. 30, where the world’s top obstacle racers will compete in the World Championship Beast as well as a 26-mile Ultra Beast. Every Spartan Race in the U.S. also features a Spartan Kids Race for ages 4 to 14.

Tough Mudder Multiple dates/locations Tough Mudder has made its mark by creating challenges for all levels of participants for all levels of intensities. Its main events are the Tough Mudder Half (about 13 obstacles over a 5-mile course) and the standard Tough Mudder (20 obstacles on a 10–12-mile course). Toughest Mudder events are competitive, 8-hour through-the-night challenges that take teamwork, mental stamina and personal grit to extreme levels. Four Toughest Mudder

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races will be held in the U.S. (Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago) between March and August and will be featured on CBS Sports. The series’ premier challenge is the World’s Toughest Mudder, a 24-hour competitive challenge on a 5-mile course near Las Vegas in late October. That challenge is open to athletes of all abilities, but 25 miles must be completed to be eligible for prize money at the 2017 Toughest Mudder event. Every Tough Mudder event features a 1-mile kids’ race known as the Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder for youngsters ages 7 to 12.

Zombie Mud Run Multiple dates/locations Zombies are all the rage and these 5K obstacle runs entail competitors being chased by post-apocalyptic zombies. You can sign up as a human competitor or as a zombie. Humans run with a flag football belt that carry flags representing your brains, heart and entrails while zombies stationed along the course try to capture your flags. If you finish the race with one or more of the flags still attached, you’ll be a survivor. If the zombies capture all of your flags, well, you’re deemed to be infected with the “living dead virus” and, well, not a survivor.

Ultimate Challenge MudRun May 20, Columbia, S.C. This team-only race (no individual competitors, only two- and four-person teams) has a military training demeanor and honors U.S. Marines and other veterans. But, as the race organizers say, you shouldn’t be fooled by the name; this is no

Spartan Race

ordinary 5K with a couple of mud pits and a few cheesy obstacles. This is as real and rugged as it gets. Challenging hard-corps types since 1993, this is a full-on obstacle race with 36 military-style obstacles spread over a 10K course, and Marines are there to motivate competitors every step of the way to the finish line.

Camp Pendleton Mud Run June 10–11, Oceanside, Calif. One of the original mud runs that was a precursor to modern obstacle racing, the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Mud Run features 5K and 10K distances at Camp Pendleton. The 10K course is pitted as one of the most challenging mud obstacle races in the world (including features known as “combat town” and “slippery hill” and perhaps the muddiest finish line pit in the entire sport). The 5K course is a more toned down affair, but it still includes nine obstacles. A kids’ race with six obstacles and plenty of mud is also a big hit.

Muckfest MS July 15, Parker, Colo. The annual MuckFest MS south of Denver it is built for laughs and mud mayhem for all types of competitors, but the event is part of a serious mission to end multiple sclerosis. Competitors encounter about 15 obstacles in a challenging 5K course and then gather for more fun in the post-event MuckFestival. Teams run in the same wave so you can experience all the muddy shenanigans, epic spills and thrills together.

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New Year, Faster You! 9 Things You Can Do to Run Faster in 2017 Ke lly O’Ma ra

Maybe 2016 was a banner year; you set PRs in every race you ran. Maybe it was the opposite—a year you’d like to put behind you. Or maybe you’re just stuck in a rut and can’t seem to take your running to the next level. Whatever happened, now it’s time to evaluate what you did well and figure out what you can do better to run faster in 2017.

Click here: How to Become a Better Runner

1. Set a goal

2. Make a plan

3. Go short and fast

The first thing you should do in 2017 is set a goal for 2017. “Train for something out there on the horizon,” Wartenburg says. It doesn’t have to be a race, but it does need to be something that will get you out of bed in the morning and give you a reason to get faster. Maybe that’s running farther than you ever have or trying something you’ve never tried. “Sign up for an event that’s outside of your comfort zone,” says Magdalena Boulet, a 2008 U.S. Olympic marathoner and winner of the 2015 Western States 100. If you’re a little nervous, you’ll be a little more motivated, she says.

