24 Must-Do October/November Races Across The U.S.

Hokie Half Marathon and 5K. Photo: Jon Flemming

Hit the trails or don a scary costume in one these late-fall races in your region.


Hokie Half Marathon and 5K
Oct.12; Blacksburg, Va.

Virginia Tech proud? Show off your Hokie spirit, in honor of the school’s mascot, by participating in the second annual race, run on both roads and trails in the areas surrounding the university campus. With a fast course and a hefty $1,000 prize purse doled out to the top three men and women, expect a top-notch field (last year’s male and female half marathon winners clocked in at a speedy 1:07:25 and 1:16:11, respectively). But no matter your pace, live music along the way will keep you moving toward the finish line, where you’ll earn the one-of-a-kind Hokiebird finisher medal.

Spook Hill Cider & Wine 4 Mile
Oct. 18; Burkittsville, Md.

If racing through the town that served as the setting for the “Blair Witch Project” isn’t spooky enough, then try running through a Civil War-era cemetery in the early light of the morning. That’s just what you’ll get in this 4-miler through this sleepy, historic town outside of Frederick. However, this race is less scary and more saucy—runners will loop through both the Boordy Vineyard and the Distillery Lane Ciderworks’ orchards. The first 250 pre-registered runners will receive wine glasses, and the “Mean Runner” award will go to the participant who finishes smack-dab in the middle of the pack. Cheers to that!

DC Half and Half Marathon
Nov. 8; Washington, D.C.

Move over Gu and Powerbars! Mid-race fueling takes on a new meaning in this unique event where runners test their endurance—and the strength of their stomachs—by running 6.55 miles while eating a “half-smoke” chili dog with onions at Ben’s Chili Bowl, and then running another 6.55 miles to the finish line. The chili dog and a side of chips must be completely consumed before participants are cleared to continue on (veggie options are available for meat-free runners). But this race isn’t all about gluttonous bragging rights; proceeds go to ScholarCHIPS, which provides school funding for children of incarcerated parents in D.C.

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