We chatted with one run/walker to find out what her favorite races in the country are.
It doesn’t matter what pace you go…as long as you do not stop! Get your race on regardless of your speed at these walker-friendly events.
EXPERT: Beverly Hess
Six years ago this self-proclaimed “accidental athlete” never thought she would one day be the finisher of more than 110(!) races, ranging from 5Ks to marathons. Today, the 59-year-old doesn’t want to imagine life without those experiences. The senior IT director for Microsoft, who splits her time between Carlsbad, Calif., and Chesterfield, Mo., credits the run/walk method for her success. She says the combo approach allows her to do what she loves—participate in races! While any Disney race always captures her heart, check out some of her other favorites and her tips to run/walk your way to the finish.
If you’re searching for the best hardware, Hess recommends the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. Featuring races from 5K to the 26.2-mile marathon, this series is known for jamming bands and rockin’ medals. Totally run/walk–friendly, participants can work toward “heavy medal” status to earn extra bling for multiple races.
More info: runrocknroll.com
Maximize race-day endorphins by supporting the limitless potential of elementary kids and middle schoolers at a Girls on the Run 5K. Founded as the culminating event for each Girls on the Run season, run/walkers are welcome to join the celebration of the nonprofit’s confidence-boosting curriculum.
More information: girlsontherun.org
On Florida’s Gateway to the Keys, the Key Largo Bridge Run has a distance for every run/walker, with a half marathon, 10K and 5K. The bridge’s climb and descent are challenging, but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Everglades and ocean.
Date: Nov. 16
Location: Key Largo, FL
More info: keylargobridgerun.com
After run/walking the Go! St. Louis All American 5K (her first), Hess knew she was hooked. With the sun rising over the city’s iconic arch and the flowering trees in full bloom, it was love at first sight. Besides the eye-pleasing setting, Hess recalls the race support as top-notch.
Date: June 19
Location: St. Louis, MO
More info: gostlouis.org
Nature-loving runners and walkers with a taste for adventure will want to add an event from the National Park Race Series to their must-do lists. With eight races centered around some of the country’s most beautiful public spaces (think Yosemite and the Rockies), there’s no shortage of breathtaking scenery. And don’t worry about leaving anything but your footprints behind—the series supports a reusable cup system for aid-station hydration.
More info: vacationraces.com