Having a goal without a plan is like hoping tomorrow you’ll wake up and suddenly be a sub-3-hour marathoner. Yet, that’s exactly what many of us do, running the same loop around our neighborhood a few times each week, with a tempo and long run here or there, but without any real structure. You can either look at your goal and plot backward with smaller goals, or you could follow and tweak a generic training plan, or you could simply join a training group with people who have similar goals. “It can also be helpful to hire a coach to help you reach your goals and keep you accountable,” Boulet says. Whatever your plan is, make 2017 the year you have one.

Include variability—different training stresses at different times. But, while people remember to do tempo runs, mile repeats, or even 800m track workouts, they often forget to actually run fast sprints. “People rarely run fast,” says Ben Rosario, coach for the Northern Arizona Elite training group. Add into your regular workout repertoire: 10 x 20 seconds really fast, then jog easy for 1–2 minutes in between each. Focus on form and turnover. “Picture yourself like you’re Usain Bolt,” Rosario says. Or, Boulet recommends twice each week finishing off an easy run with strides or short hill sprints. The bouts of speed will improve economy and help engage fast-twitch fibers, which can then be called on later.

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“Unfortunately, there are no magic bullets,” says Drew Wartenburg, head coach of the NorCal Distance Project elite training group. But there are some specific things you can do immediately.

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4. Warm up first

5. Add one more day of running

6. Change your shoes

In a perfect world, Rosario says, most recreational athletes would be running more frequently and more mileage. While there are lots of ways to improve, simply running more is often the most overlooked one. The caveat, of course, is that no one should increase their mileage too quickly, but there’s no reason regular runners can’t be running six days a week, he said—albeit slower or shorter than the professionals. That may not be realistic with your schedule, but Rosario recommends starting out by just adding one more day of running each week, however short the run is. Then go from there.

One thing you can easily do right now is start varying what shoes you wear for runs. “I always advise people to mix it up a bit, and try alternating between a couple different shoes depending on the run,” Boulet says. This can help prevent injury simply through variation. Plus, different shoes are good for different types of running. Trail shoes typically provide better traction and light racing shoes are best for fast running. “In the long run (pun intended) you actually don’t spend more money on shoes, since each pair will last longer if it’s not being run in every day,” Boulet says.

7. Run harder on your long runs

9. Sleep more

One of the regular workouts nearly every runner does is the long easy run. But that doesn’t mean every long run needs to be a slow slog. Many runners would benefit from occasionally mixing up that staple. “We’ve found a lot of success with spicing up that long run and making it harder,” Rosario says. One option to try in 2017 is to throw in surges throughout, such as making the first few minutes of each mile faster. Or, Roasrio likes to have his athletes finish many of their long runs with three fast miles. The key is for each mile to be faster than the one before, so you finish “and feel good about yourself,” he jokes. Plus, you get to practice pushing through fatigue like in a race situation.

After you’re done running, the ways to improve don’t stop. “Outside of running, better recovery and sleeping more are the number-one things,” Wartenburg says. “Sleep is probably better than doubling your mileage in terms of return on investment.” There’s a reason most professional athletes get close to 10 hours of sleep every night. That’s time your body needs to rebuild muscle fibers and repair cells, especially if you’re putting it through a lot. Resolve in 2017 to carve out time to sleep more—think of it as training time for your next marathon.

8. Take time off If we really want to get faster at running, we also have to stop running sometimes. After a half marathon, take a week off, and after a marathon, you should have two weeks off, Rosario says. Time off means zero running, just easy walking or swimming or biking. Many athletes get too scared they’ll get out of shape, but nearly all injuries, Rosario says, are the result of not recovering enough.

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One thing that can almost definitely be improved is what we’re doing before we even start running. “Warm up to run, don’t run to warm-up,” Wartenburg says. This is especially important if you just rolled out of bed or if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day. Warming up prevents injury and prepares us to run faster. What does that mean though? A good warm-up will include a few minutes of dynamic active stretching, some lateral movements and muscle activation. Wartenburg recommends finding a dynamic warm-up routine online that you like, such as the popular lunge matrix.

