Beat the winter blues and sign up for one of these events.
JFK 20K & MLK 5K
Jan. 18, Washington, D.C.
Celebrate two great historic figures in the nation’s capital this January. The out-and-back course along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal will speak to your patriotic side as you commemorate these legendary freedom fighters—and mark the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination (November 2013). With both 5K and 20K options, all runners are welcome. The 5K begins at 9 a.m., and the 20K begins at 10 a.m.—two no-excuses, late-morning starts that cater to any type of morning person. Bust out the American flag shorts and red, white and blue attire—it’s not Fourth of July, but it’s worth the patriotic gesture.
Cupid’s Undie Run
Feb. 15, Washington, D.C.
Clothing is not encouraged at this Valentine’s undie party. Freeze your buns off with hundreds of other revealing runners, and race to beat frostbite in odd places during this mile-long jaunt through D.C. If the chance to show off those abs in a socially acceptable fashion—not punishable by law—isn’t enough, then revel in the fact that this race is benefitting The Children’s Tumor Foundation. Strip down for a cause—just remember to put on underwear at the start line. (Full nudity is discouraged, but that’s probably a good thing!)
Multiple dates, multiple locations
Join the Howard County Striders as they kick off 2014 with Operation Iceberg—one installment of the weekly series races the club offers around Maryland. Show up at least 30 minutes early and pay an incredibly low entry fee to participate in the one or more of the races in the series. A point system determines the overall winners at the awards ceremony on Feb. 16. Distances range from 2 miles to 15K—providing options to runners of all abilities. Stride over to the website to find exact dates and locations in 2014.
Dahlgren Trail Half Marathon
Feb. 15, King George, Va.
The recommended age minimum is 15 years old at this trail half marathon in Virginia. The out-and-back course covers the Dahlgren Rail Heritage Trail (DRHT)—which means it’s primarily flat, smooth and wide. Limited to 225 participants, the race sends runners off in waves of 20 people, organized by age group. If you’re itching to move away from sometimes over-crowded road races, this race is a perfect place to tap into the serenity of a small trail event (no cars allowed). The DRHT, which opened in 2006, will be 16 miles long when completed. It stretches across the community of King George County near the historic town of Fredericksburg. The DRHT preserves open space, serves as an active wildlife corridor and is open for other non-motorized uses, such as cycling, walking and cross-country skiing.