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.
5K to 15K
Taste of Louisville 12K and 5K
June 4; Louisville, Colo.
Dubbed the “top small town 12K and 5K in the West” by race organizers, runners in both races start in Pirates Park for a tour of the beautiful city. Enjoy pizza and beer after the race and continue the post-race party on Main Street, where the Taste of Louisville Festival will be taking place.
Baltimore 10 Miler
June 4; Baltimore
This 10-miler travels through downtown Baltimore with both the start and finish at Druid Hill Park near the Maryland Zoo. The post-race party features live music, and all runners receive a technical quarter-zip jacket and a finisher’s medal.
United Run for the Zoo
June 5; Chicago
This 38th annual fundraiser for the Lincoln Park Zoo features a 5K and 10K with a Lakefront course that also includes a section through the zoo. A mini obstacle course for the kids after the runs make this a great event for families too.
Susan G. Komen Greater St. Louis Race for the Cure
June 11; St. Louis
This annual event in downtown St. Louis raises more than $1 million for the Susan G. Komen foundation to fight breast cancer. Walk or run the 5K course, and be inspired by all the survivors who make this event a success.
LaDainian Tomlinson 5K
June 11; Point Loma, Calif.
Don’t worry, no tackling is involved in this event organized by the former San Diego Charger running back LaDainian Tomlinson. The family-friendly event takes place at NTC Park in Liberty Station, and race proceeds benefit Tomlinson’s Touching Lives Foundation.
Run for the Pies
June 11; Jacksonville, Fla.
Plenty of races offer prize money, but how about prize pies? Finishers at this 5K can win one of 200 pies available to the top male and female finishers. Before the pie race, the Nike 5K championship attracts some of the fastest people in the area, who are competing for cash.
Lawyers Have Heart 10K
June 11; Washington, D.C.
Leave the lawyer jokes at home while running Washington’s largest 10K. This 26th annual fundraiser benefits the American Heart Association and includes a 10K race, and 5K walk/run that starts at The Washington Harbour in Georgetown.
Spectacle Island 5K
June 12, Boston
This race is organized by the Boston Harbor Alliance, showcasing panoramic views of the harbor and city from the historic island. The family-friendly 5K (and kids run) also features a post-race picnic lunch, music and activities for kids.
June 12; Seattle
For 38 years, Seattle’s Shore run has helped raise funds for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The 10K and 5K courses along the western shore of Lake Washington offer scenic views of the city, and the finish-line party in Madison Park features food, drinks and music.
June 18; New York
This is the third race in the New York Road Runner’s Five-Borough Series, and it features a flat, fast 10K in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. All participants receive a tech tank top, and finishers receive medals.
Keep Austin Weird 5K
June 25; Austin, Texas
This festival’s aim is pretty obvious: to highlight Austin’s unique character by emphasizing individuality. The 5K run, which dubs itself the “slowest race ever,” encourages participants to dress up in costumes and includes 10 outrageously fun stops along the route.
Wicked Wine Run
June 25; Dayton, Ore.
You don’t need to be a wine lover to enjoy exploring the grounds around the Stoller Family Estates Vineyard in Yamhill County outside of Portland—but it doesn’t hurt. You’ll certainly enjoy the post-race party more, with plenty of wine, music and food trucks.
Night Nation Run
June 3–4; Brooklyn, N.Y.
This national series combines a 5K run with lights, lasers and electronic dance music. Multiple deejays will be on the course for this nighttime event, and the post-race party will feature a main-stage performance from a headlining deejay.
Running of the Doughnuts
June 4; Ocala, Fla.
Run 1.5 miles, eat six donuts and then run 1.5 miles to the finish. There’s a donut-free 5K first if six at once sounds a bit much. Or find a partner and simply eat three donuts in the relay.
June 4; Grayslake, Ill.
This 5-plus-mile obstacle race, created by women, for women, comes to the Lake County Fairgrounds near Chicago. Expect to get plenty muddy while getting through the obstacles, some of which require teamwork. There’s also a 1-mile mini “mudder” for kids.
The Color Vibe 5K
June 11; Morris Plains, N.J.
Along the route, runners dressed in white will be hit with colors to create a tie-dyed masterpiece by the time they cross the finish line. The post-race party features more color blasts, music and dancing.
Military Madness Mud Run
June 11; San Antonio, Texas
This 5K course will include more than 18 military-style obstacles along the way, including a cargo net crawl, log walk and fire jump. After the race enjoy food, drinks, music and inflatable attractions for the kids.
Survivor Mud Run
June 11; Snoqualmie, Wash.
Take to the mud at the Dirtfish Rally School near Seattle for this 5K that features more than 20 obstacles. This challenging race will test your mettle, but the post-race beer garden will make it all better.
June 11; Middleton, Va.
This Zombie-themed 5K challenges runners to navigate obstacles on the course while being chased by zombies. Each runner will be given two flags at the start of the race and attempt to finish with both still intact as the zombies try to remove them.
Tutu 10K Relay
June 11; Key West, Fla.
This event is all about running and having fun. If you’re going to go all the way to Key West for a 10K relay, you may as well do it in a tutu. Instead of a baton, runners on each team of two or more people exchange a tutu as they race across the island.
June 11; Chicago
You have two choices when it comes to running this national event—a classic, chip-timed 5K run with plenty of beer at the post-race party, or the beer mile, where runners consume a beer every quarter-mile during the race.
Tampa Beer Run
June 18; Tampa, Fla.
This 5K run in and around Al Lopez Park features a craft beer sampling every three-quarters of a mile along the course. After the race, you have your choice of a 16-ounce beer, plus music, more drinks and dancing. Time isn’t really an issue at this race.
June 18; Temecula, Calif.
The Southern California edition of this national obstacle race series takes place at Galway Downs and includes more than 25 obstacles over the 3-mile course. After the race the fun continues with mechanical bulls, bounce houses, and plenty of food, music and drinks.
San Diego Gladiator Rock’n Run
June 25; Lakeside, Calif.
Climb the muddy mountain, crawl through the trenches and take the polar plunge at this race series that includes the Gladiator (3.2 miles), Super Gladiator (5 miles) or Goliath (10–12 miles). This obstacle-heavy series takes place within the Barona Oaks Motorcross Park near San Diego.