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I run up and down nonstop until I reach a treeless plateau. I open my arms, shut my eyes, and tilt my face to the sky, letting the rain wet my face as the wind tries to blow away the drops streaming down my cheeks. I take deep breaths and launch back into a run, jumping and climbing farther up, running faster and faster. There is no boundary, no threshold, nothing that can stop me. I am happy.

THIS IS LIFE FOR KILIAN JORNET, the world’s fastest trail runner. In his book Run or Die, Jornet runs with us around Lake Tahoe, across the Pyrenees, through the Western States 100 and Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, and up and down Mt. Kilimanjaro. Jornet tells us his secrets, what he thinks about when he thinks about running, and why, for him, life is a simple choice: Run or die. Available now in bookstores, running shops, and online. Read the first chapter free at WWW.VELOPRESS.COM.


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Special Advertising Section

Presented by GEICO Continues Successful Partnership with Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series America’s second-largest private passenger auto insurance company returns in 2017 as exclusive auto insurance partner

“You missed the first Boston Marathon. Don’t miss the first Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.” — Tim Murphy, creator of the 1998 San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon In the early 1990s, long-distance running was for the fast and few. It was male dominated, skinny men in short shorts, running on roadsides, tank tops soaked, shuffling, looking like they enjoyed the ordeal about as much as an IRS audit. Then Murphy, a cantankerous Irishman with a gift for marketing, dreamed up the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon: bands performing at every mile, cheerleaders, aid station costume contests and a big concert at the finish line. Today, the Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon, birthplace of the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series, is a running milestone. Come June 3–4, 2017, the race leaves its teenage years behind, turns 20 and its impact on the running community is unmistakable. Marathons and half marathons are no longer an exercise in drudgery. You might get blisters, but you’ll also get bling, courtesy of the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series’ hip medals. Boring? Not when you jog down the Las Vegas Strip at night. Or past the monuments

in Washington, D.C. Or the French Quarter in New Orleans. Today races have become fun, hip, destination-style events pioneered by the Rock ’n’ Roll series. Male dominated? That’s so last century. More than 60 percent of the participants at Rock ’n’ Roll events are female. The first Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon set a record for most entrants in a first-time marathon (nearly 20,000) and most finishers (15,771). Nearly 5,000 of the participants wore purple singlets. They were part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training program and raised nearly $15 million to fight cancer. Total money raised by Team In Training in the history of the Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon: more than $180 million. No race has raised more money for a charity. Twenty years running. That’s Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego. From now until race day on June 3–4, 2017, they’ll be celebrating milestones created by the event that changed the running industry.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series and GEICO will continue their partnership as the exclusive auto insurance partner for more than 21 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series events in the United States in 2017. “GEICO is delighted to continue our partnership with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series,” said Melissa Halicy, senior marketing manager at GEICO. “These destination races are a one-of-a-kind experience that bring people from all across the country together for a weekend full of events and activities. We look forward to joining participants across the country as Rock ‘n’ Roll celebrates 20 years running this year.” Through the partnership, GEICO will have a Military Mile at six select Rock ‘n’ Roll events, which further highlights its commitment to serving the military since 1936. The insurance brand will also have a new and larger footprint at the Health & Fitness Expo providing a more interactive experience for runners. GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 14 million private passenger customers and insures more than 22 million vehicles (auto & cycle). GEICO’s online service center helps policyholders take care of policy sales, policy changes and claims reporting, and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent. GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, boats, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available. For more information, go to 55

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Timeline Moments

The inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon takes place in San Diego, forever changing the sport of running.

We finish on the oceanfront at the first ever destination half marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach.

Josh Cox sets a 50K American record with a time of 2:47:17 in 2009. Two years later, he breaks his own record at the same race with a time of 2:43:45—just 7 seconds off the world record!

Since its inception in 2010, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon has carried a Halloween theme and is known as the world’s largest Halloween half marathon.

Hundreds of American runners fly across the Atlantic for the first international event in Madrid, Spain.



