Best Races in January

by Mackenzie M. | January 23rd, 2012 | Running

January may not seem like the prime month of the year for races, marathons, and other running events, but surprisingly, there are over 1,000 races scheduled this month – from small towns in the Midwest, to Hawaii, and even to the Northeast. Running during this time of the year can be exceedingly difficult in the cold and wind, but running in a race will surely provide the motivation needed to keep your momentum up during the depths of winter. Below I have highlighted some of the best races to run this January.

Run Hawaii. During the last week of January each year, Run Hawaii holds its annual combination of runs and hikes around several of the beautiful islands. Three groups run on three of the Hawaiian Islands around craters, volcanoes, beautiful beaches, and lush rainforests. The first day is the Maui Oceanfront Marathon, while the next day is a recreational hike around Haleakala Crater. Day three continues to Hilo on the Big Island around the active volcano. Day four is another restful “fun run” on the Ironman Triathlon Course through the fields of Kona. Day five is relaxation on Kauai, and the final day includes an organized run along the ocean, finishing at Poipu Beach. This is perfect for runners who want a new way to tour the Hawaiian Islands.

Atlanta Mission 5K. On the last Saturday in January, the Atlanta Mission holds its annual 5K race on the bustling streets of downtown Atlanta to raise money to end homelessness. With over 8,000 homeless people in the city, the Atlanta Mission attempts to feed, clothe, and shelter the less fortunate from the harsh winter conditions in the city. This race not only provides a running tour of downtown, it also raises money for a great cause. All registration fees go right to the organization, and the clients, donors, and volunteers of the mission run side by side in the race to end homelessness. This race provides a welcome break from the frigid temperatures of the north, as well as the opportunity to do meaningful community service.

ING Miami Marathon. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon in balmy Miami, Florida. The 26.2 mile roadway course of the marathon is always lined with thousands of cheering spectators, as well as the beautiful Miami scenery. The course loops from downtown Miami, to Miami Beach, down to Coconut Grove and Coral Gables, and then back to downtown Miami. There is also a half marathon available along a similar course. Similar to the full marathon, thousands of cheering fans line the route, and make it an unforgettable experience. For those looking for a shorter course, the Publix Tropical 5K happens on the same weekend, and has the most beautiful course. Runners travel across MacArthur Causeway and traverse Miami Beach, after a beautiful start on Watson Island in Biscayne Bay. This race is the perfect chance to experience the cool and calm Miami winters.

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