I’d love to lie to you and tell you I love winter – that I’m a “glass half full” kind of girl who can find the silver lining to the ninety thousand snow storms we’ve had this winter. But I can’t. I can’t even pretend to like anything about cold weather, the grey skies and the fact that going outside now means I’m sporting gear worn by Dennis Quaid in The Day After Tomorrow. I’ve pretty much quit winter. Given up. Stopped watching Jamie Simpson on WHIO tell me we’re going to have another “polar vortex.” Gone on strike. Done.
So, in an attempt to wish myself into an early spring and warmer temperatures, I’ve started planning ahead to my favorite part of the year: race season. I’m not ashamed to admit that this winter has definitely had an impact on my waistline. I think it’s safe to say that everyone has a little cabin fever lately, and we’re all aching to get outdoors. Soon enough, we’ll be dusting off those gym shoes (oh, is it just me whose been a little lazy on those resolutions?), and peeking outside like bears coming out of hibernation.
I can’t promise spring will come any sooner, but I can guarantee you that there are some pretty awesome races this spring worth getting off the couch for. Here are the races worth checking out this spring:
The Big Hoopla 4-miler
When: Sunday, March 16
Why it’s awesome: This is the ultimate area fun-run for the basketball lover. Held on Selection Sunday, the race kicks off the March Madness mayhem we’ve all come to love. Dayton hosts the NCAA First Four games, making this race an excellent excuse to pull that basketball lover in your life off the couch and right into the action.
When: March 22,
Why it’s awesome: Harrigans generously donates 100% of event proceeds to four different charities. And for the runners? St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t end after the green beer runs out on March 17. After a quick 3.1 miles on a fairly flat neighborhood course, runners pack into Harrigans for early morning beers. Why? Because running validates drinking before noon, of course.
Run For The Health Of It
When: April 12
Why it’s awesome: Join the Junior League of Dayton at this chip-timed 5k or 10k event that starts downtown at RiverScape. Stick around after the race – in conjunction with the Children’s Medical Center of Dayton, the Junior League of Dayton will run informative healthy lifestyle stations sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
When: April 27
Why it’s awesome: Panera’s race proceeds go towards The Children’s Hunger Alliance. The course winds through Centerville’s flat neighborhoods, and the Panerathon boasts some of the best post-race eats around. Panera pastries and sandwiches are in abundance at the finish line.
When: May 10
Why it’s awesome: This pet-friendly event boasts lots of four-legged running companions at its 5k and 1 mile walk benefiting the animals at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. Local vendors flock to this event, now in its 23rd year, so be sure to stick around and check them out!
There are tons of charities and organizations out there worth lacing up those tennis shoes for – not to mention the fact that getting outdoors and moving your feet is just good for you. If it’s not one of these fine races, find something that inspires you and challenge yourself to run for it. In the meantime, keep dreaming of warmer temperatures, more green and less grey, and for the day the Elsa’s patio opens for spring.