2009 & 2011








Football legend Roger Craig tackles his first marathon in San Diego, and has run 40 races since!

Lisa Hallett and 22 women who lost loved ones to war run their first race together at Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle for Wear Blue: Run to Remember—a mile-long on-course tribute to military members who have died during service.

In order to see Las Vegas in its neon glory, we move the race to the night and the experience of running the Las Vegas #StripatNight was born.

After being diagnosed with ALS, former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason is pushed in a customized wheelchair for 13.1 miles by his brother-in-law.

6,000 participants take to the start line of the inaugural Country Music Marathon. Now close to 35,000 participate in this Nashville race every April.


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Olympic superstar Mo Farah wins the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon. His post-race interview goes viral.

Olympic marathoner Meb Keflezighi is named our Vice President of Running.

At Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego, 92-year-old cancer survivor Harriette Thompson inspires us all as the oldest woman to finish a marathon.

“The most powerful mile in running” debuts in San Diego with the Wear Blue Mile, a tribute to military members who have died during service, displaying American Flags and portraits of the fallen soldiers for one mile.

Al Hernandez crosses the finish line in San Jose, completing his 100th race of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.







Local runner Chris Mocko limbos under the finish line tape to claim his second straight Rock ‘n’ Roll San Francisco title.





Olympian Shalane Flanagan leads two days of running at the first ever Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Festival in Chicago.

The Space Needle is transformed into the world’s largest starter’s pistol with a round of thunderous comets being launched from its 200-foot platform to begin the race.

A record 170 couples participate in the Run Through Wedding, either getting married or renewing their vows at mile 3 of the Las Vegas marathon & ½ marathon.

At 84, Beth Petersen will be one of our 81 Rock ’n’ Roll Legacy participants who will have run all 20 years in San Diego. In total, she has finished 55 marathons to date, despite her battles with emphysema, asthma and chronic bronchitis.


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Faces in the Crowd As the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series celebrates 20 years of running in 2017, 81 individuals will be taking part in the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon on June 4 for the 20th consecutive year. The following people are some of the amazing runners who have been rocking and rolling through the streets of America’s Finest City all this time.

ey Robert KeaSarn n Diego er,

Legacy Runn

Sandi Askew

Legacy Runner, San Die


/ / Robert Kearney had run every Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon. But his streak seemed destined to end at 16. Months before the 17th edition of the race, a doctor diagnosed the pain in Kearney’s hands and feet as arthritis. “You’re getting old,” the doctor told Kearney, then 52 years old. “There’s nothing you can do.” Kearney sulked, quit running and gained 20 pounds. “I felt sorry for myself,” he said. Days before the 2014 Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon and Half Marathon, Kearney headed to the race expo at the downtown convention center with his wife, who had decided to run her first half marathon. And there, at the expo, was a banner listing the names of the legacy runners, the men and women who had run the race’s previous 16 marathons. He has a picture of himself pointing to his name on the banner that day. “I was sad,” he said, recalling the moment. “Ashamed and sad.” He milled about the expo, picking up his prerace

goodies. (He had registered early for the race.) On the drive back to his Chula Vista home, Kearney told his wife, “I’m going to do it.” Replied his wife, “I knew you would.” A man with a 3:24 marathon personal best, Kearney, despite having not trained at all in the months leading up to the race, walked and jogged and walked some more the day of the 17th Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon. It took him 7 hours, 12 seconds to reach the finish line. But he finished, as he did in 2015 and ’16.With 19 under his belt, he’s especially excited for this year’s race on June 4. “Running 20 was always in the back of my mind,” said Kearney, a warehouse manager. There are 81 legacy runners, 50 men and 31 women who have run all 19 previous races. Kearney is one of them. As for that weight he gained when in a funk after the arthritis diagnosis, it’s gone. At 5-foot-10, he weighs a lean 168 pounds. Strangely, his feet hurt less when he runs than when he walks. Regarding his decision to keep on jogging, he said, “It’s turned my life around.”

