I have admitted it often but here it is again: I am NOT athletic. But I absolutely love a good race.
I’ve already written about how I, Asthma Girl, started doing races. I’m not a strong runner. I do a jog and walk interval kind of thing.
But what makes me love race are the people. I love when people take the time to express their quirky side in a race. I love watching someone run in a sequined skirt or a glittery tutu. It’s even better if the runner is a guy. I like when people wear superhero costumes at the Halloween runs or red swimsuits and santa hats for the Christmas-time races. I love the guy who goes around with a robe, walking stick/sceptre and a giant lobster on his head. Really, you can see him here. I like that a guy was juggling while running at this year’s Cleveland Marathon, but I also wanted to trip him because he was faster then me while juggling.
I love light-heartedness. I love that there are other people out there that are doing it just to have a good time, that aren’t taking themselves too seriously. I’m never going to win a race. I’m never going to place in the top 3 of my age group. But I like being out there, having fun. And the sillier the event is, the happier I’m going to be.
Tomorrow, I’m doing the Warrior Dash. It seemed like a good idea when I signed up. A couple of coworkers were going to do it with me. They both backed out. So now I, Asthma Girl, am participating by myself. I was pretty confident when I saw the obstacles they had posted last year. A few seemed a little nutty, but nothing I couldn’t handle. After I signed up, they changed the obstacles on the course. The new obstacles were far more difficult and are potentially beyond my fitness level. I looked again a few weeks ago and the obstacles were changed yet again. Now there’s a disclaimer saying something like “what you see is what you get on race day”. I’m a little unsettled. Particularly as the participant pictures are far different now also. Originally, participants were dressed in homemade cardboard armor and were laughing and stuff. Now they are all completely toned and serious looking. That is not me. I signed up for the furry viking hat and the free beer at the end.
I’m still excited, but more wary than I was when I originally decided to do this. I’m not backing out now though.
The more I look for weird races, the more I find. The girlfriend responsible for me doing my first 5K, half marathon, and full marathon, her and I are doing The Color Run in a couple weeks. We’ve talked about doing a few others like the Krispy Kreme Challenge (I thought you ate a donut every mile but recently saw that you have to eat a dozen donuts at the halfway point in the race. Yuck!!!! I’m out. I won’t even go watch that), some marathon in Ireland where you stop and do shots at various bars along the way, and other such nonsense.
Making a race part of a vacation is a really fun idea. My husband and I ran the Cap City Half Marathon in Columbus at the beginning of May and turned it into a little weekend getaway with the kids. It was so much fun. With these ideas in my head, I’ve made a sort of bucket list of races I want to try. It’s not a true bucket list because I’ve actually already done some of these.
Full and Half Marathons
- Akron Marathon – I loved seeing my city, Cleveland, and Columbus up close during marathons. I don’t know Akron well and this would be a great way to see everything
- Canton Marathon – for much the same reason that I want to do the Akron Marathon. I think Canton is really cute. This year is the first Canton Marathon, I believe it’s on Fathers’ Day.
- Cap City Half Marathon – I loved doing it this year. I really love Columbus. It’s such a nice city. The Scioto Mile it beautiful.
- Cleveland Marathon – I’ve done the half twice here. I was very disappointed with the way it was run this year. It was very disorganized. Water stations ran out of cups. So many 10K runners were able to start early and were turned back because the times would have been wrong. Some of these runners made it to around the 2 mile mark before they were turned back. Terrible! There were almost no bands on the route. That’s one of the advertized things, the bands. The route was desolate. It was very, very disappointing. But this is my city, I’ll run it again. Every year that I can.
- Columbus Marathon – I ran it last year, the whole, and I’m signed up for the half this year. My 10 year old will be 12 in time for it next fall. She wants to run it. I can’t wait.
- Emerald City Half and Quarter Marathon – Dublin Ohio is really pretty. I’ll be close to Columbus. It’ll be a nice little weekend trip.
