I have to confess, I am becoming a bit of a race junkie. I always like to have a race coming up and I love race days. True, I tend to panic a bit before races as you will know if you read our last race report…but really, doesn’t nervous energy just mean that you care? As a woman in my thirties (pretend it’s early thirties, please), how often do I get to experience that kind of adrenaline rush? To really challenge my physical limits? To do something that requires discipline and commitment, and then provides almost immediate gratification in the form of a pretty, shiny object placed around my neck? And, let’s be honest, whether it is the thrill of personal victory or the agony of defeat as you cross the finish line, it is EXCITING. You feel like a rock star. Not to mention that you can eat whatever you want with zero guilt immediately afterwards. So yes, I like to race. I like the anticipation the week before and I always experience a bit of race hang-over the week afterwards as I come down from the natural high – and begin longing for the next one.
Of course, we can’t be racing all the time. It’s not like we’re Olympians here. So, in between races, I like to think about the races that would make my bucket list. You need to remember that I didn’t even discover this world of racing until earlier this year. So now, as I learn about all of these amazing destination races with exciting themes and on-course perks and fun costumes and pretty medals, I am kind of like a kid in a candy store. So much fun to be had. So many races to be run. Why didn’t I start this earlier???
Without too much further ado, here are some races that I have learned about that sound pretty fantastic. And just to be clear, my loyalty is unwavering – Disney’s Princess Half-Marathon remains at the top of my to do list! I am holding out for this one to be “my first” even while I fantasize about these other attractive options…
Tinkerbell Half-Marathon (Disneyland, California) – well, it’s not much of a stretch to think that if a woman wants to wear a tutu and tiara and run the Princess, she would probably also like to wear fairy wings and run the Tinkerbell. Well done, runDisney. I would love to take a trip to California for this race – just like the Princess, it is a race designed for women. And just like the Princess, it runs through the Disney theme parks. This one is a little different as it also runs through the city of Anaheim, including Angels Stadium, simply because Disneyland is smaller than Disney World and 13.1 miles is a lot of ground to cover, people. The only problem? Well, besides the cost of a trip to Disneyland and running in a different time zone? Tinkerbell is only a few short weeks before the Princess, making it pretty difficult to run both. But why would you need to run both? Because runDisney knows that race junkies are often also bling junkies so they provide an added incentive of an extra medal for runners who complete the Coast to Coast Challenge – meaning you run a marathon or half-marathon at both Disney World and Disneyland in one calendar year. Now we’re talking. But if Tinkerbell isn’t an option because it is too close to the Princess, what is a gal to do? Well, that brings us to the next race on the bucket list…
The Disneyland Half-Marathon (Disneyland, California) – Ah yes! runDisney wants to ensure that where there is a will, there is a way. This half-marathon is known as the happiest race on earth and, happily, is scheduled in an entirely different season than the Princess/Tinkerbell events. Like all runDisney races, the course takes you through the parks with plenty of characters and sights along the way, and it goes without saying that costumes are always appropriate, but it is a bit more generic than the power princess and pixie themed races. This race doesn’t belong to one character and it is not exclusively a women’s race. But…it’s still a pretty fun looking event and no one does magic like Disney. If you are going to run a half-marathon, why wouldn’t you want it to be the happiest one on earth?
Hershey Half-Marathon (Hershey, Pennsylvania) – this one takes place in what is known as the sweetest place on earth. Are you sensing a theme here? This half-marathon runs through Hershey Park and, you guessed it, there is chocolate involved. I have only heard great things about the organization of this event. It takes place during the fall, my favourite season, and includes passes to “Hershey at Dark”, Hershey Park’s Halloween event offering. All told, the whole thing sounds pretty sweet to me!
Nike Women’s Half-Marathon (San Francisco, California) – well clearly the west coast is calling me! This is the mother of all women’s races. I think the benefits of this one can easily be summed up in three points: firefighters, chocolate and a Tiffany’s necklace in lieu of medal. Yes please!!! There is a full marathon attached to this event, but that is not for me – I am only half crazy!
Divas Half Marathon Series (various locations in the USA) – I am not biased towards location. They all sound fun, but since we’re daydreaming here, let’s go with the Hawaii event. Why not? The Divas series looks like a blast! We are talking a feather boa and tiara station on the course, red roses and champagne, a beautiful finishers medal and a race t-shirt unlike any I have seen. The glitz and glam of this race appears to be unrivalled by any others. And if you are going to earn your tiara to become a Princess or your wings to become a Fairy, you may as well add Diva to your resume, right?
I love that there are so many races that cater to the modern female runner – you know, soccer moms who are trying to find their inner athletes between doing groceries and laundry…moms who are training on their lunch hours or before their kids get up/after they go to bed because it’s the only time they have to themselves…women who wear so many hats all day long that adding a sweat-wicking cap and banging out a 10K is often times the easiest part of their day (and certainly the most peaceful!)…women who are pretty much running the world. Yeah, we might as well throw some endurance races in there for good measure. Life is a race most days – might as well have some bling to show for it, right?
Tell us: What are your bucket list races? What has been your favourite race to date?