“It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination. We have a better chance of seeing where we are when we stop trying to get somewhere else.” — John Bingham
Wide paved pathways and park roads along wooded forests, along with the breezes coming in off Lake Superior, form much of the scenic backdrop at this race, which runs along the 47-mile-long Iron Ore Heritage Trail.
Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 • Marquette, MI
You’ll run through Oregon’s Willamette Valley at this race, which takes runners from the beautifully scenic vineyards of the Stoller Winery to the nearby town of Carlton, where you can enjoy a wine and music festival after the race.
Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018 • Carlton, OR
While they’re out on the course at this Labor Day race, runners encounter local bands playing from stages set up throughout the race, from the starting line near the Virginia Beach Convention Center all the way out to the Oceanfront Boardwalk, where the finish line lies.
Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018 • Virginia Beach, VA
The mostly flat, fast course for this race features views that capture perfectly the quaint, authentic feel of New England, taking runners through covered bridges with names like Thompson, Slate, Carlton and Cresson, most of which date to the pre-Civil War era.
Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018 • Swanzey, NH
A couple thousand runners make their way to the Amish country every fall for this race, along rolling country roads in and around this small village whose history dates all the way back to the early 1730s, when it was founded by Quakers and Mennonites.
Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 • Bird-in-Hand, PA
A gorgeous run through the Blue Ridge Mountains that straddle the Tennessee-North Carolina border awaits runners at this face, which makes a very gradual climb near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park just outside Knoxville.
Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 • Maryville, TN
Run along a series of trails that take runners through Virginia’s Douthat State Park here in the heart the Allegheny Mountains, this race offers a challenging 13.1-mile course with steep hills as well as stretches along creeks and waterfalls.
Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 • Douthat State Park, VA
Get set to experience an elevation drop of more than 3,000 feet as you descend through Utah’s Big Cottonwood Canyon at this race, which starts high up in the mountains of the Wasatch National Forest, “just 11 miles away from Salt Lake City but a million miles away in attitude.”
Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 • Salt Lake City, UT
If you’re a baseball fan and you live anywhere near the San Francisco Bay area, this is probably the race for you, as you’ll finish the race by crossing home plate inside the gorgeous AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants.
Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 • San Francisco, CA
Featuring a breezy, sunny stretch along the Rhode Island beachfront, this out-and-back race starts in and finishes near Misquamicut State Beach, one of the state’s more popular summertime beach resorts, and includes a stretch with the waters of Winnapaug Pond on one side and the ocean on the other.
Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 • Westerly, RI
11) Autumn Color Run
Run through a spectacularly scenic part of central Colorado known as the “Fourteeners Region,” thanks to its 14,000-ft.-high mountain peaks, at this race that marks its 34th annual running this fall.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 • Buena Vista, CO
“Run a fast, beautiful course through the woods. Eat lots of cake. Avoid a sasquatch.” That’s what you get to take in at this gorgeous race near Seattle organized by the cartoonist Matthew Inman, who we’re a huge fan of for his “The DOs and DO NOTs of running your first marathon.”
Saturday, Sept. 15 & Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018 • Carnation, WA
Prepare yourself for pink running outfits, sequined tiaras and feather boas! The Divas Half Marathon in DC follows a scenic, winding out-and-back course that starts and finishes at Virginia’s Tarara Winery, which lies on more than 470 acres along the Potomac River.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 • Leesburg, VA
Set for an end-of-summer run among the stunningly gorgeous canyon country of southern Utah, within a few hours’ drive of the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam, this race follows a route that circles Sand Hollow Reservoir in the 20,000-acre Sand Hollow State Park.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 • Hurricane, UT
Runners get the chance to trek along glacier-carved terrain that’s more than 10,000 years old at this race, which runs in the Lapham Peak unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, along the park’s Moraine Ridge trail.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 • Delafield, WI
Run through eastern Utah’s San Rafael Swell, also known as the “Little Grand Canyon,” this race offers up some of the southwest’s most pristine natural beauty, including majestic towering red rocks and the chance to see actual dinosaur footprints on the side of the road along the race route.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 • Huntington, UT
Part of a day filled with live music and a festival devoted to environmental sustainability, this race starts on the Village Green here in the home of Davidson College, and then winds along the South Prong of the West Branch of the Rocky River.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 • Davidson, NC
Mountains, forests and single-track dirt trails through the wilderness – that’s what awaits at this trail run that winds among the Bighorn Mountains of northern Wyoming that surround Eatons’ Ranch, the oldest operating dude ranch in the West (as well as the rest of the United States).
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 • Wolf, WY
Timed to start runners off just as fall is arriving on the leaves, trees and slopes of this Rocky Mountain town, this race starts in Snowmass Village and finishes in Aspen, and has been lauded by Colorado Runner and Trail Runner magazines as one of the country’s most scenic trail races.
Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 • Aspen, CO
What race organizers describe as “probably the most beautiful 26 miles, 385 yards you’ll ever run” is on display for runners each September in the Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival, which takes takes runners around the waterfront of beautiful Schroon Lake.
Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 • Schroon Lake, NY
Thousands of runners take to the streets of the Windy City every fall at this race, which takes you along Chicago’s famed Lake Shore Drive for more than half of the 13.1 miles of the course, offering up breathtaking, scenic views of the city’s lakefront parks and downtown skyscrapers.
Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 • Chicago, IL
22) The Orca Half
Set for its annual fall running in Seattle, this half offers stunning views of the waters of Puget Sound and an excellent chance to earn a personal record time — in fact, they even have a bell out for runners to ring at the finish line if they’ve achieved a PR in the race.
Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 • Seattle, WA
Challenging climbs along scenic mountain trails as well as long stretches along lakeside roads just north of Lake Tahoe in Northern California await runners at this race in a gorgeous mountain resort town that played a key role in one of U.S. history’s most notorious episodes.
Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 • Truckee, CA
Set for its fourth annual running along the quiet country roads of this small town along the Connecticut River in central Vermont, this race features plenty of what’s in its name, through residential neighborhoods between the villages of Bellows Falls and Saxtons River.
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 • Bellows Falls, VT
Run along the gently rolling paved roads of Virginia’s Manassas National Battlefield Park, this race unfolds where the North and the South clashed twice in historic battles during the Civil War.
Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018 • Bristow, VA