5 Races to Run in 2015

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve joined the Friday 5 Link-Up hosted by Courtney from Eat, Pray, Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed up for What?!. I’m a little embarrassed for not joining in a month (a month!), but I’m back and I’m really excited about this week’s theme!

Yes, that's a mustache. No, it's not real.

Yes, that’s a mustache. No, it’s not real.

This week’s theme is my 5 Races to Run in 2015! If you read my blog even on an occasional basis, you know that I’ve been battling injuries off-and-on since I ran the Newport Marathon last May. I’ve had to bow out of several races, including the Portland Marathon (I only ran the first 8 miles), the Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em 5K, the upcoming Lake Sammamish Half, and the Eugene Marathon. Boo.

But I’ve been working my tush off at Pilates and yoga–and going to a chiropractor and massage therapist–so that I can strengthen my pesky weak spots return to even better racing form this year. I’m thrilled by the prospect of returning to running stronger and faster.

So which races am I most excited about running in 2015?

5.  AT&T Back on My Feet 5-Miler – Philadelphia – March 28


How appropriate is it that my first race post-injury will be the AT&T Back on My Feet 5-mile race in Philadelphia. Lest you think I’m some badass elite that travels all the way across the country for a little  race, please understand I will be in Philadelphia on vacation and just decided to register for this race. I love running while traveling, so it stands to reason I’ll love racing while traveling. Running this smallish race in scenic central Philadelphia (it starts and ends at the Philadelphia Art Museum) will be a great race to mark my return to racing.

4.  Eugene Half-Marathon – Eugene, OR – May 10

Photo Jan 24, 9 30 38 AM

The Eugene Marathon was supposed to be my A-race, but now it’s not (thanks, hip flexor). I’ve come to terms with the reality that I don’t have enough time to properly train for a marathon, especially not one run at a Boston Qualifer pace, and I’m seriously okay with it. Seriously, you guys.

Okay… it still smarts a bit. But I am comforted by my plan to drop down to the half-marathon so I can still run Eugene. One really awesome thing about the Eugene Half-Marathon is that they let you drop from the full to the half without any fuss. In fact, every time I’ve run the Eugene Half, I’d originally registered for the half. Apparently it’s a habit of mine.

I’m really excited to run the Eugene Half-Marathon, mainly because I know many of my Oiselle Flockmates and fellow Team Nuun members will be there. I’m looking forward of spending time with those teammates I already know and meeting the ones I don’t. And spectating the full, of course. Because I love cheering on runners and I never met a cowbell I didn’t like!

3. Independence Day 5K – Tacoma, WA – July 4

Photo Jul 04, 7 07 08 AM

I am uber patriotic

I’ve never run a race on the 4th of July, usually because I’m too busy that morning prepping for the party we always throw on Independence Day. The fast course of Tacoma’s Independence Day 5K, has made me decide to postpone the party-prep by an hour or so. I love running races on holidays ( Turkey Trot: holla!) so it makes perfect sense for me to run this 5K. Plus I think it would be a great course for a PR; the first mile is downhill and the remainder’s flat.

2. Skagit Flats Half Marathon – Burlington, WA – September 13

There are a lot of tulips grown in the Skagit Valley. Pretty, right? It won't look like this when I run this race.  It will be much less scenic.

There are a lot of tulips grown in the Skagit Valley. Pretty, right? It won’t look like this when I run this race. It will be much less scenic.

The Skagit Flats Marathon and Half-Marathon boast a very fast course. So fast, in fact, that it’s usually on the short-list of the best races to qualify for Boston. My tentative plan for the Skagit Flats Half, though, is to run it as a training/tempo run. My coach recommends I run a half marathon about a month before a marathon, and the timing of Skagit Flats lines us perfectly with the…

1.  Chicago Marathon – October 11



The Chicago Marathon will be my redemption race. I wanted to qualify for Boston again at Eugene and was gunning for a 3:40. Now that I can’t run Eugene’s full, Chicago has become my new A-race.

If my healing goes well and I’m able to return to running during the next month or so, I’ll have plenty of time between now and mid-October to rebuild my running foundation and train for the Chicago Marathon. Chicago is famously flat and fast, which shouldn’t hurt my chances for BQ’ing. Plus, it’s in Chicago, you guys. I love to eat, so this is my city!

I’m incredibly excited for this race. Heck–I’m impatient just thinking about registering for it!

What races are you most excited to run this year? What factors do you consider when choosing to register for a race?

49 thoughts on “5 Races to Run in 2015

  1. I am really looking forward to running Chicago, one of these days; I would love to visit and see EVERYTHING! You’ve really done well focusing on getting stronger and not allowing your injury to keep from looking forward to brighter (faster!) days; I know the efforts you’re putting in are going to pay huge dividends later this year. It’s so great to “see” you in the Friday Five – woo hoo! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Molly!

    • I’m so glad to be back on the link-up! Thank you for your encouragement through this injury cycle, which has seemed never-ending. I’m really working hard to get back out there!

  2. Tricia Johnson says:

    I completely agree with your choices! I really want to run a 4th of July run and the tulip run looks awesome too! Another one on my list is the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Disney World and the Hot Chocolate 15k. I’m walking the 5k with my mom this year but hopefully I can run the 15k and pick up some bling next year!

  3. Ooohhh! Skagit Flats sounds fantastic and it’s so close to Vancouver! I’m still planning out my races for the latter half of the year, so perhaps I will join you there!! Love this selection of races and excited for your year ahead!

  4. hmmm…maybe i should come up to philly for the day for that 5 miler…i could take the train friday night and then head back to dc saturday afternoon. i wouldn’t even have to miss church…hmmmm…🙂 love your list! restraining myself (for now) from pushing register!🙂

    • I would love to run with you in Philly, but if it doesn’t work out we can always run when I’m in DC the following week. Although running in Philly will give us an excuse to wear our pretty Oiselle singlets.🙂

  5. The Philly Half is one of my fave races. I don’t really plan. I just sign up for a bunch of stuff and hope for the best! On tap Phoenix Marathon 2/28, NYC 1/2 3/15, Shamrock Shuffle 8K 3/29, Egg Shell Shuffle Half Marathon 4/4 and Grandma’s Marathon 6/20. Oh and NYC marathon!

    • You have a lot of great races on deck, Erica. I was looking at Phoenix last fall when I was thinking about running a late-Winter marathon. It looks like a fast one, but doesn’t it get hot?

  6. Looks like a great list of races! I’m going to have to do an Eugene race one of these days. I’ve heard great things about it, maybe next year. Sorry to hear about your injuries, hope your healing goes well!

    • If you’re interested in running in Eugene, running either the Eugene Marathon or the half are must-dos. It’s a midsized race (I think around 8,000 runners total between both events) and the course is flat with good crowd support (for the half, at least). Plus, the finish is on the legendary Hayward Field track. So cool!

  7. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    Yey for an East Coast race! I”m jealous for Chicago, I would love to run that one someday! I’m excited for the 40th MCM!

    • For just a regular trip where you want to do things other than just be a running tourist, I recommend Portland. Portland has a lot of great running routes (including along the river and through Forest Park), but it also has excellent restaurants and shopping (bonus: no sales tax!). The Portland Marathon is also a great event. If your main purpose of the visit is to run a race, though, or you’re a complete running geek, I might lean more towards recommending Eugene. The Eugene Marathon is a really special event, and running fans flock to Eugene to run on Pre’s trail and see Pre’s rock.

  8. I did the Eugene half in 2013. It was perfect weather and didn’t understand why they moved it to the summer last year. And they moved it again for this year.

    • I ran the Eugene Half in 2012 and 2013 and agree with you about the weather. They moved it to July for 2014 because the national juniors track championship was being held in Eugene at the same time. I think they wanted to create a running festival by combining the events. I had zero interest in running in muggy and warm Eugene in late July, so I picked another goal marathon last year (Newport, which turned out to be a perfect choice). Fortunately, they decided to move Eugene back to the spring this year. As for the weekend change (second weekend in May versus the original last weekend in April), I think that has more to do with their late date-announcement, and the fact that another marathon in Eugene and neighboring Springfield scheduled itself for their old weekend.

  9. The Eugene Half Marathon will be awesome – I would love to run that race someday. Finishing the race at the Hayward Field track will be so memorable🙂 And have fun at Chicago! I’ve never done the race but have spectated the past two years. The energy is contagious!

  10. Great list! I love getting a glimpse into races from other parts of the country!

    I am most excited for RnR Virginia Beach Half and the GATE River Run 15K. GRR will be my redemption race (I ran it injured last year) and RnR will be a great family event for us. Super excited to see what the rest of the year holds!

    Good luck with your goals!

  11. CHICAGO!!!!! That’s on the top of my (very long) list! I would love to do that one someday. And then I want to come over and run on the west coast. I never raced while I lived out there.

  12. I love the idea of running while on vacation. It’s something exciting to look forward to and a great way to see things you probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Glad to hear you are taking steps towards correcting and fixing your injuries and weak spots. Hope your first race back goes great!!

  13. I just ran my big races for 2015 in both January and February at Disney World and am looking forward to a break from long distances for the next few months. I have the Shamrock 5k in Portland with my family next month that I’m excited to run. I haven’t run the Eugene Marathon before but I’ve heard great things about it! That was almost my first marathon in 2013 but I ended up running the Newport Marathon instead

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