Whether you’re gearing up for a PR or just starting your marathon training, May is when most runners have their plan in place for the year. But even if you haven’t decided which race to focus on yet, you have plenty of options to tempt you. Here are some races, from 5Ks to marathons, to think about in the month ahead.
Sunburst Marathon and Half
June 4; South Bend, Ind.
This 33rd annual event, which includes a marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K, starts in downtown South Bend and finishes on the University of Notre Dame campus. The courses are relatively flat, with the exception of “Hallelujah Hill” at mile 23 of the marathon.
Hospital Hill Run Half Marathon
June 4; Kansas City, Mo.
One of Kansas City’s biggest races, the 42nd annual Hospital Hill Run features a half marathon, 10K and 5K—and plenty of hills. Runners will explore several parks and neighborhoods on tree-lined streets, as well as the city’s downtown area with a start and finish at the Crown Center.
Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon
June 4; Loudoun County, Va.
An hour west of Washington, D.C., the Wine Country Half Marathon series explores the area around Leesburg, Va. The race starts and finishes at the Doukenie Winery, with a course that offers great views of the vineyards, farms and ranches in the area.
June 5; Casper, Wyo.
Wyoming might seem off the grid, but this race, now in its 14th year, is a gem. The race may be small, but it takes good care of its runners. Most of the course is run along the scenic North Platte River.
June 5; Steamboat Springs, Colo.
This 35th annual marathon, half marathon and 10K features a beautiful course among the snowcapped Rocky Mountains. The downhill course starts at 8,100 feet in elevation and finishes in downtown Steamboat Springs at 6,700 feet.
Divas Half Marathon and 5K
June 5; San Francisco
This women’s only event embraces the fun. All participants receive a pink tutu to wear on the run, there’s a boa and tiara aid station, and a post-race champagne toast. The flat course also keeps San Francisco Bay in sight for a majority of the race.
North Shore Classic Half Marathon and 5K
June 5; Highland Park, Ill.
This popular race explores the scenic neighborhoods of Chicago’s northern suburbs along Lake Michigan. While mostly flat, there are a couple of killer hills up the Lake Michigan bluffs, a rarity for the Chicago area.
Mayflower Brewing Half Marathon
June 12; Plymouth, Mass.
This hilly half marathon starts and finishes at the Mayflower Brewery taking the back roads of Plymouth with 3 miles along the coast. All runners receive a branded beer stein, which they can fill straight from the source at the post-race party.
Squaw Valley Half Marathon
June 12; Squaw Valley, Calif.
The start and finish of this scenic race is at the Village in Squaw Valley, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. The mostly flat and paved course follows the Truckee River and features impressive mountain views.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon & 1/2
June 18; Seattle
Experience the sights, sounds and fun Rock ‘n’ Roll races offer, no matter if you run the 8K, half marathon or full 26.2-miler! Each starts at the famous Space Needle and serve up an impressive tour of Seattle, including segments along Puget Sound.
June 25; Charlevoix, Mich.
Experience plenty of natural beauty in this small-town race in northern Michigan. Charlevoix sits on an isthmus between Lake Michigan and Round Lake, and runners will enjoy views of both on this flat and fast course.
Santa Barbara Half Marathon
June 25; Santa Barbara, Calif.
This 13.1-miler features excellent views of the Pacific Ocean from several of Santa Barbara’s seaside parks and benefits the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony Education Fund. The out-and-back course also runs on bike paths as well as scenic neighborhoods.