Okay, friends! The weather has officially broken and it’s time to emerge from our self-imposed winter hibernation.

The sun is warm during the day, birds are chirping, mornings and evenings still have a chill… Spring is the perfect time to get those running miles in, and what better way to stay in shape than participate in a few good challenges!

And, if you’re anything like me, then you’re busy looking for some cool races near Washington D.C. or Baltimore to run over the next few months.

The ones I have my eye on are no ordinary races, of course. Where’s the awesome in that?

If you’re gonna train for something, you might as well make it fun. This round up is includes mud, wine, color-infused dance parties and scenery to die for!

5 Unique Races Near Washington D.C. and Baltimore

 
1. Frederick Running Festival: May 7 & 8, 2016 (Frederick, MD)

What better way to spend Mother’s Day than doing something you adore? This year the festival has pulled out all the stops for the moms choosing to participate. From flowers at the finish line to special mother-daughter relay medals, photo booths to VIM (Very Important Mom) lounges, it’s a fun way to celebrate Mom’s special day! (Also, it’s in my hometown!) The Frederick Running Festival has 5K, kids fun run, relay and half marathon for you to chose from.

5 Unique Races To Run Nearby: Baltimore / D.C. Metro Area — Dirty Girl Mud Run

2. Dirty Girl Mud Run: May 17, 2016 (Baltimore, MD); May 22, 2016 (Virginia Beach, VA) 

The Dirty Girl Mud Run is a 3.1 mile(ish) obstacle course run for women. (Sorry, guys!) You don’t need to be a CrossFit fanatic to have fun at this event; even novices will find their way to the finish line with a huge smile on their faces. This muddy (and bubble filled) event inspires gals to run, walk, climb, jump, and laugh their way through the challenges. It’s the “World’s Largest Women’s Only Mud Run” and a complete blast! So, what are you waiting for?


3. The Color Run: May 15, 2016 (National Harbor, MD)

I’m such a fan of this 5K race! My entire family participated in The Color Run a few years ago and it was pretty epic. Its newest incarnation is the “Tropicolor World Tour: bringing an island-style 5k vacation straight to your city!” Um, yeah. Sign me up.

Pro Tip: Registration for this usually goes fast so I recommend you get your bib ASAP.

5 Unique Races To Run Nearby: Baltimore / D.C. Metro Area — Zooma Annapolis
via Zooma Annapolis / Kevin Carroll

4. ZOOMA Annapolis: June 4, 2016 (Annapolis, MD) 

This one has been on my list to try for some time now. The ZOOMA has a half marathon, 10K and 5K option and runs in and around the Naval Stadium, Maryland State House, Round Bay and Naval Academy Bridge. It’s really a lovely area to run and bonus (!!!) they host a little pre-race cocktail party that you won’t want to miss!

5 Unique Races To Run Nearby: Baltimore / D.C. Metro Area — Virginia Wine Country 1/2 Marathon
via Virginia Wine Country 1/2 Marathon

5. Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon: June 4, 2016 (Leesburg, VA) 

The Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon is the perfect outdoor event for the runner/wine enthusiast. The race starts and finishes at Doukenie Winery, the perfect venue for hosting the post-race Wine & Music Festival. The scenic, tree-laden course runs north of the winery on historic byways, passing vineyards, farms, ranches and estates along the way. I can’t think of a better way to spend a gorgeous day in June!

 

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