Bucket List & Interesting Races

Thanks for visiting! This is a personally-curated bucket list of races that I would like to keep on my radar. Have you run any of these?

The races are listed by month and may include the last date (or very old date) they were run rather than the next future date. I expect this list will be updated extremely irregularly.

I like races that take runners to places not normally open to the public or places I'd otherwise normally never visit, so this list is heavy on unique courses. Other races will include those with themes I find interesting or meaningful to me, and charity beneficiaries I would like to support, especially animal rehabilitation centers and other wildlife or environmental causes.

JANUARY

Key West Half Marathon & 5K in Key West, Florida
next running: January 15, 2023
why run: This popular, long-running event has a great course around Key West. 

The Gumby 10K and 5K in Granite Bay, California
next running: January 28, 2023
why run: This race has a fun trail course. The main reason this one is on the list is because I've always thought the classic claymation character of Gumby was pretty funny, and because in 2013 my husband and I adopted (foster failed) a kitty that came with the name Gumby.

FEBRUARY

Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon, 10K, 5K in Las Vegas, Nevada
next running: February 25-26, 2023 (previously in November)
why run: This is a popular race put on by Rock'n'Roll Running Series. The unique course goes through the Las Vegas Strip at night.

MARCH

Whooping Crane Strut 10K, 5K and 2M in Rockport, Texas
last running: March 5, 2022
why run: A race that highlights an endangered bird species? I'm there.

Gate River Run 15K in Jacksonville, Florida
last running: March 5, 2022
why run: This 15K is one of the world's largest races and is semi-local for me. It has a fun course that goes over the St. Johns River.

United Airlines NYC Half Marathon in New York, New York
next running:
March 19, 2023
why run:
This race course runs through Times Square and other iconic NYC sites

Race to the Cave Half Marathon in Woodville, Alabama
next running: March 19, 2023
why run: What a neat course! It goes through Cathedral Caverns at the end, for 1.2 miles. There is also a 10K option and both races have a very generous cut-off time.

Run the Bluegrass in Lexington, Kentucky
next running: May 20, 2023
why run: This race is known for having an extremely pretty course with rolling hills through horse country.

APRIL

Cooper River Bridge Run 10K in Charleston, South Carolina
next running: April 1, 2023
why run: The course for this popular race includes a run over a big impressive bridge!

Aquarium Run Half Marathon, 10K and 5K in Jenks, Oklahoma
next running: April 1, 2023
why run: This race benefits the Oklahoma Aquarium.

Oak Barrel Half Marathon in Lynchburg, Tennessee
last running: April 2, 2022
why run: The course for this popular race passes Jack Daniel's Distillery. It's a challenging, hilly course.

Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run in Washington, D.C.
next running: April 2, 2023 (50th Anniversary) * The 2023 lottery will open on January 4, 2023 *
why run: I've never seen the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. and I want to! The race course starts and finishes near the Washington Monument and passes the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, George Mason Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, among other city sites. A 5K run-walk is also available.

7 Mile Bridge Run in Marathon, Florida
last running: April 2, 2022
why run: This race has a unique course over one of the world's largest bridges. Run from Knight's Key to Little Duck Key. Runners must beat the bridge -- exact pace to maintain unknown. Note: plenty (150+) of 13+ minute-mile runners in 2022 results.

Bunny Wabbit Run Half Marathon, 10K and 5K in Libertyville, Illinois
next running: April 8, 2023
why run: I'd love to run this trail race in one of my favorite parks close to where I grew up (Independence Grove).

Race for the Birds 10K and 5K in Gerrardstown, West Virginia
last running: April 9, 2022
why run: This race supports the Potomac Valley Audubon Society. If it's for the birds, it's on my list.

Donut Judge Me 5K in Glendale, Arizona
last running: April 10, 2022
why run: Runners can carry a donut pool float on the course for an extra challenge. Looks like silly fun.

Steam Train Half Marathon in Essex, Connecticut
last running: April 23, 2022
why run: Beat the train? Race the train? Sounds interesting, but I'll need more info on logistics. Seems like the race has a 3-hour cut-off, but a sub-2:30 beats the train?

California Classic Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K in Fresno, California
next running: April 15, 2023 (previously scheduled for October 1, 2022)
why run: The half and 10K run through parts of Chaffee Zoo, and finish inside Chukchansi Stadium (minor league baseball).

Vidalia Onion Run Half Marathon and 5K in Vidalia, Georgia
last running: April 23, 2022
why run: I like the idea of food festival runs.

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
next running: April 28-30, 2023
why run: This popular memorial race has an interesting course that runs by Oklahoma City landmarks

Jim Thorpe Area Running Festival in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
next running: April 29-30, 2023
why run: These scenic runs includes full and half marathon, plus a 7-miler with a scenic train ride to the start line. The full marathon is steady 1-2% downgrade from start to finish, making it a popular BQ race.

Jekyll Island Turtle Crawl in Jekyll Island, Georgia
last running: April 30, 2022
why run: This race benefits the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.

MAY

Lincoln Tunnel Challenge 5K in Weehawken, New Jersey
last running: May 1, 2022
why run: This race takes runners through the Lincoln Tunnel, which spans two states. The race is mostly under water!

Indy Mini Marathon in Indianapolis, Indiana
next running: May 6, 2023
why run: Part of the run is on the Indianapolis Speedway. I'm not interested in car racing but running on the Daytona Speedway has always been fun so I'd be game to run here as well.

Broad Street Run 10-Miler in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
last running: May 1, 2022
why run: This is the country's biggest 10 Mile race, mostly on one road: Broad Street. I've heard good things about this popular lottery-entry race.

Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio
next running: May 7, 2023
why run: This is a big one! Flying Pig is a very popular race weekend with multiple events and challenge opportunities

Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K in Spokane, Washington
next running: May 7, 2023
why run: This is another race held in conjunction with a fun-sounding festival -- the Spokane Lilac Festival. Lilacs are some of my favorite flowers.

Tulip Time Run 10K and 5K in Holland, Michigan
last running: May 7, 2022
why run: This race is held in conjunction with the Tulip Time festival. With my husband's Dutch heritage I'm interested in this festival and running during the event.

Night Owl 5K at Panola Mountain State Park near Atlanta in Georgia
last running: May 7, 2022
why run: This race supports the AWARE Wildlife Center. Runners will find education animal ambassadors on the course of this night time race.

Dino Half Marathon and 5K in Vernal, Utah
next running: May 13, 2023
why run: Outrun extinction with this downhill point-to-point half marathon!

Running with the Cows Half Marathon & 5K in Kansas City, Missouri
next running: May 13, 2023
why run: This race boasts a great rural course and apparently has an amazing post-race feast.

Bay to Breakers 12K in San Francisco, California
last running: May 15, 2022
why run: This extremely popular race is known for its festival atmosphere and many, many costumed runners!

Tulip Festival Road Race 10K and 5K in Orange City, Iowa
next running: May 20, 2023
why run: This race is held in conjunction with the Orange City Tulip Festival. It sounds like a fun festival and I like the idea of festival races.

Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg, Virginia
last running: May 22, 2022
why run: The course goes through historic downtown streets, and you'll find Marines at finish line.

Bolder Boulder 10K in Boulder, Colorado
last running: May 30, 2022
why run: This is one of the largest 10K races in the world and known for its party atmosphere and large Memorial Day tribute in Folsom Field.

JUNE

Covered Bridges Half Marathon in Woodstock, Vermont
next running: June 4, 2023
why run: This race has a scenic course that winds through and by covered bridges!

Run for the Zoo 10K and 5K at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois
last running: June 5, 2022
why run: I'd love to run this race in and around the popular zoo in my old hometown.

Run Bear Lake Marathon and Half Marathon events in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah
next running: June 7-10, 2023
why run: 50 staters (not me) can knock out three states (Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah) in three days at this unique running trifecta event that offers a full marathon and half marathon each day.

Into the Wild Running Festival 10K or 5K in Keenesburg, Colorado
last running: June 11, 2022
why run: This race goes through (and benefits) a 789-acre large animal rescue where runners will see big cats and other large exotics.

The Ryan Walsworth Spear-It 5K in Mears, Michigan
last running: June 11, 2022
why run: This race is put on in conjunction with the National Asparagus Festival. I did this virtually a couple of times and I'd love to attend in person some day.

Lambs Farm 5K Fun Run in Libertyville, Illinois
last running: June 18, 2022
why run: I'd love to run at this special place that I've visited so many times, growing up nearby.

Slacker Half Marathon and 4 Mile Race in Loveland, Colorado
next running: June 25, 2023 (always the 4th Sunday in June)
why run: This race boasts itself to be the highest downhill half in the country. It's an all downhill course, ya slackers!

JULY

AJC Peachtree Road Race 10K in Atlanta, Georgia
next running: July 4, 2023
why run: This is an extremely popular, large race that always takes place on Independence Day.

Running with the Balloons 5K in Readington, New Jersey
next running: July 30, 2023
why run: Racers will run through hot air balloon festival launch area. The race is held in conjunction with Festival of Ballooning.

Run to Home Base in Boston, Massachusetts
last running: July 30, 2022
why run: You get to run on the field at historic Fenway Park! This is a charity race that has a relatively high fundraising requirement ($550 - $750 for 2022)

AUGUST

Not Since Moses 10K and 5K in Lower Five Islands, Nova Scotia
next running: August 5, 2023
why run: Run the ocean floor during special low tide conditions! "For just a few hours, on just a few days of the year, the tides are low enough in this area of the Bay (of Fundy) to run the ocean floor. It's muddy, it's rough, it's a blast!" 5K is an out-and-back; 10K is point-to-point and must be completed in 1 hour 15 minutes or you'll be swept out to sea!

Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, Maine
last running: August 6, 2022
why run: This is a point-to-point course along beautiful Maine coast; race founded by Joan Benoit Samuelson.

Shawshank Hustle 7K in Mansfield, Ohio
last running: August 6, 2022
why run: You'll start/finish at the Ohio State Reformatory, where part of the Shawshank Redemption was filmed. The course passes filming sites as well. Prison tour ticket included. Guards vs. Inmates challenge, beat the warden, fun gimmicks.

