Boston and running go together like our sports teams and championships, it’s what we do.
So if you’re a Boston runner, you’re automatically part of an awesome community. There are so many run clubs to join that you’ll never have to sweat alone. And you won’t have any trouble tracking down a race either.
In fact, the exact opposite is true. The number of races you could run might actually be overwhelming. We want to do them all! So we thought we’d help you narrow down your list starting with the 11 essential races in Boston.
There’s a pro football team in town you may have heard of. The Patriots, anyone? Make that the four-time World Champion New England Patriots. Needless to say, Super Bowl Sunday is kind of a big deal around here. And aside from watching the big game, running this 5K with 2,500 of your closest friends is the best way to celebrate. Better still, the race and the massive after party, complete with craft beer, music, and food, is all in the name of kicking cancer’s butt. Count us in! February.
If you’re ramping up to take on the Boston Marathon, or just love the idea of running 20 miles along the New Hampshire Seacoast, this race is for you. This 20-miler makes for the perfect pre-Boston training run. Plus, the scenery is so, so stellar. You’ll cross seven towns in three states while enjoying a fast course that’s sure to give you a much-needed confidence boost before your taper. March.
Let’s see here… You love running. You want to tap into the energy and excitement of the Boston Marathon, but you’re not quite ready to run 26.2 miles. Well friend, you’re in luck. Each year the Boston Athletic Association hosts a 5K on Saturday that gives everyone a chance to cross the finish line. Join a field of 10,000 runners who hit the road to get in the running spirit before Marathon Monday. April.
Runner or not, this day is one of the absolute best days in Boston. Need proof? How about the half a million people lining the course from Hopkinton to Copley Square cheering on 30,000 runners? Unreal! What began in 1897 with 18 participants has grown into one of the world’s most essential races. Runners train and dream their entire lives to cross the finish line in Boston, giving race weekend an energy and buzz that can’t be explained. You just have to experience it for yourself. April.
Whether you run for fun or run to win, signing up for this race is a chance to run for a reason. Pay tribute to and celebrate Boston’s fallen heroes by taking on this half marathon. Hosted by the Boston Police Department, Run to Remember is the faster, more scenic half marathon in the city. Starting and finishing at Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center provides a great setting for a race complete with some awesome sights along Memorial Drive. There’s also a 5-mile option that takes you past iconic landmarks like the Boston Common and Old State House. May.
Ready to trade in your road racing shoes for a pair of trail running shoes? Maybe a race series sponsored by local breweries can help convince you. We thought so! Sign up for the Sasquatch Sprint. It’s a 2.35-mile race that takes place in the Whip Hills section of Middlesex Fells just outside of Boston. Once your cross the finish line, stick around for a post-race party complete with local breweries serving up some much-deserved drink. Bigfoot sighting not included in your registration. July.
For more than 40 years, runners have been meeting in Woods Hole in the southwest corner of Cape Cod to run seven miles through Falmouth. Some 12,000 runners, including world elites and weekend warriors, hit the course that takes them from the start on Water Street to the finish at the beach in Falmouth Heights. Once you’ve crossed the finish line, you can keep running onto the ferry that will carry you to Martha’s Vineyard for some post-race R&R. August.
Break out your beer stein and lederhosen, gang. This race is a German-themed Oktoberfest party that you won’t want to miss. Combine that with the fact that it’s on a fast and flat 5k course through Cambridge and there’s no wonder why it’s included on your essential race list. Don’t forget about the free food and beer at the post-race party sponsored by Jacob Wirth, Cambridge Brewing Co., Notch Brewing, and Bantam Cider. October.
The only downside to the most popular half marathon in town is the fact that it sells out so darn fast. That, and it can be pricey. It’s not surprising, though. The race is a showcase of Boston and Brookline’s Emerald Necklace park system. The rolling, out-and-back course begins and ends at White Stadium in Boston’s Franklin Park – one of the oldest parks in America – making it a must run for any half-marathoner. October.
If you’re going to run one 5K this year, do yourself a favor and make if Yulefest. If you heed our advice, you’ll be breaking a sweat in the dead of winter while running a fast course through Cambridge. Sure, it’s your chance to stay active during the winter months. But Yulefest is also a block party-like celebration with a DJ spinning old school hip hop and holiday tunes. Did we mention the unlimited beer and food? You really can’t beat this Harvard Square gem. December.
If you procrastinated and missed your chance to sign up for Yulefest, don’t sweat it. Here’s another winter race that will keep you running well into December. In Somerville, the Jingle Bell Run kicks off with a leisurely 11:00am start. You can count on that bringing out a festive crowd, ready to wind through the streets of Davis Square for this 5K. Like Yulefest, the post-race party is on-point. Get ready for fun festivities at 18 local bars. How else are you going to get folks to turn up for a 5K during a Boston winter? December.
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