10k Thursday and My Favorite Seasonal Race Picks.

This morning I rolled out of bed for a run with the IRC crew. I have to say it was tough to get up but I was glad I did. I got in some miles, pretty sky and good conversation with some of my favorite folks!! 10k Thursday is done.

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Speaking of favorites…I was scoping out Angela’s race picks not long ago and thought I’d give you some of my favorite races I try and run each year. Some are local to the Dallas area where I live and others are destination races. But you will definitely want to check some of these out and get them on your race calendar soon! I suppose we can start with January…

JAN-
New Years Double- Allen, TX This one actually starts on December 31st but you have a choice to run different distances on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. You can do back to back 5ks, half or even FULL marathons! Or mix ‘em up. The first year I ran it I did double half marathons…this year I went for the full gusto. Both days I placed in my age group! That champagne glass trophy was the icing on the cake.

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I love that this race is fairly small, intimate and the huge challenge plate for your medals can’t be beat. Check out my recaps here and here.

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Houston Marathon- Houston, TX This race is held during such a perfect time of year for running in Texas. More times than not temps are mild…close to 50-60 degrees in the morning. The course is also pretty flat and fast and there are spectators the entire way through cheering you on. The community really comes together for this race and it’s extremely organized. If you are looking for a first marathon choice I’d get this one on your list for sure. You will not regret it. My recap is here.

Too Cold to Hold Half Marathon- Dallas, TX This one is held at the end of January…it’s usually again pretty mild temps (so much that this year a friend joked and called it ‘Too Warm for Sleeves’.) But the course is right along the beautiful White Rock Lake and you get some pretty stellar race swag. It’s a great time of year to set a half marathon PR for sure.

FEB-
Dash for the Beads- Oak Cliff, TX For those of you that love the 5ks this is one you will want to put on your list. It provides a good challenge with lots of hills and the post race party can’t be beat. Celebrate mardi gras, grab some beads and enjoy the run!

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Rock n Roll New Orleans- New Orleans, Louisiana Well hello, if you are a foodie like I am you will enjoy the cajun cuisine as well as the sights and sounds the bayou has to offer.  I ran the full in 2011 and really would love to go back. This course is another flat and fast one…and the weather tends to be mild since it’s in the south. I love most of the Rock n Roll series races because they offer plenty of entertainment and things to look at on the course. Dress up in some fun mardi gras wear and go all out!

Cowtown Marathon and Ultra- Ft. Worth TX This race is held towards the end of the month and it’s an entire weekend of racing. The 5k/10k is on Saturday and half/full/ultra 50k is held on Sunday. This one is very organized, excellent course and just a fun way to celebrate running with all of the different distances. I ran the ultra marathon this year and absolutely loved it. I’m already looking forward to running it next year! Check out my ultra recap here.

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MARCH-
Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon- Dallas, TX I try to run this race every year because it’s Dallas…so it’s close to home, and it’s usually a decent course to work on some speed. This year they altered the course a bit and put a pretty steep incline at mile 9 which was challenging but if you do some hill work beforehand you should be all good. Check out my recap from this year here.

APRIL-
Irving Marathon- Irving, TX I have a soft spot in my heart for the city of Irving and this race. This one is another one that’s in my backyard and they are really doing some great things for the community. The running group I’m a part of, the Irving Running Club really gets involved and we are official pacers for this race! The course is mostly flat, a few rolling hills but a beautiful view of the trails and neighborhoods in the area. If you enjoy a small, intimate racing experience you will love it. You can read about my experience as a pacer for the full marathon here!

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Divas Half Marathon- Galveston, TX Running along the beach is always awesome and this race is great because it focuses on women! Gotta love the pink boas, tiaras, champagne at the finish line and hot firefighters giving you your medal. You are sold already, right? My recap is here.

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MAY-
Memorial Day Marathon- Bachman Lake, Dallas This time of year it starts to get pretty warm in Texas but for those of you that enjoy racing in humid/hot temps you will enjoy it. They offer a half and full marathon experience and it’s basically loops around the lake. Lots of Marathon Maniacs run this one and my awesome friend Angela is the race director. She offers different races all throughout the year too so you can collect all of the bling! Read more about it here.

JUNE-
Rock n Roll San Diego- San Diego, CA This one is a great destination race and you will definitely want to stay a few days afterwards to really enjoy the beach…there is so much to do and see! I’ve already reserved my spot for the marathon again next year! The half is a popular choice but the full marathon was fun and VERY hilly! Catch up on my race experience here.

