Completing a marathon is a major success for any distance runner or exercise and fitness lover. Women athletes benefit greatly from participating in running for exercise, and are constantly continuing to prove themselves in the world of these races. For many female endurance runners, finishing the training and crossing the finish line of a marathon is a goal in proving ability to themselves and their peers. Here are 5 events tailored specifically to women:
1.) The Nike Women’s Marathon (San Francisco, California) – Running this race, which is held in October, has quickly become a favorite since is was established a few years ago. Benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the marathon is part of a three-day fitness expo held in Union square. This marathon doesn’t include any of the famous “cable-car” hills of San Fran, but does make runners wind through many popular landmarks like the waterfront view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Once completed, runners enjoy perks such as a Tiffany & Co. necklace, a Nike Dri-Fit tee, a pedi-care station, and Ghiradelli chocolate.
2.) 26.2 with Donna: The National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer (Jacksonville Beach, Florida) – Started by breast cancer survivor Donna Deegan, this fitness race is held in February each year and donates 100 percent of raised funds to breast cancer research and patient-care services. Established in 2008, runners face two-and-a-half miles of the course on packed sand, and there is always musical entertainment and plenty of spectator support. Raising money for a good cause, while enjoying exercising on the scenic route of Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic beach doesn’t sound too bad.
3.) Disney Princess Half Marathon (Orlando, Florida) – With many runners sporting their favorite princess costume, this unique race winds through each park of the DIsney kingdom. The event takes place in February, and is modeled after the famous characters from classic Disney tales who possess attributes that all female runner’s strive for; strength, perseverance, courage and determination. The entire weekend dedicated to this run is a magical environment, meant to encourage females to get into the spirit of owning their femininity while exercising and staying healthy.
4.) Women Run the Cities (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – Held in September, runners of the event are encouraged to engage in a healthy and active lifestyle. The majority of the proceeds from the event benefit the Ann Bancroft Foundation, which is an organization that supports women and girls to realize their highest dreams and potential. Runners enjoy beautiful parks along the Mississippi River through both Minneapolis and St. Paul.
5.) ZOOMA Women’s Race Series (many different locations) – This half-marathon race series is designed to give women runners a competitive platform to become healthy through fitness. Five events nationwide take place during the Fall season. Women of all ages and exercise ability are present, and this race was created to empower women to feel a sense of personal accomplishment resulting from meeting a major fitness challenge. Cities like Austin, Texas, Fontana, Wisconsin, and Annapolis, Maryland are some of the backdrops for these female-focused runs.