January 11 2018
A runner shares a personal essay documenting her years as "the runner" in rural South Dakota.
These races are so damn pretty, you’ll forget how much they hurt!
Rocky Top Run
If “purple mountain majesties” was always your favorite part of the patriotic song, you’ll want to check out the Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon. Weaving through the woods just outside the Tennessee National Park, this race promises a heart-thumping challenge rewarded by breathtaking mountain views. With just over 360 feet in elevation gain, you’ll finish feeling like a bad @$$ mountain momma. Nature lovers will appreciate the race’s cup-free policy. Simply stash your refillable HydraPouch in a pocket or on a belt and fill up at the self-serve water stations, leaving only your footprints behind!
WHERE: Maryville, TN
Strip at Night
If what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, you’ll definitely want to take full advantage and #stripatnight for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon. The early evening start means the sun goes down before you hit the Strip. Set in the heart of Nevada’s racy nightlife, you’ll soak up bright lights of larger-than-life casinos as saucy (and sauced) spectators cheer you along the course. Win big when you collect your flashy race bling and then head straight to the VIP parties at nearby clubs for a celebratory dance!
WHERE: Las Vegas, NV
Related: Races with Great Swag
Sand and surf with a side of hula-dancing fun make the Maui Marathon perfect for any island-loving girl. With 17 of the 26.2 miles set on the waterfront, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the Pacific Ocean shoreline. Don’t worry about being bored the other 9 miles and change—the towering cliffs, volcanic crater rims and roadside hip-shakers will keep you entertained while you motor to the finish. Pack your beach blanket to recover with a post-race nap while listening to the soothing sound of the crashing waves.
WHERE: Maui, HI
Known for its downhill course, the St. George Marathon promises not only fast finish times, but also gorgeous scenery. Starting in the red rock Pine Valley mountains and descending almost 2,600 feet, you’ll zip down red rock canyons to the finish in Worthen Park. Remember your view for years to come as you gaze at the hand-carved sandstone finisher’s medal, complete with clay-colored swirls.
WHERE: St. George, UT
Related: Brand New Races