What race is worth traveling for? Here’s what Erie-area runners (and some former Erie-area runners) had to say:
For me, it’s the Columbus Marathon, but technically since I’ve lived here for a while now, it’s not an out of town race. For those of you who want to come down this year, it’s our 200th anniversary as a city so they are planning 20k+ runners, probably 13k of those will be 1/2 runners. It’s a well run race and this year it goes through the OSU football stadium. It would probably be OK for you Penn State Fans to thumb, or hold your noses as you go through. The course is well controlled on city streets and has dozens of bands and tens of thousands of fans supporting you along the route. If anyone does want to come down, I can give good advice to hotels and parking. Now, my favorite out of town race is the USAF marathon at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. This is the home of the USAF museum, which to me is probably one of the top FREE tourist attractions in the US if you have any interest in aviation or military history. Certainly for me, the ERC Turkey trot at Presque Isle is also one my favorite out of town races. — B. McCall
Why Boston, of course! The whole atmosphere, runners & BAHHSTON residents make it FABULOUS! — Ange Eberlein
I love the Pittsburgh Marathon, the scenery is so different, the course has you going all over the city, and the volunteers are amazing: I had one volunteer chase me down after he found the GU flavor I asked for. The whole atmosphere is amazing, definitely a well run race. — Amy Cronk
The Warren Kwikfill half-marathon. I love the beautiful scenery. Other perks: close by, inexpensive (I think it is $15 if you pre-register!), rolling hills to keep you focused, just enough participants to keep you company but small enough to keep it serene. Twin Cities is also beautiful and the best crowd support I have experienced – unlike other marathons the streets are lined the entire way. — Jennifer D.
Marine Corps Marathon! — Alex
I like Jennifer’s choice of the Warren Kwil-Fil half marathon…always a beautiful race. But my favorite has to be the Rock ‘N Roll Phoenix Half Marathon in January—38,000 runners, a wonderful expo, and weather that just can’t be beat. I love the competitive spirit of the large races. — Tom Toale
Tough Mudder! How fun to run and play in the mud! — Kim
The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in Washington D.C. is my favorite so far. The scenery is absolutely GORGEOUS with a canopy of beautiful pink cherry blossoms covering several parts of the course and visible from the whole course, and the Potomac River and a few monuments along the way. — Tracy Jenks
My favorite out of town race was the Seashore Striders Father’s Day 5K at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. I loved running by the ocean, had a decent time and enjoyed the post race party. They also gave away a pair of running shoes to a random runner who happened to be Carla Pastore who is originally from Erie! — Rana Evanoff
Dan’s favorite race Big Horn 100 in Wyoming. Mine too for crewing for him. How can you not love the mountains & wild life? When I left him at mile 18 aid station, traveling on this back mountain wilderness road alone, I spotted a male & female moose grazing 100 ft. away. I got out of the car for pictures & admired them in the quiet, beautiful field filled with wild flowers. Awesome! And when Dan finished, he just kept saying I wish you were with me to see the scenery, it was just unbelievable.) But our favorite race that is close to home has to be Oil Creek 100 in Titusville. The people involved in this have become such good friends, another awesome experience! — Linda Young
The Blessing of the Fleet 10 Miler in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This is an evening run which coincides with their Seafood Festival, so when we’re done, we order up a lobster dinner (served in styrofoam to-go containers) and eat it on the beach at sundown. The course is rather hilly, but you finish downhill with the ocean immediately in front of you. I may have just talked myself into doing it again this year! —Peggy Hardesty
As of this past weekend, I’ll have to say without a doubt that my favorite out-of-town race is the Buffalo Stampede Trail Run & BBQ! Awesome trail, awesome people, awesome food, awesome time! — Pat Krott
Since I don’t travel as far – my ‘short’ distance favorite is the Allegheny Swim Team 5 miler in Meadville. For distance – nothing beats Oil Creek 100 in Titusville. Best volunteers and simply an amazing race. —Christine Vassen
Adirondack half marathon, Schroon Lake N.Y. — Ginny Sackett
As for me, I love the Cleveland marathon. Not sure why…perhaps just because I’m so familiar with it. We do it every year and we’re already signed up to do it in 2013.
Other than that, I’ve done less than a dozen out-of-town races and two that stand out were The Women’s 1/2 Marathon in St. Petersburg, Florida, and the Niagara Falls Women’s 1/2 Marathon in Niagara Falls, Canada (which I have yet to find time to blog about..I’ll get there). If I’m going to travel for a race, it has to be at least a 1/2 marathon and, if I can make it a girls weekend and travel with 10 or 12 of my closest running friends, that makes it a vacation.