Running in the United States
Running is one of the most popular and easily accessible sports worldwide, and in the US approximately 60 million people went running last year. The oldest and most prestigious race in the US is the Boston Marathon in mid April. Limited to 30,000 participants, runners have to qualify to take part. To get to Boston you need a qualifying time in a certified marathon race. If you're aged 40-44, then you'd need to run the marathon in 3h10m for men and 3h44m for women. But, if you're not quite ready for Boston there are plenty of other epic races to choose from. Events like the New York Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon and LA Marathon also draw huge crowds of between 20,000 and 50,000 participants. Expect costumes, bands, and an electric atmosphere. You'll be having such a great time you won't even notice being overtaken by a guy dressed as Big Bird.
What you need to know about running
Running is for everyone, all you need are some trainers and jogging pants and off you go. There's a variety of events to suit everyone. If you're looking for short and regular events then Parkruns, color runs, 5k runs, and 10k runs are happening in a park near you. If you're looking for something a little longer then half marathons, marathons, and ultras might be the ones to aim for. Running is a sociable sport so expect to meet people from all walks of life and challenge yourself with new experiences. For beginners, the 5k runs and 10k runs are great starter events which will blend the challenge of running with a bit of fun too. Two of our favourites are BolderBoulder and the Cooper River Bridge Run. Here you'll see a great mix of abilities, a lot of fancy dress, and a big celebration at the finish line.
If you want to run something longer, have a look at our pages on the half marathon and marathon. Beyond the Boston Marathon, there are many other fun and famous events. If fancy dress is your thing, the Walt Disney World Marathon might be for you. Or if you want big city run but you're not ready for the full marathon, the New York Half is organized by New York Road Runners who also organize the famous New York Marathon.
Our final distance to consider is the ultramarathon, which is anything over the marathon distance of 26.2 miles. The key at these events is to make sure you're properly fueled up and prepared. These ultras can range from 30 to 150 miles long. The Golden Gate Trail Run includes one of the shorter ones at 50k and was very well reviewed by last year's runners. Don't try to steamroll these events, take your time, meet people along the way and enjoy what is usually some pretty awesome scenery.
Training for a running event
Training can be hard work, especially if you like to run solo. Working with a training plan helps to motivate you and to keep your training on the right track. Whether you're about to take on your first Parkrun or conquer your next marathon, take a look at some of our pre-race training plans to help you reach your goals: 5k Training Plan; 10k Training Plan; Half Marathon Training Plan; Marathon Training Plan; Ultramarathon Training Plan.