Akron Marathon Race Series Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 8K in Akron, Ohio
next running: August 12, 2023
why run: Run on Goodyear’s Akron Proving Grounds and World Headquarters (normally restricted property).

Skokie's Backlot Dash 5K in Skokie, Illinois
last running:
August 27, 2022
why run:
This race is part of Skokie's Back Lot Bash festival; I'd love to run this one which is close to where I grew up.

Donut Judge Me 5K in Mason, Ohio
last running: August 27, 2022
why run: Runners can carry a donut pool float on the course for an extra challenge. Looks like silly fun.

Donut Judge Me 5K in Carmel, Indiana
last running: August 28, 2022
why run: Runners can carry a donut pool float on the course for an extra challenge. Looks like silly fun.

SEPTEMBER

Saints Kickoff Run 5K in New Orleans, Louisiana
last running: September 10, 2022
why run: You'll start in Champions Square festival grounds and finish on the 50 yard line of Caesars Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints.

Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania
last running: September 10, 2022
why run: This race goes through Amish Country and has a great spread afterwards; fun *real* horseshoe medal.

Orca Half in Seattle, Washington
next running: September 17, 2022
why run: This race has a flat course with beautiful Seattle city and Puget Sound views.

Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon & 5K in Cherokee, North Carolina
next running: was scheduled for September 17, 2022 but was unfortunately cancelled
why run: This race is known for its scenic course and great post-race spread.

Conquer the Cave 5K in Woodville, Alabama.
next running: September 25, 2022
why run: The race course goes through Cathedral Caverns for a .6 mile out-and-back.

Chicago Half Marathon and 5K in Chicago, Illinois
next running: September 25, 2022
why run: This race shuts down LSD!

OCTOBER

Prairie State Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K in Long Grove, Illinois
next running:
October 1, 2022
why run: I'd love to run this race through this picturesque town close to where I grew up

Run Conch Republic Half Marathon & 10K in Key West, Florida
next running:
October 7, 2023
why run:
Formerly the Southermost Half, this race has a scenic course on Key West.

Fall Foliage 10K and 5K in Waynesboro, Virginia
next running: October 8, 2022
why run: See pretty fall foliage and attend Fall Foliage Art Festival

Urban Bourbon Half Marathon in Louisville, Kentucky
next running: October 8, 2022
why run: This is a popular race with great spread afterwards.

Fall Foliage Half Marathon and 5K in Rhinebeck, New York
next running: October 9, 2022
why run: Run through beautiful fall foliage!

Chicago Marathon in Chicago, Illinois
next running: October 9, 2022
why run: World Marathon Major, my #1 most wanted future marathon

Monster Mash Marathon in Dover, Delaware
next running: should have been October 15, 2022, but the race was unfortunately cancelled.
why run: The start/finish line is on the Dover International Speedway.

Spacerock Trail Race Half Marathon, 10K and 5K in Vasquez Rocks, California
next running: October 22, 2022
why run: The race takes place in Vasquez Rocks Natural Park, familiar backdrop for TV shows including Star Trek.

End of the Road Half Marathon & 4 Miler in Waterfall, PA
next running: October 22-23, 2022
why run: Run on the old Pennsylvania Turnpike, including 5 miles of tunnels! There is a half marathon each day to accommodate a larger number of runners.

Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Virginia
next running: October 30, 2022
why run: This race boasts a scenic course through Washington, D.C. with Marines along the way.

NOVEMBER

Tyranena Beer Run in Lake Mills, Wisconsin
next running: November 5, 2022
why run: This race is known for having a great post-race spread!

Marshall University Marathon and Half Marathon in Huntington, West Virginia
next running: November 6, 2022
why run: Finish in University football stadium and carry a football over the finish line 

Dollywood's Light the Way 5K in Sieverville, Tennessee
next running: November 11, 2022
why run: Race through beautiful holiday lights in Dollywood theme park!

Rocky Run Half Marathon, 10 Miler, and 5K in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
next running: November 12, 2022
why run: This is a Rocky-themed race, looks like fun (but note that it does not go up Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs).

Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia
next running: November 12, 2022
why run: Scenic course through Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park.

Cades Cove Loop Lope 10 Mile or 5K in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
next running: November 13, 2022
why run: This is the only race inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park and usually sells out (parking pass sells out on day one).

DECEMBER

A Christmas Story Run 5K & 10K in Cleveland, Ohio
previous running: December 2, 2017
why run: The course takes runners from the former Higbee's Department Store to the Christmas Story House & Museum (5K). In recent year, race organizers have had trouble with licensing agreements, so the race hasn't been run in a while. The Facebook page is still semi-active. If this picks up again, look for lots of running pink nightmares & leg lamps and other fun holiday themed racers.

Islamorada Half Marathon and 10K in Islamorada, Florida
next running: December 11, 2022 (Beer Mile and 5K on 12/10/22)
why run: This popular race features a scenic course in the Florida Keys.

Stars at Night Half Marathon in San Antonio, TX
next running: December 17, 2022
why run: This is a night race through holiday decor at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. Looks like a fun and festive Christmas race!

Page last updated 9/12/22