Yes, there are races and other running-related events worth experiencing even if you have no interest in running them. Here’s a short roundup of five that any running fan shouldn’t miss.
Great City Street Games
Manchester, Great Britain
May 26, 2017
Taking place in conjunction with the Great Manchester Run—Europe’s largest 10K with more than 40,000 runners participating—the Great City Street Games pits some of the world’s top sprinters and hurdlers against one another on a single-lane sprinting straightaway in a unique, intimate urban setting. You won’t find this kind of energy in a stadium!
The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run
Squaw Valley and Auburn, Calif.
June 24–25, 2017
The oldest and most prestigious trail 100-miler in the world, Western States is the holy grail of ultrarunning. Participation is limited to the top 10 returning finishers, a handful of qualifiers and a lot of lucky lottery winners. Taking part in the moving caravan of crew and spectators that makes its way along the point-to-point course all the way to the track in Auburn is worth experiencing.
The IAAF World Championships in Athletics
Aug. 5–13, 2017
The world outdoor championships is the most competitive track meet outside of the Olympics and for the first time in a few years, it’s taking place in an environment that appreciates a good athletics competition. Watch the world’s best athletes go head-to-head in Olympic Stadium among some of the most rabid—and knowledgeable—track and field fans you’ll ever meet.
Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc
Aug. 28–Sept. 3, 2017
While competitive mountain running still doesn’t have wide appeal here in the U.S., it’s all the rage in Europe—and you’ll know why if you ever step foot into Chamonix at the end of August. Experience a weeklong celebration and appreciation of trail running culture in this quant mountain town.
The New York City Marathon
New York City
Nov. 5, 2017
Train-hopping your way through the New York City Marathon is one way to experience the culture and energy of the Big Apple while also watching more than 50,000 runners navigate one of the most unique courses in all of road racing. This event has a flavor to it that only New York could blend together.