Bucket List & Interesting Races

This is a list of interesting races 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 includes 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
January 15, 2023
Fun course in unique location

The Gumby 10K and 5K in Granite Bay, California
January 29, 2022
Trail race with Gumby & Pokey theme

FEBRUARY

Sarasota Music Half Marathon in Sarasota, Florida
February 12, 2023
Scenic course with lots of entertainment

Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon, 10K, 5K in Las Vegas, Nevada
February 25-26, 2023 (previously in November)
Popular race; run the strip at night

MARCH

Whooping Crane Strut 10K, 5K and 2M in Rockport, Texas
March 5, 2022
Seems like a fun theme

NYC Half Marathon in New York, New York
March 20, 2022
Runs through Times Square and other iconic NYC sites

Gate River Run 15K in Jacksonville, Florida
March 5, 2022
One of the world's largest races, run over the St. Johns River

Race to the Cave Half Marathon in Woodville, Alabama
March 20, 2022
Runs through Cathedral Caverns

Run the Bluegrass in Lexington, Kentucky
April 2, 2022
Extremely pretty course; rolling hills

APRIL

Cooper River Bridge Run 10K in Charleston, South Carolina
April 1, 2023
Run over a big impressive bridge

Aquarium Run Half Marathon, 10K and 5K in Jenks, Oklahoma
April 2, 2022
Benefits the Oklahoma Aquarium

Oak Barrel Half Marathon in Lynchburg, Tennessee
April 2, 2022
Course passes Jack Daniel's Distillery; hilly course; popular race

Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run in Washington, D.C.
April 2, 2023 (50th Anniversary) * signed up for email notification for opening of 2023 lottery
Run through the blooming cherry blossoms

7 Mile Bridge Run in Marathon, Florida
April 2, 2022
Unique course over one of the world's largest bridges. Run from Knight's Key to Little Duck Key. Must beat the bridge -- exact pace to maintain unknown. Plenty (150+) of 13+ minute-mile runners in 2022 results.

Bunny Wabbit Run Half Marathon, 10K and 5K in Libertyville, Illinois
April 8, 2023
I'd love to run this trail race in one of my favorite parks close to where I grew up

Race for the Birds 10K and 5K in Gerrardstown, West Virginia
April 9, 2022
Supports Potomac Valley Audubon Society

Donut Judge Me 5K in Glendale, Arizona
April 10, 2022
Carry a donut pool float on the course for an extra challenge

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

Vidalia Onion Run Half Marathon and 5K in Vidalia, Georgia
April 23, 2022
Fun festival, fun run?

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
April 28-30, 2023
Runs by Oklahoma City landmarks

Jekyll Island Turtle Crawl in Jekyll Island, Georgia
April 30, 2022
Benefits the Georgia Sea Turtle Center

MAY

Lincoln Tunnel Challenge 5K in Weehawken, New Jersey
May 1, 2022
Run through the Lincoln Tunnel (spans two states, mostly under water!)

Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K in Spokane, Washington
May 7, 2023
In conjunction with the Spokane Lilac Festival

Broad Street Run 10-Miler in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 1, 2022
The country's biggest 10 Mile race, mostly on one road: Broad Street

Indy Mini Marathon in Indianapolis, Indiana
May 6, 2023
Part of the run is on the Indianapolis Speedway

Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio
May 7, 2023
Popular race weekend with multiple events and challenge opportunities

Dino Half Marathon and 5K in Vernal, Utah
May 7, 2022
Downhill point-to-point race

Tulip Time Run 10K and 5K in Holland, Michigan
May 7, 2022
In conjunction with the Tulip Time festival

Night Owl 5K at Panola Mountain State Park near Atlanta in Georgia
May 7, 2022
Supports AWARE Wildlife Center; education animal ambassadors on the course of this night time race

Running with the Cows Half Marathon & 5K in Kansas City, Missouri
May 14, 2022
Amazing post-race feast

Tulip Festival Road Race 10K and 5K in Orange City, Iowa
May 21, 2022
In conjunction with the Orange City Tulip Festival

Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg, Virginia
May 22, 2022
Course through historic downtown streets; Marines at finish line

Bay to Breakers 12K in San Francisco, California
May 15, 2022
Popular race, many in costume!

Jim Thorpe Area Running Festival in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
May 14-15, 2022
Scenic runs includes full and half marathon, 7-miler; scenic train ride to start of full or 7M

Bolder Boulder 10K in Boulder, Colorado
May 30, 2022
One of the largest 10K races in the world

JUNE

Covered Bridges Half Marathon in Woodstock, Vermont
June 5, 2022
Runs through and by covered bridges

Run for the Zoo 10K and 5K at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois
June 5, 2022
I'd love to run this race in my old hometown

Run Bear Lake Marathon and Half Marathon events in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah
June 8-11, 2022
3 races in 3 days for 50 staters

Into the Wild Running Festival 10K or 5K in Keenesburg, Colorado
June 11, 2022
Run through a 789-acre large animal rescue (big cats, large exotics)

The Ryan Walsworth Spear-It 5K in Mears, Michigan
June 11, 2022
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
June 18, 2022
I'd love to run at this special place I've visited so many times growing up nearby

Slacker Half Marathon and 4 Mile Race in Loveland, Colorado
June 25, 2022
All downhill course, ya slacker!

