Training

5 Races That Welcome Back-Of-The-Pack Runners

Some events distinguish themselves by going the extra mile to welcome runners and walkers of every pace.

back-of-the-pack

Some events distinguish themselves by going the extra mile to welcome runners and walkers of every pace.

“The Esprit de She runs and triathlons are great,” says Colleen Kelley of Chicago. “They have great support and many runners encourage each other to finish strong.”
WHERE: multiple locations
WHEN: multiple dates
espritdeshe.com

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon Series gets a big BOP thumbs up, thanks to well-stocked aid stations and generous course cutoffs (up to 4 hours in the half and 7 in the full for most races).
WHERE: multiple locations
WHEN: multiple dates
runrocknroll.com

Related: 5 Ways For Back-Of-The-Pack Runners To Kick Butt

Cincinatti’s Flying Pig Marathon gets rave reviews for its tireless volunteers and bountiful cheer squads. Race director Iris Simpson Bush, her “pigscot,” and 20 or so volunteers cheer in the last official finisher. One year they even waited almost 10 hours to do it!
WHERE: Cincinnati, OH
WHEN: 5/1/16
flyingpigmarathon.com

“The Medoc Spring Trail Race is great. They start the BOPs in front and stagger the [start] times, so everyone gets a chance to be in front,” says Rachel Davidson, a Lillington, N.C.–based runner.
WHERE: Hollister, NC
WHEN: 5/7/16
medocspringraces.com

Roanoke’s Blue Ridge Half Marathon, touted as America’s toughest road half marathon for its brutal 3,600 feet of elevation change, seems like a counterintuitive choice, but a 7.5-hour half-marathon cutoff—same as for the full marathon—keeps the finish line buzzing: There’s no lonely walk beneath the arch.
WHERE: Roanoke, VA
WHEN: 4/16/16
blueridgemarathon.com

Related: Do You Kill Your Own Race Buzz?