- Flying Pirate Challenge – It’s in the Outer Banks. I have an excuse to dress like a pirate. You can run just the half marathon but you complete the challenge by running a 5K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. You get some special shirt or something for doing both. I did a 5K and a half marathon back to back like that last year at the Cleveland. It was fun. I’m down for that. According to the website, there’s also some event called Storm the Beach that’s a family 5K obstacle course. I can’t figure out if it’s run in conjunction with the Challenge or what. I would definitely do all 3 if it’s timed so that I can. That would be sweet!
- Glass City Marathon – It’s in Toledo, another Ohio city that I don’t know well. I can go visit my brother-in-law while I’m there.
- Great Wall of China Marathon – You get to run on the Great Wall of China. I hope I don’t need to explain why that’s bad ass.
- Icelandic Midnight Run – Iceland. Under the Midnight sun. Geothermal pools and hot tubs available after for participants. Must, must go.
- La Marathon du Medoc – a marathon in France where hydration stations are replaced by gourmet food and wine stations. I’m so there.
- Maple Leaf Half Marathon – Vermont during leaf season.
- Niagara Falls Marathon – starts in one country, ends in another.
- River Run Half Marathon – Rocky River Ohio. It’s close to home. I could ride my bike to the race. That is perfection.
- Towpath Half Marathon and the Towpath Marathon – 2 of 3 separate running events along different parts of the Towpath along the Erie Canal. It’s beautiful on the Towpath.
- Virgin London Marathon – a marathon through London. It’s already sold out for next year.
- Walt Disney Marathon – my kids have never been there.
- Amherst 5K Run for Your Bones Skeleton Run – It’s a nice little race through a nice little community. I love the portion through the park. I loved all the costumes; the guy with the giant grass skirt, the guy dressed as a leprechaun, the super hero costumes, the guys from the donut shop who ran with a tray of donuts which they handed out to spectators
- Anything is Possible 5K – a race run at 1:50 am on the end of Daylight Savings. Saw this idea originally in Woodstock, GA called the Impossible run. The Impossible part is that you technically finish before you start. There are now several runs around the country under this name.
- Berea Animal Rescue Fund Monster Mutt Dash – I’ve done the one mile fun walk with my entire family twice now. It’s close to Halloween so there’s a costume contest and games and such. The dog outfits are adorable. My dog likes it very much. I want to run the 5K this year but my dog’s too old for the run. I will go every year. Great fundraiser for a great organization. I adopted my sweet little cat, Taco, from them.
- Big Creek Run – a run through the Big Creek Parkway part of the Cleveland Metroparks. Cleveland has amazing parks and it is a joy to run through them.
- The Color Run – a 5K where pigment is thrown at the runner. Runners must wear white shirts and at the end you’re covered in colors. I’m a bit afraid about the ride home but I can’t wait.
- Chili Bowl Classic – 5K in Cleveland in February. Any excuse to make myself leave the house in February.
- Cinco de Mayo Run – a race with no set course. Participants are required to visit all the checkpoints. Drew some complaints because it was called a Run for the Border and the race card was called a passport. Just a tad insensitive, no? But the idea of running from place to place with a partner seems fun. I wish this wasn’t the same weekend as Cap City Half Marathon. I have to choose between the two.
- Eaton – Euclid 5K – it’s close to World Run Day and not too far from my house. Little 5k s get scarce once November hits. If I could do a race every weekend, I would. But I’d need a sponsor to afford it.
- Emerald Crossings Trail Run – through the parks here. As I said before, they’re a pleasure to run through
- Gorilla Run – a 5k in a gorilla suit. Prizes are awarded for the best accessorized gorilla suit. How could I resist? Money raised goes towards the preservation of Mountain Gorillas. The gorilla suit is included in race fee.
- Kona Underpants Run – I can’t find an official website or details. All I’ve found is that this occurs the Thursday before the World Ironman Championships in Kona, HI. Getting to walk around Hawaii in my underpants without being arrested? I’m there.
- Lakeview Cemetary 5K – Lakeview Cemetary is beautiful. I would love to run through it.
- Lakewood Hospital Ambulance Chase – I love running through Lakewood and this raises money for Lakewood Hospital.
- Lakewood St. Patrick’s Day Irish Jig and Jog – the first one was this year. I didn’t know about it. I want to make it next year.
- Mayor Kennedy’s 5 K – local event. I’ve done this twice. I like the route. I know my fellow participants.
- Nick Rauser’s Memorial 5K – local event in memory of a local high school student who was killed. This fundraiser is used to raise money for the foundation that provides scholarships for local students and sponsors local sports teams. It was today but I’m resting for Warrior Dash tomorrow.
- No Frills Just Hills, FA – 6 hour race, no fees, no awards. You run a two mile loop through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and record how many laps you were able to complete.
- North Olmsted Homecoming 5K – I’ve done it twice. It’s the same course as Mayor Kennedy’s race.
- Ohio City Run/Crawl – don’t know much about it other than it’s in the evening and in Ohio City. Sounds like a great reason to drink in Ohio City afterwards and I’m all for that.
- Pigskin Classic – 5k and tailgate party for an Ohio State University – Michigan game. Sounds like a good time.
- Put in Bay 5K – I haven’t been to Put in Bay since I was a teen. It would be a good excuse to go.
- Ragin Cajun Run – same idea as the Cinco de Mayo run except this is on Fat Tuesday and the entry fee apparently includes admission one-time for a special event in the Foundation Room at the House of Blues. If you’ve never been in the Foundation Room, this may be your only way in.
- Rainbow Round the Zoo – the first 5K I ever attempted to actually run. The hills are grueling. I liked it better 2 years ago when it was on World Run Day in November. I love the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and this raises money for Rainbow Babies and Childrens’ Hospital.
- Reindeer Run – 5k in Lakewood. I did this last December and the costumes were the coolest. I love the route.
- Run for Your Life 5K – also called the haunted 5K, it’s held in a Haunted Theme Park after closing. How much spooky fun.
- Running with the Santas – 1 mile untimed run through Tremont. First one was last year. A santa hat was included with race bag. Many people at the Reindeer Run wore their costumes here too (races were 1 week apart). Many of the local bars had drink specials before and after the race. Many participants ran with beers. Great fun.
- Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium – raise money for cancer, participants are responsible for raising a minimum of $60 in addition to the $40 entry fee, and get to run through the stadium, concourses and all.
- Turkey Dash – 5K that we have made a Thanksgiving family tradition. We have to earn our Thanksgiving indulgence by participating in this on Thanksgiving morning.
- Beach Dash – 5K with obstacles, on the beach.
- Mudathlon – 3 miles and 40 obstacles.
- Mud Ninja – 5 k with 21 obstacles you must complete while spectators through mud soaked foam at you. There’s also a version for children!
- Run for Your Lives – 5 k with obstacles. You have a flag football belt with 3 flags. Actors dressed as zombies attempt to steal your life flags. You arrive at the end as a survivor or a victim depending on your success at holding onto your flags. I think I’m signing up for this event this year. I’ve seen several variations of this idea, this one, with actors as zombies, seems far less of a recipe for disaster than some others. The ones were fellow participants can either choose to be zombies or become zombies after loss of their flags seems really risky. I just envision a bunch of adrenaline-fueled injuries.
- Spartan Sprint – the sprint is an attainable goal for me. The Full Spartan or the Death Race are just not realistic goals for me. I’d have to quit work and only train.
- Warrior Dash – obviously
- The Dead Ride – a zombie bike ride. I can’t find a lot of good information about this, but I want to go.
- Pedal to the Point – 2 day 150 mile bike ride to raise money for National MS Society
- Tackle the Tower – climb 37 flights of stairs at Tower City in Cleveland. It benefits Ronald McDonald House. Yay!
So, there’s my list. I’ll definitely be spacing those international races out. Even if I wanted to start tackling them now, some sell out more than a year in advance!