Virginia’s scenery, history, climate and geography all make each running opportunity unique. With those qualifiers in mind, check out these great runs for 2013.
1. Lush and mysterious, the Dismal Swamp Stomp Half-Marathon & Children’s 1/2-Mile Cub Run in Chesapeake runs parallel to the historic Dismal Swamp Canal. Runners can expect their paved pathway to be highlighted by the forested wetlands and be anything but ‘dismal’. Every participant that crosses the finish line will take home a finisher’s medal. April 13, 2013. $70 registration fee.
2. Elevation change can present a real challenge to runners. Are you game for the more than 7,000 total feet of elevation change the Blue Ridge Marathon has in store? Kicking off in downtown Roanoke, the event also includes five-person relays, a half-marathon option and a YMCA kids’ marathon. April 20, 2013. $75-$85 registration fee for the marathon.
3. The Miller Lite Filthy 5K Mud Run is one of the first events of weekend-long Dominion Riverrock, the East Coast’s premier outdoor lifestyle festival held annually in Richmond. Those who have endured mud runs will likely find this one to be among – if not THE – toughest. Expect to trudge through the James River, rock hop and be thrown more natural obstacles than just a few roots and branches. The massive mud pit at the end is all that stands between you and an ice cold frothy beverage. May 17, 2013. $40-$55 registration fee.
4. Beautifully rolling fields, historic farms and canopied country lanes are the scenery you can expect when you run the Virginia Wine Country Half-Marathon from Doukenie Winery in Hillsboro. The post-race activities include a full-blown Wine & Music Festival with great food, entertainment and wine, of course. June 1, 2013. $115 registration fee.
5. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon is centered on the breezy Virginia Beach oceanfront. It’s flat and fast, an appealing feature to any runner, which must be why more than 20,000 show up each year. Or maybe it’s due to the largest half-marathon prize purse in the United States that awaits the fastest one at the end. September 1, 2013. $85-$150 registration fee.
7. Who doesn’t love amazing fall foliage? You might find yourself day dreaming instead of focusing on your run when you register for the Fall Foliage 5K or 10K in Waynesboro. The races are a part of the Fall Foliage Festival Art Show, so be sure to meet the dedicated artisans after your run. October 12, 2013. $25-$40 registration fee.
8. March 27 should be circled on your calendar if you’re anxious to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington. That’s registration day and this race was full in under three hours last year. It’s a memorable run because it begins and ends at the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima) and affords views of the Pentagon, Capitol, and Lincoln, Jefferson, Korean and Vietnam Memorials. This marathon is the 5th largest in the nation and the 8th largest in the world. Don’t miss out! October 27, 2013. Fees have not yet been announced.
9. Which race is “America’s Friendliest Marathon”? It’s the Anthem Richmond Marathon, according to Runner’s World. Take to the historic streets of Richmond, traversing the diverse neighborhoods and enjoying the unique stops along the way. Hot pizza and a massage await you at the finish line. November 16, 2013. $80-$130 registration fee.
10. Skip the big Thanksgiving dinner and go for a Thanksgiving run instead. The Turkey Day 5K and Family Fun Run through Martinsville typically features Thanksgiving-themed costumes and fabulous prizes, too (aka turkey basters and whatnot). November 28, 2013. $20-$25 registration fee.
There are many more where these came from, so check out Virginia.org/RunVirginia to complete your run calendar for 2013.
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