/ / When Sandi Askew makes a commitment, the 68-year-old woman from Redlands, Calif., digs her heels into the ground and stakes her turf. She got married her senior year in high school after dating her groom for six months. How’d that work out? Gary and Sandi Askew celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last April. Of her husband, Askew says, “I’m still loving him, probably more than I did then. He’s a real good guy.” So it’s hardly stunning that Askew, one of the 81 Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon legacy runners who have finished every race, promises to be at the Balboa Park start line this year. “I will be there if I have to crawl across the finish line,” Askew says. “There’s no way they’re keeping me away.” Askew is blessed with a little bit of grit in her veins. Her marathon count numbers 59. She has never failed to finish a race. Last January she knocked off the Disney World Dopey Challenge, on successive days completing a 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon in Orlando, Fla. Askew completed Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego

last year in 6:12:03. While that’s a ways from her marathon PR of 3:52 (set in the mid-1990s), what’s impressive is that she’s the second oldest Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon female legacy runner and still going strong. Asked the key to successfully running relatively late in life, Askew says, “You have to be your own person. You can’t worry about what someone else is doing.You have to love it, and you have to have real good shoes.” Regarding being your own person, Askew adds, “You can’t listen to all the people your age [saying], ‘You can’t do it. You’re ruining your body.’ While meantime they’re on five or six medications and you’re not. “I’m not saying there aren’t aches and pains that go with it. But there’s less than if you’re sitting on a couch all day.” Asked the highlight to her Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon experiences, Askew paused for the briefest of moments and said, “It’s always getting to the finish line.” And that’s exactly how she’s created a legacy.


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Marvin Errickson

Legacy Runner, San Die


/ / Marvin Errickson is not impressed that at 73 years of age he’s the Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon’s oldest male legacy runner. Eighty-one men and women have finished the race every year since its 1998 inception, and Errickson holds bragging rights as the senior male in the group. When he runs this year’s race, don’t expect Errickson to puff out his chest and blurt, “Look at me!” He’s a humble guy, just doing what he loves to do. Of his age, he said, “It’s just a number.” OK, so the guy won’t toot his own horn. We’ll do it for him. Here are a few more factoids that are fascinating about the San Diegan who still practices trust and estate law full-time. He has run more than 150 marathons. At 6-foot-2, he weighs the same as he did in college: a svelte 153 pounds. “I can still wear my high school Levi’s 501s,” he said. He insists he hasn’t visited a doctor since he was discharged from the Army 1974. He admits, though, to crossing the border for dental work in Tijuana. He hasn’t owned a TV in nearly 20 years. He listens to Los Angeles radio station KNX for news or logs onto one of the five laptop computers spread throughout his Pacific Beach home.

Discipline, as you can gather, isn’t an issue for Errickson. He makes half a gallon of ice cream last a month, seldom indulging in more than a teaspoon. Errickson grew up in Denver and ran cross country in high school and in college at Colorado School of the Mines. He moved to San Diego in 1974 when running was in its Frank Shorter-induced boom. By the time the Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon was created, Errickson had more miles on his legs than a lithe Kenyan raised in the Rift Valley. But he just kept on running. Asked why he ran the first Rock ’n’ Roll, he said, “I’d been doing two or three (marathons) a year anyway. I’m a local. I drive right up, park my car, go up and do it.” One of his favorite Rock ’n’ Roll memories dates back to the first race, traversing the plywood bridge that was constructed to pass over Harbor Island Drive at about Mile 23, thus appeasing worried business owners. “That was fun,” Errickson deadpanned. “You get enough people on it, bouncing, and you’d think, ‘By God, we’re going to bounce through this thing.’ Somehow, it didn’t [collapse].” Mile 23 has another special meaning to Errickson. He’s a Hash House Harrier. The group mans volunteers at Mile 23 with what it calls a “beer check,” issuing beers to fellow members. “That’s something to look forward to,” Errickson said. “That, and going home.” Quizzed on the secret to aging well, he said, “Good thoughts. You agonize over all this stuff, then you die. So what good does it do to agonize?” Errickson said he’d like to keep running the Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon until he’s 100. The oldest man on record to complete a marathon is 100-year-old Fauja Singh of India. In 2011, Singh completed the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in an official time of 8 hours, 27 minutes, 17 seconds. While not impressed with his own feats, Errickson is moved by arguably the most inspiring person to ever finish a Rock ’n’ Roll event, Harriette Thompson. Then 92 years old, Thompson set a world record as the oldest woman to finish a marathon when she completed the 2015 Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon in 7:24:36. Errickson has shared the pavement with Harriette in the past. “Now that woman,” said Er r ickson, “is amazing.”

