Dream races

I feel very fortunate to have been able to run all the races that I have in my four years of running. Every race and every run is a gift and I certainly try not to take for granted my ability to enjoy this sport. But all of the races I have completed have been in the North Carolina/Virginia area because of the simplicity that the proximity allows and the money that it saves.

Race fees can turn running into a pricey hobby pretty quickly and adding high travel costs on top of that is a tough financial pill to swallow. That doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes find myself pining over a destination race or two and adding it to my mental list of dream races. Here are some of the races I would love to run if money, convenience, and time were no object (not including the Boston Marathon which is an obvious dream race to me because… duh, it’s Boston).

The Athens Classic Marathon

This race is run on the historic route where Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens – how the marathon got its name. I think any marathoner would be crazy to not want to run a race with this much history behind it (we’re just ignoring the morbid fact that Pheidippides supposedly collapsed and died at the end of his run). This course was also the route used for the 2004 Olympics, so bonus cool points for that.

A race in Australia

I lived in Australia for 6 months while studying abroad in 2008 and fell in love with pretty much the entire continent. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a runner back then so I never did a race there and my present self is always kicking my former self for it. The Great Barrier Reef Marathon is run in and around Port Douglas, which is just onshore from the GBR and is (obviously) beautiful. Also of interest, my absolute favorite place I visited in Australia was Airlie Beach and they have a running festival that includes a half marathon.

A photo snapped on the drive into Airlie Beach. Love this place.

A photo snapped on the drive into Airlie Beach. Love this place.

The Hood to Coast Relay

In general, I am pretty obsessed with the idea of running a distance relay some day. There are several relays that I’m sure are fantastic that are closer to me and would probably make more logical sense than HTC – Ragnar DC, for instance. But the idea of running from the mountains of Oregon all the way to the ocean sounds epic and has this particular relay calling my name.

Big Sur International Marathon

This course runs along Highway 1 in California and apparently has the most amazing views of any race ever. Bart Yasso has called this a must-run-in-your-lifetime kind of race and he’s run enough races in his lifetime that I am more than willing to trust his judgment. When trying to find a breath-taking view photo for this post I couldn’t even narrow it down (all photos are from the race website).

Big Sur

Big Sur 4

Nike Women’s Half Marathon (DC) or Marathon (San Francisco)

I think it would be a blast to run a massive all women’s race and this is one of the most popular that I know of. The half is actually in DC so this is a race that is more than attainable if I am willing to put up the steep registration fee. Maybe in 2015!

What are your dream races? Anyone want to pay for all my race entries for the rest of my life so I can do ALL of these!?


7 thoughts on “Dream races

  1. Big Sur looks incredible!!!! I have never really done a destination/dream race, but I did get to run the Geneva, Switzerland half marathon and the Paris half marathon while I was living in Switzerland (both were amazing!) The Paris one was tough because we ran through a street lined with cafes around Mile 9-10, and all I could smell was the coffee and croissants. I so wanted to just pull up a chair!

  2. There’s a group of races that are wine country half marathons (http://destinationraces.com/) and I’d love to do one of those! They all look really scenic and seem like a great size–not too small that you’re running alone and not too big that you feel claustrophobic! Hoping I can fit the one in Oregon into my budget this year–really wish races and flights weren’t so expensive!

    • I have heard of that race series and I totally meant to include the Napa to Sonoma one on this list but forgot! I couldn’t possibly pass up a race centered around wine!

  3. Pingback: When life drops a last minute half marathon in your lap | Endorphins Junkie

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