Hi everyone! As you’re probably aware by now, I’ve got a goal of running in all 50 states. I’ve already crossed off 8 states and loved every single one of them! I have a feeling it’s going to take forever for me to complete it, but I’m okay with that! It just means I get to be a runner for the rest of my life 🙂 During the long, dark winter here I would sometimes lose motivation to run. So whenever I felt that way I’d sit down with my laptop open to Running In The USA and search for races I’d like to run in each state. Yes, this took FOREVER but doing it slowly throughout the winter kept me excited for racecations and focused on my goals! There are some places in the US I never really thought about visiting before until I found sweet races there – mostly the midwest (no offense, but you can tell I’m a mountain-loving girl!) or places that just aren’t as easy to travel to from the east coast or Alaska. So for today’s Friday Five with Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar, I decided to take the prompt “Five Trips ____” and turn it into “Five Trips I’d Make For Running!”. I’ve never run these races but hope to do so soon!
I’ve still got so many states to turn yellow!
1. Nevada: So I was just here a few weeks ago flying in/out for my Utah trip, and while I enjoyed the Trader Joe’s, Chipotle, and outlet shopping there, I can say I’m not a fan of Las Vegas (I’m not a big drinker and I don’t gamble). But since I didn’t run a race while I was there, I’m probably going to go back someday to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon. While this race doesn’t fit my usual scenic choice of a race course, it does have one big thing going for it: it happens at night! I’m a night runner who hates running in hot weather so I think this will make for perfect race conditions. Plus I can hit up Chipotle afterwards. I’m sure there’s one that’s open late, right? #priorities
2. Oklahoma: I heard that it’s flat here, which is exciting because the Route 66 Marathon runs through Tulsa! The race swag looks incredible, and they have an “ultra marathon” detour on their marathon course – you can take a slight detour to “The Center of the Universe” to make your race total 26.5 instead of 26.2 miles. I may have to do this one day so I can say I ran an ultra!
3. West Virginia: In full disclosure I’ve been to WV before and enjoyed the pretty scenery, but as a former Pitt Panther I have nothing good to say about the state 🙂 That is, until I discovered the Hatfield-McCoy Marathon (and half!). I’m a giant history nerd and can’t imagine how much fun it would be to run through history like this! Taking a look at the race date made me cringe just thinking about the heat and humidity, but I think I’ll take the risk!
4. Arkansas: I literally don’t know anything about Arkansas, except that the Duggars live there. But I do know that the Little Rock Marathon has the biggest race medals ever! I will travel for something that epic!
5. Montana and Wyoming: I’ve always wanted to visit Montana (helloooo big mountains and open starry skies) but why are these two states grouped together? Because next year I fully plan on visiting both places in one week so that I can run 2 epic races put on by the company that brought me the Zion Half Marathon – Vacation Races! The Grand Teton Half Marathon in Wyoming happens on a Saturday and then the Yellowstone Half Marathon (or if I wimp out, the Yellowstone 5K) is held in Montana a week later. Like the Zion Half, these races have amazing swag and medals, hiking clubs you can join after the race (let’s hope I don’t have to deal with anything as crazy as I did when I joined The Angels Club), and tons of gorgeous views! Plus I can cross off 2 states AND 2 national parks in one week. Win!
I honestly don’t know which state I’ll be crossing off next – either Wisconsin if I can visit my sister in Milwaukee this summer, or somewhere near my parents on the east coast in the fall. And if I can’t make it to the east coast, I’m totally looking into a fall race in nearby Cali, Hawaii, or Oregon instead! There are so many amazing races all over the US and not enough free miles on our Alaska Airlines card for all of them. But life is short so I’ll be knocking a few more states off my list before 2016 🙂
Do you have any race suggestions that are worth traveling for? Where should I run next?