ey Laurie Kearn n a Diego er, S

Legacy Runn

// Laurie Kearney has run all 19 Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathons, and good luck keeping her out of the corrals next June when the race turns 20. Kearney, in fact, is counting on running the race in the year 2047 when it would celebrate its 50th birthday. Talk about planning ahead. “That has crossed my mind,” said Kearney. “It would be a stretch.” Or would it? Kearney is passionate about the marathon. As of October, she had run 234 of them. “I like the distance,” said the 50-year-old pediatrician who lives in the San Diego County coastal suburb of Carlsbad. “It’s not like the 10K where you have to redline it the whole time. You can have a conversation when you run the marathon and still finish with a decent time.” Her marathon PR is 2:57:57, her lone trip under the hard-to-attain three-hour barrier. She finished the 2016 race in 3:37:39, still a very solid time. Kearney would be a young whippersnapper of 81 when the Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon would be staged in 2047. That’s a long way off, but for now Kearney is excited to be a part of this speical group of runners. “This is the only race I’m likely to have a chance to be a legacy runner,” Kearney said. “I’m sure as heck going to keep at it.” 59

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John Hagin iego D Runner, San


/ / The tumor was non-malignant. Nonetheless, the 1998 diagnosis was prostate cancer. The Big C. Nothing to be taken lightly. John Hagin, then 54 years old, dealt with the health scare the way he had other challenges in his life. He laced up a pair of running shoes and pounded the pavement. Hagin was jogging less than a month after the February surgery. Come June 21, 1998, he lined up for the first Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego and finished just under four hours. “I just felt alive and whole,” said Hagin, who lives in Fort Collins, Colo. “That I’m OK.” Hagin is 73 years old today and is looking forward to running his 20th straight Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon on June 4. He’s definitely your serious, out-the-doorcome-rain-or-shine runner. “I don’t want to say that I need to run every day,” he said, “but I need to run every day.” He ran his first marathon in 1979. He stopped keeping track of his 26.2-milers when he reached 100. Asked to guestimate the up-todate marathon total, Hagin said, “I don’t think it’s 200. I just run. Probably 150. I don’t know.” He has run in every state and every European country but Portugal. Hagin’s running genesis dates back to 1970, but it has nothing to do with distance running’s first boom. He was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, which is when the stomach bulges into the chest via the diaphragm. Standing 5-foot-9, he weighed 205 pounds at the time. He passed on surgery but attacked the issue by making like Forrest Gump, taking off running. Although he started for health rea-

sons, running became a passion and he never stopped. “I ran every day to keep the weight off,” said Hagin, who lost 40 pounds within a few months and today weighs a svelte 157 pounds. While he began jogging in 1970, he didn’t enter his first road race until ’78. It was a 15K. Hagin lived near Rochester, N.Y., in the early ’80s. The internet and wicking-material fabrics were still in the future. In the winter, heavy sweats shielded him from the cold. He worked in marketing and sales at the time. Co-workers were well aware of his running passion. “People thought I was insane,” he said. That changed with his fascination with the marathon. “Once I told them I was running a marathon they said, ‘Oh, you’re training,’” he recalled. “I’ve been training ever since.” For Hagin, the Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon allure is multifaceted. There’s the bands, cheerleaders, the postrace concert. “The entertainment is fantastic,” he said, “one of the best of any race I’ve run, and I’ve run hundreds of them.” There’s the bling. “The medals are number one,” he said. There’s the schwag, the marathon finishers being fitted for a jacket which says FINISHER on the back. “The weather, the people, San Diego, the bands,” said Hagin, as a smile came over his face. “You can’t beat Rock ’n’ Roll.” A lot of people agree, but it’s special people like Hagin that have made the series what it is.


