Race Ahead: Road Running


charlottesville, virginia
april 6, 2013

After more than a decade, the Charlottesville Marathon has become a legitimate destination race. The course takes you on a tour of Charlottesville, from the hip downtown mall to the gorgeous outlying wine country. The course isn’t flat, but it’s not tough either. The biggest hill is early on at mile six, before a vineyard. Other than that, it’s all rolling. “My favorite part of the course is the section along the Rivanna River, between mile 23 and 26,” says race director Francesca Conte. “You’re almost at the end, and the river gives you a boost exactly when you need it.” charlottesvillemarathon.com

april 20, 2013

Run one of America’s toughest road marathons. With 3,620 feet of total elevation gain and 7,234 feet of total elevation change, the marathon gives new meaning to runner’s high. Around mile 6, runners climb Roanoke Mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the most difficult sections of the course—and also one of the most stunningly scenic. Not up for 26.2? Team up for a five-person relay. Running legends Bart Yasso, Frank Shorter, and Bill Rodgers will be on a relay team this year. blueridgemarathon.com

atlanta, georgia
july 4, 2013

This 6.2-mile race through downtown Atlanta is well-known as the biggest footrace in the country. In 2013 and 2014, the Peachtree will host the men’s and women’s 10K USA Championships, solidifying the event as one of the best in the nation as well.

110—Number of runners at the inaugural Peachtree Road Race in 1970

60,000—Current race cap, making the Peachtree the largest race in the country

750—Number of port-a-johns at the race.

27:04—Course record, set in 1996

12,000+—Number of runners who will finish in under an hour.

30+—Number of runners who will finish in under 30 minutes



kingsport, tennessee
july 13, 2013

Not only was the Crazy 8s one of the first night races in the country (start time is 10:08pm), and not only is the course lit by candle luminaries, but if you beat the course record, you’ll get a check for $10,008. Good luck with that though, since the Crazy 8s course record is also the 8K World Record (22:02), set by Peter Githuka in 1996. The lure of the World Record has turned the Crazy 8s, in little Kingsport, into one of America’s must-run races, attracting the fastest runners from all over the world. Race director Hank Brown talks about the night that Peter Githuka ran the fastest 8K in history: “ We didn’t have crowd fencing back then, so once the crowd heard that someone was running at World Record pace, they filled the streets. You couldn’t see the finish line through the people. We had to dig a hole through the crowd for the runners. It was a crazy scene.” It’s at night, with candles everywhere, and runners finish in the football stadium with really loud music and the stadium lights. It’s like the X Games for road racing. crazy8.com

virginia / north carolina
september 6-7, 2013

A dozen runners pile into two vans and take turns rotating through 36 legs as they run 208 miles from Grayson Highlands State Park, in Virginia, to downtown Asheville via some of the prettiest country roads in the Southern Appalachians. “It’s 12 hours of suspenseful, dramatic, sleepless running adventure,” says Jerad Crave, who’s been on the winning relay team four times over. “If you want to win, each person has to run three hard races within 12 hours. You run your leg with no warm-up, finish, and jump in the van. There’s a chance to grab a few hours of sleep, but it’s so exciting, you keep going to see how everyone else is doing. It’s 3:30 in the morning when you finally try to doze off, then someone slaps your leg and says, “You’re up in 15 minutes.” blueridgerelay.com

Best of the Rest

Hilton Head Half Marathon
Hilton Head, South Carolina
February 9, 2013bearfootsports.com

Green Legs and Hamstrings
Danville, Virginia
March 9, 2013danville-va.gov

Shamrock 4-Miler
Abingdon, Virginia
March 15, 2013werunevents.com

Martinsville Half Marathon
Martinsville, Virginia
March 23, 2013milesinmartinsville.com

Cherry Blossom 10-Miler
Washington, D.C.
April 7, 2013cherryblossom.org

Knoxville Marathon
Knoxville, Tennessee
April 7, 2013knoxvillemarathon.com

Ukrops Monument Avenue 10k
Richmond, Virginia
April 13, 2013sportsbackers.org

Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon
Chesapeake, Virginia
April 13, 2013dismalswampstomp.com

Charlotte Racefest Half Marathon
Charlotte, North Carolina
April 13, 2013charlotteracefest.com

Paris Mountain Road Race
Greenville, South Carolina
April 20, 2013parismountainroadrace.com

Fig Leaf 5K
Dawsonville, Georgia
April, 2013paradisevalleyclub.com

Run For The Dream Half Marathon and 8k
Williamsburg, Virginia
June 1-2, 2013runforachievabledream.com

Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon
Loudon, Virginia
June 1, 2013destinationraces.com/runvirginia

Maggie Valley Moonlight 8k
Maggie Valley, North Carolina
August 24, 2013maggievalleymoonlightrun.com

Asheville Citizen-Times Marathon and Half Marathon
Asheville, North Carolina
September 15, 2013citizen-times.com

Tucker Community Foundation Run For It 5k
Davis, West Virginia
September 28, 2013tuckerfoundation.net

The Genworth Virginia 10-Miler
Lynchburg, Virginia
September 28, 2013virginiatenmiler.com

Cherokee Harvest Half-Marathon
Cherokee, North Carolina
October 19, 2013cherokeeharvesthalf.com

Charlottesville Fall Classic Half
Charlottesville, Virginia
October, 2013badtothebone.biz

Tuna Run 200
Raleigh to Atlantic Beach, North Carolina
October, 2013tunarun200.com

Freedom’s Run Marathon
Sheperdstown, West Virginia
October 12, 2013freedomsrun.org

Anthem Richmond Marathon
Richmond, Virginia
November 16, 2013richmondmarathon.com

Philadelphia Marathon
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
November 22-24, 2013philadelphiamarathon.com

For more great Race Ahead information check out these sections:


Trail Running

Road Running

Mountain Biking

Road Cycling






Places to Go, Things to See: