This summer, challenge yourself to do something new, run a race with hundreds of others under the cool canopy of evergreens. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or new to the game, there are hundreds of competitions around the beautiful State of Washington this summer. Signing up for one will keep you on your toes and help you commit to a running plan.
For some, running is very addictive. The feeling of kicking off your dress shoes and lacing up your sneakers can be cathartic and feel amazing after a day of wearing work clothes. Plug in your earbuds and hit the trails. What happens next is euphoria. The workday stress melts away, and the daily commute disappears as you commune with the forest floor.
Pine needles crunch and soft summer breeze fill your nose. If you aren’t already a runner, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start years ago. The Pacific Northwest is a haven for runners, hundreds of miles of trails lace through towns and forests in all directions. A great way to start or continue running is to pick a race, every one of them has incredible greenery and beautiful forests towering overhead. Register early, the best ones go first.
It’s not too late to start the Summer Trail Run Series, every other Tuesday from May through August you can join a run with distances from 4k to 10k with different locations in Bellevue, Seattle, Redmond and Kenmore, each in a different park. Choose to run only one or make it an every other Tuesday tradition and run several. Your scores and times will be recorded so you can challenge yourself to beat your previous time with two weeks in between for training.
If you go often enough, you’ll meet other runners and discover new jogging spots along the way. At the end of each race, your hard work pays off with a cookout, veggie and pork hotdogs, and watermelon for dinner on these sunny summer evenings. Register now, if you’re ready to commit, there’s a discount for multiple races.
Taylor Mountain Trail Run, June 22, located halfway between Renton and Issaquah this trail goes right through the heart of the mountains. A 12.8-mile loop with a slow 1,900-foot ascent. Sign up for a half or full marathon through the beautiful Issaquah Alps. It can be steep in stretches and starts with a river crossing where you’ll get wet and cool off at the start.
Sunshine Salutation is one of the Summer Trail Run Series located at the Redmond Watershed June 25, at 6:30 p.m. choose to run 5 or 10 miles after work during the Eastside edition of the trail to grill run series. Take this course through the stunning Redmond Watershed, famous for soft, wide read: easy to pass, trails.
Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series #3 in Newcastle on July 13, join in on a 5k, 10.8- or 19.5-mile run benefiting King County Parks. Give back to a good cause for hundreds of runners who utilize their trail systems every day.
The Capitol One Torchlight Run in downtown Seattle on July 27. If you’re not a fan of trail runs choose the torchlight, it’s a 5 or 8k run through downtown and across the piers during the famous and historic Seafair festival covering a variety of events over ten weeks of celebrations.
Tiger Peak Challenge August 3, sign up for a half, full or 50 kilometers (31 miles) run through 13,745 acres of Tiger Mountain Park. The race covers two out of three mountain peaks at the park and finishes with flat trails to help you recharge while finishing strong.
Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series #4 in Newcastle on August 10, top your last time and distance from the Trail Series #3 during this race you’ll get another shot at the same trails during this 5k, 14.5- or 26.2-mile run through Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.
Summer Blast at Redmond Watershed located in Redmond on August 17, only fifteen minutes North of Sammamish you can choose between 5 miles, 10 miles, half or full marathons to run in this lush, green, forested race.
Middle Fork Trail Run in North Bend on September 7, Just a quick 30-minute drive east from Sammamish and Renton. Choose a race of 10k, half marathon, 22 miles or a 50k. During the competition, you’ll follow the river valleys up and down through sloping valleys and mountain slopes with river views, through forests and incredible cliffs. Find detailed course descriptions on the website.
Run with the Kokanee at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah on October 12. Run a short 5 or 10k race that’ll benefit recovery work for the Kokanee salmon living in the lake.
Enjoy the outdoors with a run, take note of how you feel before and after you begin running, for many, they sleep better, eat healthier, and are naturally happier. If you surround yourself with like-minded healthy trail runners, you may end up with a whole new community of friends in your new city.