Run & Ride Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia
June 7, 2020
Theme park run [possibly defunct? no info as of May 2022]

Run & Ride Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
June 8, 2019
Theme park run [possibly defunct? no info as of May 2022]

JULY

AJC Peachtree Road Race 10K in Atlanta, Georgia
July 4, 2022
Extremely popular, large race; lottery entry

Running with the Balloons 5K in Readington, New Jersey
July 31, 2022
Run through hot air balloon festival launch area; in conjunction with Festival of Ballooning

Run to Home Base in Boston, Massachusetts
July 30, 2022
Runs on the field at Fenway Park | note insane fundraising requirement

AUGUST

Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, Maine
August 6, 2022
Point-to-point course along beautiful Maine coast; race founded by Joan Benoit Samuelson

Shawshank Hustle 7K in Mansfield, Ohio
August 6, 2022
Start/finish at the Ohio State Reformatory, where part of the Shawshank Redemption was filmed. 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
August 13, 2022
Run on Goodyear’s Akron Proving Grounds and World Headquarters (normally restricted property)

Not Nice Moses 10K and 5K in Lower Five Islands, Nova Scotia
August 14, 2022
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!

Run with the Horses Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K in Green River, Wyoming
August 20, 2022
Scenic & challenging course

Donut Judge Me 5K in Mason, Ohio
August 27, 2022
Carry a donut pool float on the course for an extra challenge

Donut Judge Me 5K in Carmel, Indiana
August 28, 2022
Carry a donut pool float on the course for an extra challenge

Skokie's Backlot Dash 5K in Skokie, Illinois
August 27, 2022
Part of Skokie's Back Lot Bash festival; I'd love to run this one close to where I grew up

SEPTEMBER

Saints Kickoff Run 5K in New Orleans, Louisiana
September 7, 2019
Finish on the 50 yard line

Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania
September 10, 2022
Runs through Amish Country; great spread afterwards and horseshoe medal

Red Tail Run 5K in Powell, Ohio
September 13, 2020
Benefits wildlife rescue

Orca Half in Seattle, Washington
September 17, 2022
Flat course with beautiful city and Puget Sound views

Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon & 5K in Cherokee, North Carolina
September 17, 2022
Scenic course, great post-race spread

Conquer the Cave 5K in Woodville, Alabama.
September 25, 2022
Runs through Cathedral Caverns

Chicago Half Marathon and 5K in Chicago, Illinois
September 25, 2022
Shuts down LSD

OCTOBER

California Classic Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K in Fresno, California
October 1, 2022
The half and 10K run through parts of Chaffee Zoo, finishes inside Chukchansi Stadium (minor league baseball)

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

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

Urban Bourbon Half Marathon in Louisville, Kentucky
October 8, 2022
Popular race with great spread afterwards

Run Conch Republic Half Marathon & 10K in Key West, Florida
October 9, 2021
Formerly the Southermost Half

Fall Foliage Half Marathon and 5K in Rhinebeck, New York
October 9, 2022
Run through beautiful fall foliage

Chicago Marathon in Chicago, Illinois
October 9, 2022
World Marathon Major, my #1 most wanted future marathon

Spacerock Trail Race Half Marathon, 10K and 5K in Vasquez Rocks, California
October 22, 2022
Run Vasquez Rocks Natural Park, backdrop for TV shows including Star Trek

End of the Road Half Marathon & 4 Miler in Waterfall, PA
October 22-23, 2022
Run on the old Pennsylvania Turnpike, including 5 miles of tunnels!

Monster Mash Marathon in Dover, Delaware
October 19, 2019
Start/finish on the Dover International Speedway

Hershey Half Marathon in Hershey, Pennsylvania
October 20, 2022
Run Chocolate Avenue and experience other choco-stuff

Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Virginia
October 30, 2022
Scenic course through Washington, D.C. with Marines along the way

NOVEMBER

Marshall University Marathon in Huntington, West Virginia
November 6, 2022
Finish in University football stadium and carry a football over the finish line 

Tyranena Beer Run in Lake Mills, Wisconsin
November 4, 2017
Known for great post-race spread

Light the Way 5K in Sieverville, Tennessee
November 12, 2021
Run through beautiful holiday lights in Dollywood theme park

Rocky Run Half Marathon, 10 Miler, and 5K in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
November 12, 2022
Rocky-themed race *does not go up Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs

Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia
November 13, 2021
Scenic course through National Park

Cades Cove Loop Lope 10 Mile or 5K in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
November 13, 2022
The only race in GSMNP; usually sells out and parking pass sells out on day 1

DECEMBER

A Christmas Story Run 5K & 10K in Cleveland, Ohio
December 2, 2017
Lots of running pink nightmares & leg lamps

Islamorada Half Marathon and 10K in Islamorada, Florida
December 11, 2022 (Beer Mile and 5K on 12/10/22)
Scenic course in the Florida Keys

Stars at Night Half Marathon in San Antonio, TX
December 17, 2022
Night race through holiday decor at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa