Whether you’re a beginner runner in search of a fun 5k or you’re a veteran in search of another medal to add to your growing collection, the spring season offers a wide variety of different events to choose from all across the U.S. and beyond. Here are few we think you should consider.
Part of Pittsburgh’s Pride week (June 5-14) this 5k follows a scenic route along the Allegheny river on the city’s North Shore. “We boast a great course, excellent vendors, and a fantastic crowd,” says race director Amanda Shannon Verrengia. This year the event takes place on June 7 and the race benefits the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh.
June 7, 2105
Dubbed “Columbia’s most challenging foot race”, changing rock formations cause the length of the Quarry Crusher course to grow each year. The current distance covers 3.72 miles, but this year’s race will also feature a “Double Crusher” route of 7.44 miles for runners with a bit more ambition.
This weekend-long athletic event offers 12 different races for adults and four for children, including a kids obstacle course, 5k and 10k runs, a half marathon, and a full 70.4 triathlon. In addition to racing, weekend activities include a rock climbing wall and finish line festivals.
April 24-26, 2015
With obstacles like water slides, the “giant-trike rally”, pole vaulting, and the stuntman freefall, the Thrillseeker Stunt Run adds an extra element of fun to the traditional obstacle course race. Events typically feature 12 obstacles, all designed by Hollywood stunt producers, over a distance of 5k and races will take place across a handful of U.S. cities in 2015.
Beginning on the Great River Bridge above the Mississippi River, this scenic course covers six miles through downtown Burlington, including a run up Snake Alley (pictured left), which Ripley’s Believe It or Not has named the “crookedest street in the world.” 2015 marks the Great River Bridge Race’s 20th anniversary.
May 16, 2015
This family-friendly event features 5k and 1k courses and serves to honor the late Devaughn Darling, twin brother of retired NFL wide receiver Devard Darling, who died in 2001 “due to exhaustion during spring football practice at Florida State University.” Proceeds from the race benefit the As One Foundation, which Devard Darling created in honor of his brother.
February 22, 2015
With the San Gabriel Mountains as a backdrop, Santa Anita Park is widely considered one of the most beautiful race tracks in the world. The Derby Day 5k that takes place here is unique in that it starts and finishes on the race track, complete with a real life horse race starting gate. Plus, the male winner gets the honor of being escorted to the finish line by a thoroughbred race horse.
April 4, 2015
This event, which features both a full and half-marathon, is said to be the first and only USATF-certified Boston marathon qualifier that’s organized and hosted by a retirement community. But don't worry, you can run no matter where you're at in your career; the race attracts runners of all ages who come to enjoy a scenic course that winds through Amish farmlands. And after crossing the finish line, participants are welcomed to the Garden Spot Village shower, pool, and hot tub facilities.
A short but still challenging race, The Muddy Leprechaun is celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2015. The event features two- and four-mile courses that are entirely off-road, winding through Hopewell Mound Group National Park. All age groups and abilities are welcomed, as participants can choose to run or walk. In true Irish tradition, bagpipers are scattered about the race path and runners are awarded with custom pint glasses upon finishing.
March 14, 2015
At the halfway mark of this 5k race, which takes place every spring in Orlando, runners stop and take a break to down a few donuts. Not only do Pig Run participants get rewarded with pastries, but they also get the satisfaction of completing a good deed, as all race proceeds benefit the Hailey Collins Foundation, a charity local to Lake Nona that provides gifts to kids at Nemours Children's Hospital.
April 4, 2015
Held each year in May since 1979, this road race starts and finishes on the legendary downtown Santa Fe Plaza. The event’s scenic 5k course runs along Santa Fe River Park and crosses the Santa Fe River before looping back around towards the Plaza. Race proceeds benefit the local Girls on the Run chapter, an organization that serves to educate young women about health.