Channel your inner speedy-chick with mile races that are over in a flash!
Combine two of life’s sweetest pleasures (running and cake!) at the Cupcake Classic Backwards Mile. In this unorthodox event, participants are tasked with running (or walking) backward for one mile—looking over your shoulder is encouraged—before heading to the cupcake feast where there’s plenty of chocolate, vanilla and red velvet to go around.
Where: Olympia, Wash.
Contact: (360) 701-1604; guerillarunning.com
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Queen of the Hill
Want to do the Boston Marathon but wary of running all 26.2 miles? Tackle the most famous stretch with a one-mile race up the legendary Heartbreak Hill! Set in Newton, Mass., this short-course race highlights the infamous ascent one day before the marathon itself. Open to runners age 8 to 90, the Newton Heartbreak Hill Road Race allows anyone to experience a taste of running history with this heart-pounding challenge. Stick around the following day to cheer on runners heading toward the finish line of the Boston Marathon!
Where: Newton, Mass.
Contact: (617) 796-1549; newtoncommunitypride.org
Test your wheels in downtown Boulder at the Pearl Street Mile. Held on a Thursday evening in the middle of summer, this event, which hosts 1,000 racers and streets full of spectators, has a true block party vibe. After you cross the finish, head over to the post-race Bands on Bricks music festival. A bonus of the short distance? Your legs will have enough energy to bust out your signature dance moves.
Where: Boulder, Colo.
Contact: (303) 449-3774; boulderdowntown.com
Grab your friends and family, including the four-legged members, and head out to the Platinum Performance State Street Mile. This dog-friendly race takes runners through the palm-treelaced heart of downtown Santa Barbara. The best part? A new personal record is nearly a given: the downhill course means your legs will gain some serious speed as you cruise toward the finish.
Where: Santa Barbara, Calif.
Contact: (805) 568-2316; sbmile.com