Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



12 Races Around The Country That Are Cheap Destination Options

Want to sign u for destination races without breaking the bank? Susan Lacke has tips for racing on a budget.

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

USO 10-miler, 5K and Fun Run

Cheap Destination Races

There’s a lot to love about scheduling a vacation around a race. Think: a change of scenery, a new adventure and racing with hundreds (or even thousands) of your new best friends! But what we don’t love? The cost. Travel is expensive enough without adding the high price of most race registration fees. But what if you could get away without going broke? From coast to coast, there are a ton of cheap destination races to be found.


Brokebabes Marathon and Half

Columbus, OH; May

Brokeman’s Running is a local grass-roots running movement taking glitz and swag out of the racing scene in favor of the beauty of the grind. Its Brokebabes Marathon, a women-only full and half event, boasts a $35 entry fee to this low-frills but full-fun race.

Run Michigan Cheap: Kalamazoo Edition

Kalamazoo, MI; July

Thirty bucks for a half marathon? Count us in. This race takes place on a shaded, crushed-limestone stretch of the Kal-Haven State Park Trail.

Strider Half Marathon

Milwaukee, WI; August

Every Labor Day weekend, the Badgerland Striders running club puts on a fun half marathon through Milwaukee’s stunning Estabrook Park. Entry fees start at only $28, which means you’ll have a few extra bucks left over for the finish-line beer tent.


The Bryn Mawr Racing Pass

Philadelphia, PA; February–December

Lock in your race calendar with this $100 racing pass, which serves as your entry fee to eight different races in the Philadelphia area, beginning with February’s Feel The Love Couples 5K and ending with the Schuylkill River Loop Race, an 8.4-mile, cross-country classic.

GMAA Rollin’ Irish Half Marathon

Essex Center, VT; April

Celebrate the arrival of spring with 13.1 miles through Vermont’s beautiful rolling green hills. The best part: it will only set you back $15 to enter.

The Reindeer Run 5K

Rochester, NY; December

Register for $20 by Thanksgiving, and Santa will spoil you at this holiday race with a 5K entry, a cotton T-shirt and a festive pair of reindeer antlers to don while you’re dashing.

Reindeer Run 5K


USO 10-Miler, 5K and Fun Run

Fort Campbell, KY; March

A mere $15 gets you entry to a beautiful 10-mile race through the Fort Campbell forests, a fully catered post-race bar and a long-sleeved tech tee with built-in mittens. (Honestly? We’d do it for the shirt alone.)

Carrollton Prediction Runs

Carrollton, TX; Year-Round

The Carrollton Runners Club, located just north of Dallas, only charges $2 per person and $5 per family for their “prediction” runs held on the third Sunday of each month. This fun race format asks runners to predict their finishing times for a 5K during registration. No timing watches are allowed during the race, and the individual who comes closest to their predicted race time wins.

The Darkside Marathons

Senoia, GA; Year-Round

Lifetime membership to an organization called the “Darkside Running Club” might seem a little sinister—but it’s all in good fun. For $35, you get free entries to the club’s yearly holiday marathon and ultramarathon races on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day.


Snow Joke Half Marathon

Seeley Lake, MT; February

Maximum bragging rights for minimal bucks can be found at this wintry half marathon around Seeley Lake in western Montana. Entry fees start at $30, unless you’re under the age of 19—in which case, you’ll only need to pay 10 bucks.

Alaska Run for Women

Anchorage, AK; June

In order to include all women—regardless of economic circumstances—the Run for Women 5K has no set registration fee. Most runners donate around $25, and the proceeds go to grants for breast cancer research and mammograms for underserved women.

Hurricane Half Marathon

Hurricane, UT; September

The $35 entry fee for this late-summer half marathon is worth every penny. If the racing itself doesn’t take your breath away, the stunning red rocks of Zion National Park will.

Hurricane Half Marathon


Tips For Planning A Destination Race

7 Expert Tips For Your Next Destination Race

The 4 Reasons You Should Run A Destination Race