Legacy Runner, San Diego // He wasn’t at the start line in 1998, but he’s been seen at every Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series expo over the past year and on the Las Vegas Strip at Night. The GEICO Gecko is running’s most famous Lizard, with a penchant for tea, traveling, and spreading the news about savings for GEICO.


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Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Announces 2017 Tour Schedule

Global running series to celebrate 20 years running at 30 destination events in 2017 In 2017, the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series will be celebrating 20 Years Running. The series schedule includes 25 destinations in North America, including the original Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego, which will take place the weekend of June 3-4. All events feature scenic routes lined with live music and entertainment, and conclude with a finish line concert and festival. The 2017 tour also hits four European cities including Madrid, Liverpool, Dublin and Lisbon. “We’re excited to have runners around the

world join us in 2017 as we celebrate 20 Years Running,” said Keith Kendrick, Chief Marketing Officer of the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series. “At each 2017 event, we will come together to celebrate all that we run for: from your personal race day moments, to each event’s historical milestones. Runners can look forward to commemorative 20 Years Running finisher medals & participant T-shirts, all-new course and expo experiences celebrating 20 Years Running, and access to the biggest celebration in Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series history.”

Runners planning to participate in multiple races in 2017 can register for the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series TourPass and run an unlimited number of events for one low price. Two versions of the TourPass are available online at, which include the TourPass 3-Pack offering any three races for $219. Runners may choose to register for multiple events at the time of purchasing a TourPass, or register for individual events throughout the year. In 2017, the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series will tour the following destinations:

Jan. 14–15

May 27–28

Oct. 14

Phoenix, AZ

Liverpool, England

Brooklyn, NY

Feb. 4–5

June 3–4

Oct. 14–15

New Orleans, LA

San Diego, CA

Denver, CO

March 11

June 18

Oct. 14–15

Washington, D.C.

Seattle, WA

St. Louis, MO

March 19

July 15–16

Oct. 15

Mexico City, Mexico

Chicago, IL

Lisbon, Portugal

March 18–19

Aug. 12–13

Oct. 21–22

Dallas, TX

Dublin, Ireland

Vancouver, Canada

March 26

Sept. 2–3

Oct. 29

San Francisco, CA

Virginia Beach, VA

Los Angeles, CA

April 1–2

Sept. 16–17

Nov. 4

Carlsbad, CA

Philadelphia, PA

Merida, Mexico

April 1–2

Sept. 23–24

Nov. 4–5

Raleigh, NC

Montreal, Canada

Savannah, GA

April 23

Oct. 1

Nov. 11–12

Madrid, Spain

Querétaro, Mexico

Las Vegas, NV

April 29

Oct. 7–8

Dec. 2–3

Nashville, TN

San Jose, CA

San Antonio, TX

To register for an event, please visit 61

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Milestones in 2017

Madrid Each spring, Spain’s capital pays tribute to the original marathoner, Pheidippides, and in 2017 Madrid celebrates the 40th edition of the marathon. This Gold Label race is not for the faint of heart, the warrior spirit is seen clearly in the expression of those crossing the finish line. Madrid’s breathtaking course journeys down wide avenues, passing iconic monuments, magnificent architecture and grand parks. In 2012, Madrid joined the Rock ‘n’ Roll family, adding half marathon and 10K distances.



The Rock ’n’ Roll Liverpool Marathon will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love in 2017. Not only was 1967 the first year of the Liverpool Marathon; it was one of the defining moments in modern culture and music history. It was the year that Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and “All you Need is Love” were released, and the Mersey Sound poetry anthology was published.

Known as the Philadelphia Distance Run for 32 years, the AACR Rock ’n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon will host its 40th edition in 2017. As one of the world’s most prestigious road races, the event is the home to five world records and five American records, and holds the current men’s U.S. all-comers’ record.

Montreal 2017 marks Montreal’s 375th anniversary as one of the oldest cities in North America. Throughout 2017, the city will host 175 activities that include events like the Rock ’n’ Roll Oasis Montreal Marathon in September.

