As the days get shorter and the evenings a little crisper, it’s time to consider those end-of-summer destination races. This window before the season officially changes and training schedules and gear require a few deviations is precious. Check out these races throughout the country for some racing inspiration.  

IF YOU WANT TO DO SOME GOOD

What: Hero-Up Half-Marathon, 5K and Kids Race
When: September 2, 2017
Where: Tigard, Oregon
Why: During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, participating in this charity race allows you to honor children who fight cancer. Race directors encourage runners to dress as their favorite superheros to demonstrate support of the child heroes battling cancer. As an added bonus, all race proceeds fund cancer research.
After the race: Visit the Tigard Farmers Market on Sunday from 9 a.m.–1:30 p.m. for fresh cider and live music.

IF YOU WANT TO BRING THE FAMILY

What: Jackson Hole Marathon Half-Marathon and Marathon Relay
When: September 2, 2017
Where: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Why: One of the most picturesque races in the country, located in the heart of the Teton Range, this event can double as a family getaway to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Bring your own hydration system during the race, as this event remains cup-free to respect environmental concerns.
After the race: Keep the workout momentum and take the family camping in Yellowstone for the rest of the long weekend. The backcountry offers more than 300 campsites.  

IF YOU LOVE THE GRAND OLE OPRY

What: Best Buddies Tennessee Race 13.1 Nashville Half-Marathon, 10K and 5K
When: September 2, 2017
Where: Nashville, Tennessee
Why: Featuring the top attractions of Music City, the half marathon starts and finishes at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, and takes runners past the historic Sulphur Dell downtown area, the Cumberland River Greenway and the headquarters for the Tennessee Titans football team. The post-race party, of course, includes music.
After the race: Partake in a concert at the Grand Ole Opry. The night of the race this year, Daryle Singletary, Seth Ennis and The Secret Sisters perform.

IF YOU LOVE THE BEACH

What: Kauai Marathon and Half-Marathon
When: September 3, 2017
Where: Kauai, Hawaii
Why: Running through a Hawaiian tropical paradise on the “Garden Isle” takes runners past traditional hula dancers, Taiko drum troupes and bright blue ocean views. Try not to let the tranquil pace of Kauai take over until after you run your race.   
After the race: Whether you opt for an active recovery of hiking or kayaking the Na Pali coast or you want to soak in the rays at the beach, it’s is your call.

IF YOU NEED A CHALLENGE

What: Pier to Peak Half Marathon
When: September 3, 2017
Where: Santa Barbara, California
Why: Known as “The World’s Toughest Half Marathon,” this race takes you from the landmark Santa Barbara Friendship Dolphins Fountain at the edge of the wharf, up a climb of 3,996 feet and on to the views at La Cumbre Peak. At the finish line, runners can look down at the point where they started.  
After the race: Wine-lovers can head to California’s central coast wine country for tours and tastings.


READ MORE

> The 5K Cheat Sheet
> The 10K Cheat Sheet
> The Major Half-Marathon Cheat Sheet
> The Major Marathon Cheat Sheet


IF YOU WANT TO PAY YOUR RESPECTS

What: 9-11 Memorial 5K & Half
When: September 10, 2017
Where: Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
Why: Benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project, this flat half-marathon in Georgetown is run on the C&O Canal path. Dress up in patriotic colors and salute the flag as you run past it. For runners outside of D.C. who still want to show their support, the race offers a virtual option.
After the race: Head to Arlington, Virginia, for a moment of silence held at 9:37 a.m. at Arlington National Cemetery.

IF YOU REQUIRE SOME CULTURE

What: Santa Fe Thunder Half-Marathon, 5K and Mile Walk
When: September 17, 2017
Where: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Why: This 13.1-miler features a point-to-point course gradually descending a net 1,000 feet into the red-rock Rio Grande Valley. Various other distances from the half-marathon to a 5K and even a mile walk are offered.
After the race: Explore the Canyon Road Arts District, a prominent tourist landmark. Canyon Road includes 200 art galleries to stroll through — think of it as a culturally inspired active recovery.

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