Great Spring Races for East Coast Runners

These events get high marks for organization, scenery and crowd support
Staff Writer

Competition Imaging

Runners take off at the start of the Miller Lite Charlottesville Marathon

Congratulations East Coasters–you've (almost) made it through another bone-chilling winter. You'll soon be back to jogging in your shorts and tees, but what's running without a goal in mind? We've selected a few of our favorite races, all within weekend reach and with options for distance.  (Personally, we're not quite ready for a 50K just yet.)   Each one received rave reviews from past participants. 

The North Face Endurance Challenge
Location: Bear Mountain, NY
Date: May 4-5
Races: 50 mile, 50k, marathon, 10k, 5k
Want to get off the roads and into more challenging terrain? The North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain delivers. On this course, you’ll climb from the western shore of the Hudson River through the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. The trail is more rugged than your average race course, with rocky paths and some steep uphill climbs. Runners love the race organization, well-stocked aid stations and the complimentary swag. This year, you’ll also be able to see North Face ultrarunner Dean Karnazes at the pre-race panel discussion in The North Face retail store in New York City.
For more information, visit the official website.

Foot Levelers Inc. Blue Ridge Marathon & Half Marathon, Relay
Location: Roanoke, VA
Date: April 20
Races: Marathon, half marathon, five-person team relay
The first half of this course offers breathtaking views of the mountains from the Blue Ridge Parkway, while the second half takes you through charming neighborhoods in Roanoke. Participants gave the volunteers and supporters four stars and loved the finish-line food and massages. This year, the annual pasta dinner will feature talks from running legends Bart Yasso, Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers, and–once again—the event will be held in conjunction with the area’s music festival Down by Downtown.
For more information, visit the official website.

Miller Lite Charlottesville Marathon:
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Date: April 6
Races: Marathon, half marathon, 8k road race
While picking up your registration information might normally be a non-event, the Charlottesville Marathon turns this task into a party. After you’ve grabbed your paperwork, check out the free running expo where local and national vendors showcase their products and services. On race day, expect a hilly course that winds through the city’s historical areas and the beautiful countryside. Competitors loved passing by the many horse farms and spring blooms.
For more information, visit the official website.


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