5 American Races Worth Training For

Finishing a race can not only help with your fitness routine, it can also lift your self esteem and give you a sense of solidarity with your fellow participants. If you're willing to put in the time and work training, a challenging athletic feat can be incredibly rewarding. The events listed here encompass marathons, relay races, and canoe competitions throughout the United States. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Notable Races In The U.S.

Name Location
Horsetooth Half Marathon Fort Collins, CO
AuSable River Canoe Marathon Grayling to Oscoda, MI
VCU Health Richmond Marathon Richmond, VA
Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Reno, NV
Little Rock Marathon Little Rock, AR

Benefits Of Spending Time Outdoors

  • Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D
  • In the winter, leaving the house can lessen the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Running is a great way to stay physically active
  • Walking in the fresh air can help with mental health
  • It's a great opportunity to learn about local plant and animal species
  • Going outside may be good for children's vision

How Running Marathons Can Transform Lives

5 Reasons To Stay In Shape

  1. Improves physical health
  2. Improves mental health
  3. Reduces risk of injury
  4. Leads to better sleep
  5. Good way to meet new people

Equipment Every Fitness Enthusiast Should Have

  • With a workout journal you can write down your goals and track your progress
  • A headband to keep sweat out of your eyes
  • Keep yourself and your equipment nice & dry with a workout towel
  • If you're into technology, a fitness tracker can help you train by keeping you aware of your personal stats
  • Headphones so you can listen to music or podcasts during your workout
  • A good bag to carry all of your things to the gym & back in

Does Stretching Before Exercise Actually Help?

In Depth

For those into outdoor physical activity and competition, races offer ideal opportunities to enjoy both things at once. They're also great events for bonding, improving endurance, and seeing all kinds of local scenery along the course. Encompassing traditional marathons and runs as well as a water-based alternative, here are, in no particular order, some noteworthy American races to sign up for.

At #1 is the Horsetooth Half Marathon in Fort Collins, Colorado. Offering views of the city skyline between the iconic peaks of Horsetooth Mountain and Arthur's Rock, the course begins at 5,195 feet above sea level, and takes runners on a nearly 500-foot climb to the top of "Monster Mountain" just before the second mile. Following a few smaller climbs and a downhill trajectory, runners head eastward to the finish at New Belgium Brewing.

The finish line party includes free New Belgium beer, post-race food, music performances, and giveaways at the sponsor expo and awards ceremony. Cash prizes are awarded to top male and female finishers. Those looking for company and guidance can join the Fort Collins Running Club, the parent organization of the Horsetooth Half Marathon. In addition to discounts, the Club offers group training runs leading up to the race.

Cash prizes are awarded to top male and female finishers.

For #2 we get the AuSable River Canoe Marathon. A non-stop canoe race, it commences at night with a running start to the river in Grayling, Michigan, and ends 120 miles later near the shores of Lake Huron in Oscoda. Contestants must navigate the narrow, winding upper stretch in total darkness, and make their way through stump-filled ponds in the lower stretch. The demanding race draws top professional paddlers from across North and Central America.

Showing up at #3 is the VCU Health Richmond Marathon, which follows a course through the parks, street art, historic architecture, and riverside of Virginia's capital city. Ideal for first-timers, the course features gently rolling hills, DJs, spirit groups, and Party Zones that offer encouragement and motivation. Once over the finish line, runners are treated to a celebration on Brown's Island complete with pizza and beer.

Ideal for first-timers, the course features gently rolling hills, DJs, spirit groups, and Party Zones that offer encouragement and motivation.

Those who need help preparing for the race can join the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Registration includes a 23-week program, organized and supported weekly group runs, clinics, and personal guidance from coaches. In addition to the main event, race organizer Sports Backers also offers a Richmond Half Marathon, an 8K, and a costumed Halloween-season run for children. Training programs are available for the first two of these events.

For #4 we have the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey, a relay from Reno to Lake Tahoe and back, making a 178-mile loop around the region. The RTO course is divided into 36 legs, each averaging about five miles. With staggered start times, teams of up to twelve begin the relay on Friday, run throughout the night, and finish the next day. Along the way are hotels, restaurants, and various historic sites.

Runners wanting to compete on a smaller scale can register for the Capital Odyssey and Comstock Odyssey relays. The former race starts in Carson City, and joins the last twelve legs of the RTO course already in progress. The latter kicks off in Virginia City, and takes up the course's final six legs. These events allow a maximum of six runners to a team.

The former race starts in Carson City, and joins the last twelve legs of the RTO course already in progress.

Finally, coming in at #5 is the Little Rock Marathon. Held the first weekend in March, the event comprises full and half marathons, a 10K, a 5K, a children's mile, and a free two-day health and fitness expo. The event raises money for Little Rock Parks & Recreation, which oversees more than 6,000 park acres and offers a range of youth and adult recreational and sports programs.

The Little Rock Marathon provides a free training program to prepare runners for the race. It includes tips, webinars and videos, and training schedules. The schedules are divided into two parts: a build-up phase for those who are starting from scratch or need to work up to the longer distance, and an official phase for those who plan to participate in the most imminent Marathon.