Middle Trail Running’s Spring Race Radar

While we’re currently “embracing the chill” of winter running, we can’t help but peak ahead towards spring, where (picture this) blossoming flowers and crisp, warmer air provide the perfect backdrop for our running adventures. As we eagerly await the warmer days ahead, we've compiled a list of the top 5 spring running races that Middle Trail Runners are participating in this year; these races are helping to keep us motivated as we continue to navigate these chilly running days! Whether you're a seasoned marathoner or a casual runner looking for a new challenge, check out the highlights of these must-run races. 

1. Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle

All the Deets: MTRC Co-Founder, Genny, has run this race for 7 consecutive years. 7 years in a row is true commitment, so what keeps her coming back year after year? Picture Chicago Marathon vibes – the excitement, the energy, the beautiful city – but 21.2 miles shorter (so win-win!). Organized by the masterminds behind the Chicago Marathon, Bank of America ensures this 4.97-mile shuffle runs like clockwork. The corral system mirrors the marathon setup, assigning you a corral based on your expected finish time, which helps ensure you are running with people close to the same pace as you (hello new running buddies!). 

And can we talk about the merch? Every year, runners receive a Shamrock-themed hat and a really nice Nike Dri-Fit shirt – talk about race swag goals! The race isn't just logistically amazing; it's also visually amazing with Chicago's inner loop as the backdrop. Plus, runners don't just run; they run in style, with shamrock shuffle themed outfits that are true showstoppers. Finally, whether you're a speed demon or a laid-back walker, this race welcomes all paces, making it the ultimate kickoff for the 2024 season. So, put on those running shoes, and let’s get ready to shuffle! 🍀🏃‍♀️

Picture from Race Day 2023: 

2. Coastal Delaware Running Festival 

  • When: April 12 - 14, 2024
  • Where: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
  • Distances: 5K (3.1 miles) on Saturday, April 13 // 9K (5.59 miles), Half Marathon (13.1 miles) and Full Marathon (26.2 miles) on Sunday, April 14
  • Race Website: Coastal Delaware Running Festival

All the Deets: MTRC Runners are diving into new territory this year! Our fearless Co-Founder, Kayla, is on a mission to conquer a half marathon in all 50 states, and Delaware is next on her list with the Coastal Delaware Running Festival. Named Delaware’s #1 Marathon by TripAdvisor, this race starts and finishes at the scenic Rehoboth Boardwalk. 

Now here is the real highlight - the website speaks of a “scenic, flat & fast course” - those 3 words are a runner’s love language. Starting at the iconic Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, this running festival promises beautiful ocean views and fun post-race festivities! Multiple distances, from a quick 5K to a full-blown 26.2, cater to every level of runner, and the 5K & 9K are proudly walker-friendly. 

We are so excited to check this race out and will be sharing all of the juicy details afterwards - stay tuned! 🏃‍♀️🏅🎉

3. Big Sur International Marathon 

  • When: April 28, 2024
  • Where: Big Sur, California 
  • Distances: 5K (3.1 miles), 12K (7.46 miles), 11-miler, 12-miler, Marathon Relay, and Full Marathon (26.2 miles)
  • Race Website: Big Sur International Marathon

All the Deets: Another newbie to our list, this one has been generating some serious buzz! What could be better than a course that traces the sun-kissed California coast from the iconic Big Sur to charming Carmel on the legendary Highway 1? This route promises breathtaking ocean views and some potential cameos from California’s famous seals. 

It is worth noting that this is not a flat course. Elevation gain is around +2,182 feet and elevation loss is around -2,528 feet - but, in the running world, hills are just nature’s way of keeping the run interesting 😜. With only about 4,500 slots available, this marathon prides itself on offering an intimate running experience. This race also offers a few other options besides the full 26.2. Enter the unique 21 and 11 mile distances - the marathon and half marathon’s cool cousins; these distances are still challenging, but not the full monty. 

This year, we have a MTRC runner taking part in the race, so we will keep you posted on this coastal adventure! 🌊🏃‍♀️☀️

4. Cleveland Marathon 

  • When: May 18 - 19, 2024
  • Where: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Distance: Kid’s Run (distances vary by age), 5K (3.1 miles), and 10K (6.2 miles) on Saturday, May 18 // Half Marathon (13.1 miles) and Full Marathon (26.2 miles) on Sunday, May 19
  • Race Website: Cleveland Marathon

All the Deets: Ah - the Cleveland Marathon. This one holds a special place in the MTRC Co-Founders’ hearts. Back in 2016, Genny ran the full marathon on a May day that included 30 degree temps, sleet, and rain. Let’s just say, Kayla kept Genny moving in this race, especially when Genny tried to hide in the port-a-potty to avoid the weather and finishing the race altogether. So, this year is the REDEMPTION YEAR! Returning to old stomping grounds, Cleveland OH, and cutting the distance from 26.2 to 13.1, Genny is ready to re-tackle this race. 

With the city’s skyline as the backdrop, this route takes runners through downtown Cleveland and some nearby neighborhoods. The weekend also includes other distances like a Kid’s Run, which makes it a great weekend for the whole family. Plus, Cleveland is an awesome city to visit. With tasty restaurants downtown, the Flats, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and maybe a baseball game in town, there is so much to do and see on marathon weekend! 

So get ready Cleveland - MTRC is making a triumphant return! Here’s to hoping for a sunny and 50 degree May day! 🌞🏃‍♀️🎉

2016 Throwback: 

5. Buffalo Marathon 

  • When: May 24 - 26, 2024
  • Where: Buffalo, New York
  • Distance: 5K (3.1 miles) on Saturday, May 25 // Half Marathon (13.1 miles) and Full Marathon (26.2 miles) on Sunday, May 26
  • Race Website: Buffalo Marathon

All the Deets: This is definitely a “MTRC Certified Favorite Race”. With many MTRC runners participating in past years and in this year’s race, and Co-Founder Kayla tackling the half marathon this year (another state off her list ✅), we have dubbed this a can’t miss race! 

Picture this: downtown vibes with the starting line by the Statler, a jog down Delaware Avenue to Hoyt Lake, a scenic tour by the Waterfront – this race is Buffalo at its best. And let's talk terrain – it's as flat and fast as the Bills chasing a touchdown (Go Bills!). The neighborhoods come alive with lots of cheering, helping to keep runners motivated throughout the course. But here's one of our favorite parts – the medals. Massive and often featuring a giant Buffalo, they're more than just hardware; they're a piece of Buffalo pride. Oh, and the merch game? On point! Pullovers, anyone? The 5K on Saturday is the perfect warm-up for a full race weekend of Buffalolove. 

Scenic views, friendly faces, and an overload of Buffalo spirit – this race is a home run, and we can't wait to see you there! 🏃‍♀️🏅👕🍗

In anticipation of the warmer days that lie ahead, we've set our sights on spring with these 5 awesome races. With each race offering something unique, we're gearing up for a season of running joy, camaraderie, and a whole lot of fun. Lace up those running shoes, and let the spring running festivities begin! 🌷🏃‍♀️🌞 #MTRCRunsIntoSpring #SpringRunningAdventures

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