Tuesday, November 11, 2014

5 Unique, Odd, Insane half marathons for your bucket list

Recently, after being inspired by some fellow running bloggers, the genius idea came to me to marry my love of travel and running into one hobby - running the states! Since I am only half crazy, the goal is to run a half marathon in each of the 50 states over the next few years.

Many people have already embarked on this adventure, so I am aware that this is not a new concept. However, since I am not under the delusion that I will PR at every race, I am going to make it a point to find some of the lesser known, most unique, and maybe even some insane races to run to keep things interesting along the way. Here are a few that are going on my race bucket list!

Most Unique aid stations

unique half marathon
Photo from mudandchocolate.com
Mud and Chocolate half marathon - Redmond Watershed, Washington

Forget the GU packs and Powerade gels! At this trail half marathon, you have the option of refueling with chocolate! Reward yourself after crossing the finish line with the Chocomania party. Even the medals are chocolate...This race is every running chocoholics dream!

Oddest Themed Half Marathon

unique half marathon
Photo from alienhalf.com
Area 13.1 Half Marathon - Roswell, Georgia

An evening race with extraterrestrial theme- yes please! It's always more fun to run a race when people are in costume, and dressing up like an alien is a huge bonus! The alien head finisher medal isn't half bad either. Bring on the weirdness!

Most Unique Race Perk

unique half marathon
Photo from cedarpoint.com
Run and Ride - Cedar Point Ohio

Unless you live under a rock, running a race in a theme park (ahem RunDisney) is not news. But, have you heard or Run and Ride - a half marathon in Cedar Point, which is known as one of the best theme parks in the USA? The perk here is that race registration comes with free park admission, not just on race day, but for the ENTIRE long weekend! Non running family and friends you bring can also enjoy discounted race admission as well. If you have kids, or are just a big kid like me, this is one race you won't want to miss!

More than half Crazy

unique half marathon
Photo from TripleD  Facebook page
Triple D Winter Race - Dubuque, Iowa

Looking for a challenge in the dead of winter in harsh weather conditions and freezing cold temperatures? Then the Triple D Winter Race is for you! In case you want to punish yourself for longer than just 13.1 painful miles, this race also offers a full marathon and ultra race distance. The terrain is boasted as being incredibly tough and often snow covered, so much so that you have the option of completing the race on cross country skis! Put your endurance to the test and see what your made of for this one. If you can survive this, the rest of your half marathons will be a piece of cake!

Beyond Insane

unique half marathon
photo courtesy of skydive ultra Facebook page
Skydive Ultra - Clewiston, Florida

I saved my best find for last... This race is a dream come true for the adrenaline junkie turned fitness enthusiast - why not get a taste of both in one event? I present to you skydive ultra, where you will arrive at the starting line via jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, and then continue on to run a full blown race in the distance of your choice. If your extra crazy, you might even want to run the 100 mile ultra! I guarantee that you will run one of your fastest first race miles ever at this race, fueled by pure adrenaline!

This list is only the start of the many off beat races I will find as I embark on this challenge. So far I have only run 1 half marathon, the NYC half, so stay tuned for similar updates to come!

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