San Antonio The final Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series event of 2017 will mark a full decade of Rock ’n’ Roll running in the Alamo City. Through the years, San Antonio has become a famous histor ical-landmark-lined course that tours the Tower of the Americas, The Alamo, Mission Concepcion, San Fernando Cathedral and more.


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GUNG-HO GLOBETROTTER Michael Wardian, 42, Arlington, Va. Michael Wardian just had maybe the most epic year of running any runner ever has. In addition to running all six World Marathon Majors in 2016—Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York—in a new record average time of 2:31:09, he also competed in a 5K while blindfolded for charity in Boston, ran 42 miles across the Grand Canyon and back in the middle of the night, turned in strong results in 100-mile runs in San Diego, New York City and Chamonix, France, spent a week running pristine trails in Cuba, and ran additional races in New Zealand, Hong Kong, France, Japan, Iceland and on the Spanish island of Menorca. Oh, and Wardian, who works full-time as an international shipping broker, won the GEICO Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon in 2:38:04, setting a new world record for the fastest marathon ever run while dressed as Elvis.

Running is my passion and I think my purpose in that I love kinetically moving through the world under my own power, and seeing the world under my own terms. I run for so many reasons, some of which are freedom, power, health, exploration, sanity, obsession, accomplishment and, of course, pure joy.

What inspires you to run so many races in so many places? I am inspired to explore the world, meet new people, experience unique cultures, places and styles of competition and see just how far I can push my limits and what I am comfortable with. Racing to me is raw and true and allows me to access places I didn’t think possible. I am fascinated by moving through foreign places under my own power to see what is around the next bend, over the next mountain, down a narrow alley or singletrack trail.

How are you able to recover so quickly between events? I am asked about recovery a lot, and I think a fair amount of my ability to recover is due to my mindset. I am super motivated to take advantage of every opportunity, and fulfill each obligation, and that means I don’t have the luxury of extended recovery. For me, the act of moving—even light movement—is really helpful for speeding up the recovery process. I also use compression clothes, drink copious amounts of liquids, consume the highest quality food I can find, use Addaday recovery products, get massages and try to stretch and do strength training.

CM0117_BOB_LAST.indd 64

What was the hardest thing about running so fast in an Elvis costume? The sunglasses bounced the entire race and by the end, after pushing them up the 200th time, I noticed a bit of pain on the bridge of my nose. I was thinking the Elvis wig would be a problem, but it was great during the race. The Elvis suit was dialed in and didn’t bother me too much. It was hot but not crazy hot, and the crowd’s cheers more than made up for it.

What’s your favorite post-run meal? If I can get some incredible fresh fruit or a smoothie, that is pretty much heaven for me. If I have access to it, I would love to chase my fruit with an almond butter and honey sandwich on fresh bread. I am addicted to Big Spoon Roasters Almond Ginger almond butter and raw honey.

What’s on tap for 2017? It’s going to be unbelievable! It will start with the World Marathon Challenge, which entails running marathons on seven continents in just seven days in January. In February, our family will travel to New Zealand, where I will run the Tarawera 100K. I’m definitely planning to run the Boston Marathon and Big Sur Marathon back-to-back again, and then I’ll head to Australia for the Ultra Trail Australia 100K in May. From June to August, there’s a chance I’ll run the Comrades 90K race in South Africa, the Western States 100 in California, Hardrock 100 in Colorado and the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. For the complete interview, go to

Click here: Watch a video of Elvis winning a marathon


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If you’re a competitor, you beat your best. It’s what you do.


If you want to save money on car insurance, you switch to GEICO. It’s what you do. | 1-800-947-AUTO | Local Office Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. © 2016 GEICO

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Competitor January 2017  

Ultimate Running and Racing Guide. The Rock 'n' Roll Running Series Celebrates 20 Years. 9 Ways to Improve Your Running in 2017.

Competitor January 2017  

Ultimate Running and Racing Guide. The Rock 'n' Roll Running Series Celebrates 20 Years. 9 Ways to Improve Your Running in 2017.