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Jalapeño Half- Fort Worth, TX I hear they had a jalapeño eating contest at the end of this one but I didn’t participate. This race is CRAZY hot but an awesome way to work on your tan! I just love running in Ft. Worth too. They have a great trail park with pretty awesome views.

JULY-
Too Hot To Handle- White Rock Lake, Dallas This is a part of the Run Project race series…and yes it is HOT! White Rock Lake provides plenty of shade though and they offer lots of hydration to keep you nice and cool. They offer a 5k and 15k option…perfect distance for pushing the pace just a bit in the summer heat.

AUGUST-
Hottest Half- Community Brewery, Dallas If you are sadistic enough to run 13.1 in 90 degree temps in Texas…run this one! Don’t worry to much about your time and HEY…there’s beer afterwards. Yes, I’ve already signed up again this year. It was peer pressure. That’s what happens when you run in a running club. I’m just saying. Anyway, it should a fun time.

SEPTEMBER-
Erie Marathon- Erie, PA I ran this one with some running buds a couple years back and really enjoyed the girls trip. The course is flat, very quiet and scenic. Plus it was around $50 at the time we signed up. Talk about a steal, since most 26.2s are 100 dollars or more a pop. Who said running was a cheap sport?! HA. Not me.

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OCTOBER-
Chicago Marathon- Chicago, IL LOVE this course! It’s literally pancake flat. This was my very first marathon in 2010 and I loved every minute of it. Temps this time of year in Chicago are pretty unpredictable but if you luck out and the weather is cool and crisp (as it should be in the fall) you’ll have an excellent experience. I surely did. Oh, and go get some Garrett’s popcorn afterwards to celebrate! Check out my throwback Thursday race experience here.

Marine Corps Marathon- Washington DC/Arlington, VA This is hands down one of my favorite 26.2s to date. The marines cheering you on the entire way, the historical sites, and the camaraderie of everyone there is just so heartwarming. The course has a few rolling hills but honestly just run this one for the experience. It’s one of those bucket list choices and for sure…one you will want to run again and again. I can’t wait to head back in October, to run it for the 4th time!

NOVEMBER-
Rock n Roll Las Vegas- Las Vegas, NV This one has a half and a full marathon option. Perfect destination race, lots to do obviously and basically anywhere you stay on the strip you will not be far from the start line. Running the full marathon at night was also pretty interesting and fun! Great way to change things up. My recap is here.

DECEMBER-
Dallas Marathon and Half- Dallas, TX Lovely time of year in Dallas to run if you like chilly weather! And for some of you…temps in the 40s/50s/60s is very mild so you will love it! This one has good crowd support, spectators most of the way and is also very organized. Perfect way to end the year strong and save room for some Christmas cookies.

What are some of your favorite seasonal race picks? Share them so I can get them on my calendar!

14 thoughts on “10k Thursday and My Favorite Seasonal Race Picks.

  1. I love traveling for races and try to find some to head to each year. I had looked at the New Years Double last year but being injured couldn’t make it. 😦
    I am heading to MCM this year and can’t wait to cross it off the list!
    RNR Nashville is also amazing…I am going to have to go back sometime. The course has a lot of rollers but the crowd support is stellar. You don’t go anywhere without someone cheering for you.
    Runners World Festival is also another I have to go back too. I ran the Hat Trick plus their trial race last year and had so. much. fun. It is a beautiful town and they really have their stuff together.

  2. Horsetooth Half in Colorado every April, sometimes it’s sunny, sometimes it snows, the hills always kick your ass.
    Looking into the acadia half in the fall some year as well.

  3. We have a lot of the same picks! Too Cold to Hold, Cowtown, Rock & Roll Dallas, Too Hot to Handle and Dallas Marathon are definitely on my list. I’m also planning on signing up for the Hottest Half this year, I haven’t done it before (and have heard mixed reviews) but I *love* Community Beer so I figure I’ll run it easy and indulge afterwards! 🙂

    I would add the DRC Half Marathon in November! Maybe I’m biased since DRC is my running club, but it’s a fantastic race. And Tour des Fleurs 20k/10k in September! It is always hot and humid but they have the *best* post-race party.

    Hope to see you at Too Hot to Handle and The Hottest Half!

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