Amazing Running Races Close To Shenandoah National Park

Posted: 2/4/2017 4:12:17 PM

Ready to ditch the treadmill?  We're here to give you some motivation for some of the region's most exciting running events, like the inaugural Shenandoah Half Marathon.

For organized racing events in 2017, consider:

  • The sixth annual Mad Anthony Mud Run will be held at Coyners Springs Park in Waynesboro on February 25. Previous years’ temperatures have ranged from a bitter six degrees to a balmy 60 degrees. With the “unknown” looming, never let anyone tell you a mud run is not a competitive race. You’ll have the nastiness to prove your worth and hopefully the medal to prove your muster. All Hail Mad Anthony!
  • No foolin’, the first annual “NUTT” races will be held on April 1 in Keezeltown, just outside of Harrisonburg. This loop course runs the service roads and mountain biking trails of the western slope of Massanutten Mountain. It’s not called The ‘NUTT’ Endurance Challenge for nothing. Choose between the one-lap 5K, five-lap 10K, or 10-lap 50K. May the odds be ever in your favor.
  • The Park-to-Park Half Marathon from Stuarts Draft Park to Ridgeview Park in Waynesboro will be held April 29. Expect a fairly easy run with tame hills and plenty of gorgeous spring scenery.
  • If you subscribe to the “will run for beer” philosophy of thinking, you’ll want to sign up for the Skyline 4-Miler featuring Seven Arrows Brewing Company in Waynesboro. The race starts and ends at Seven Arrows on June 3. This is likely the easiest of our 17 race picks and includes craft beer and live entertainment at the end. Everyone’s a winner with this one!
  • Another run for beer lovers (but quite a bit more challenging) is The 72.4M Growler Team Relay on June 18. Gather your best beer-loving, running buddies and make a plan to outpace the competition as you run relay style from Brothers Craft Brewing in Harrisonburg to Starr Hill Brewery in Crozet … AND BACK. There’s plenty of fun, however, as your teammates can solve riddles and puzzles to win extra beer tickets and race perks! The after party will be one for the ages.
  • Run for the red, white, and blue on July 4 in Harrisonburg! It’s the Valley 4th RUN, but folks of all abilities and ages are welcome to participate in either a one mile, 5K, or 10K race. Strollers and wheelchairs are welcome, as are leashed pets. Wear your patriotism on your sleeve and run for a great cause of your choice. Yes! This is a charity event and YOU choose the recipient.
  • The Shenandoah Half Marathon on September 2 will feature some challenging climbs but rewards runners with a lakeside finish. You’ll start at Hawksbill Recreation Park in Stanley and finish at Lake Arrowhead Recreation Park in Luray. Elevation gain for this race is just under 1,000 feet, but as race organizers note, “downhill courses are for wimps.”
  • Here it is. The race for wine lovers! The Valley Vines Twilight 5k is a run through the vines of CrossKeys Vineyard in Mount Crawford. When you’ve flown through the finish line, you’ll find live entertainment and award-winning Virginia wine waiting. It’s happening September 15 at 6 p.m. ahead of the fall harvest season, so your view through the vines will be amazing.
  • When the Blue Ridge Mountains are at your backdoor, you tend to be quite eager for the autumn leaves to appear. We love the waves of orange, red, and yellow so much that we thought we’d invite you enjoy the view with us. The Fall Foliage Run in Waynesboro’s Constitution Park is timed for near-peak foliage: October 15. Both 5K and 10K run/walk options are available, as is a Kids Fun Dash. Bring the family and love the view!
  • Before you stuff yourself with turkey, spend your Thanksgiving morning (November 23) in Harrisonburg for the Rocktown Turkey Trot. It’s a family-friendly four-miler with a side of fun at the Gobble Gobble Kids Dash. Costumes are welcome and encouraged.

Prefer to run on your own schedule?

  • The area around Skyland Resort is a popular spot for trail runners. Located at the highest altitude along Skyline Drive, you'll be sure to test your mettle. Try Stony Main Trail, which gradually ascends to the summit on a 1.6-mile route. Some sections are steep and you may be forced to walk. If you’re looking to add some hill work to your routine, this is a good choice.
  • Another good section for trail running is around Big Meadows, which serves as roughly the halfway point between the northern and southern ends of Skyline Drive. 

Whichever path you take, start training now for increased endurance and stamina -- you’ll need both with our area's hills and valleys.

Here is everything you need to know about where to stay inside Shenandoah National Park or in the Shenandoah Valley for your next running adventure.

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Source: This post is provided courtesy of the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association.

 

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The National Park Service turned 100 in 2016.