24 Must-Do Sept./Oct. Races Across The U.S.

Portland Marathon. Photo: Courtesy Portland Marathon

Northwest Region

The Rogue Run Half Marathon
Sept. 22, Medford, Ore.
theroguerun.com

If you’ve never experienced the beauty of the Rogue Valley, this race is the perfect opportunity to do so. Located near several wineries, the half marathon is part of the Jackson County Harvest Fair, providing the perfect opportunity to go on a weekend getaway. The fair offers activities such as grape stomping, pie eating, paintball, an amateur beer and wine competition, and a micro-brew fest, which features a beer garden from local breweries. And luckily for age groupers, the race awards prize money to the top three finishers in all four age groups. Depending on how quick you are and how much beer you consume, you may be able to offset a chunk of the weekend’s costs!

Race for a Soldier
Sept. 29, Gig Harbor, Wash.
raceforasoldier.org

If you want to get more than a workout out of racing, consider the Race for a Soldier half marathon. The proceeds fund programs, such as horse therapy that helps soldiers readjust to society and, in many cases, recover from PTSD, as well as programs that pair soldiers with service dogs. Two days before the event, the race organizers host a golf tournament and prayer breakfast, where attendees can listen to stories from soldiers. If a half marathon is a bit too long for you, the event also offers a 2-mile race and a fun run for the kids.

Portland Marathon and Half Marathon
Oct. 6, Portland, Ore.
portlandmarathon.org

The Portland Marathon and Half Marathon are a favorite among the Portland running community, and it has gained recognition around the country for being well-organized and people-friendly (and walker-friendly, given that the course is open far longer than in most marathons). The race includes on-course entertainment and bands, and both the marathon and the half offer scenic river views and begin and end in downtown Portland. The race is also kid-friendly — the Saturday before the event hosts a Portland Marathon Kids’ Fun Run & Fitness Festival, which includes snacks, bibs, medals and the opportunity for parents to run along.

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