7 Great Races to Run at Least Once in Your Lifetime ...

As a marathon runner, I know there are so many great races to run at least once in your lifetime. Some of my listed marathons (26.2 miles) I have run and others are on my “bucket list” of things to do in my life. All of these races can be made into a great vacation as well. And running a destination race is great motivation to rev up your training. So here are 7 great races to run that you won’t regret.

1. NYC Marathon

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The NYC Marathon is the first on my list because I consider this one of the best races to run. NYC Marathon is an amazing race through the 5 Boroughs of New York City. It is a fast race with rolling hills, incredible crowd support and an amazing race finish through Central Park. I have run this race six times already and I do not plan on stopping anytime soon for a reason! The NYC Marathon is an amazing race! If you are traveling here you can plan a few days in Manhattan visiting museums, plays, shopping and having fine dining experiences!

2. Flying Pigs Marathon

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The Cincinatti Flying Pigs Marathon is a great race with rolling hills, friendly spectators and a really great pasta party the night prior. I really enjoyed running this race because everyone is so welcoming right from the moment you pick up registration. During the race all the local residents come out to support this great race. If you are not a marathoner there is also a 5k and 10k race. This is a definite must do in my book! While you are visiting this area you can visit their great aquarium!

3. Disney Marathon

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There are so many great races in Walt Disney that rock! There is a 5k, 10 miler, half marathon and a full marathon. How great would it be to run through the park dressed like a princess? Then run a Disney race. Visit Disney with family and friends and this will be the ultimate fun destination race!

4. Wineglass Marathon

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The beautiful wineglass marathon in Corning, New York takes place in October when the leaves start to turn and as a result the run is breathtaking. Take in the sights of beautiful Corning as you run this great race. This is a smaller race with the options of running the half or full marathon. Whether you finish the half or full marathon, you will receive a one of a kind glass medal. And at the finish line there is warm chicken soup, which is quite a relief on a chilly day!

5. Richmond Marathon

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The Richmond Marathon was one of my first races and I have great memories of this race. This race is a rolling hill course through beautiful, historic Richmond and the surrounding neighborhood. There is great spectator support at different mile points when you need that extra push. And there is a great party at the finish. This race is known as “America’s Friendliest Marathon” for a reason, the volunteers and crowd support are super! This is a must do!

6. Athens Marathon

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Run a race where marathons all began. The race begins in the ancient battlefield of Marathon and it is quite challenging with it’s elevation but well worth the challenge. And this is a great destination race because you will have the opportunity to visit the historical monuments of Greece. This was rated as Forbes Magazine's top destination race for a reason!

7. Pikes Peak Marathon

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This race is said to “redefine” the way you view running because it is just that challenging! For non marathoners there is a half marathon you can run in as well. Pikes Peak Marathon is called “America’s Ultimate Challenge” for a reason, there is over 8,000 feet of vertical elevation that you will be running! I anticipate running this race because it is a mental and physical test!

Now that you know of a few great races you should definitely run at least once in your life, which race will you run first? Will you race this solo or recruit a group of friends to take on the challenge? Good luck and have a great race!

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