It’s no surprise that running is likely to make anyone hungrier than usual — and there’s no better motivator to ramp up those miles than food. Hey, you’ve earned those calories, right? Shiny medals are nice, but something about a burger and beer post-5K sounds better and tastier. So whether you’re chasing a personal best or a cupcake at the finish line, we rounded up the 10 best races for fit foodies. Each bite, sip and slurp will make all the sweat worth it. (Races are listed by date.)
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10 Best Races for Fit Foodies Across the U.S.
1. Hot Cider Hustle
Location: 31 cities across the U.S.
Date: October through December
If you live for that first chill in the air, these races that celebrate apple season are perfect for you. Fill up your finisher’s mug with the spiced apple cider that awaits you and re-fuel with caramel apples at the finish line. Distances vary by city and can include a 5K, 10K, 8K, 15K, 8-mile and half-marathon.
2. Hot Chocolate 15K and 5K
Location: 18 cities across the U.S.
Date: October 2017 through April 2018
There’s nothing more comforting during a cold winter run than a cup of hot chocolate to sip along the course. This race will give you as much of a sugar rush as adrenaline. In addition to warm cocoa, runners will also get to nosh on chocolate-dipped marshmallows during the race. Once you reach the finish line, you’ll receive a mug to fill up with even more hot chocolate and other dipping items like fruit and cookies. Race swag also includes a cozy pullover jacket.
3. April Fool’s Day Twinkie Run
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Date: April 1, 2018
There are very few times in your life when indulging in a Twinkie is totally fine —and this is one of them. This three-mile race has a sweet cause of benefiting the nonprofit, Active Against ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). While it’s not a participant requirement, runners are given the go-ahead to wolf down a Twinkie at the start and again at the halfway point. And for anyone eager to run a personal best, you’ll be happy to know that one minute will be shaved off your finishing time for every Twinkie you consume during the race.
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4. Burgers and Beer 5K
Location: Chicago, IL
Date: July 2018
A burger and beer at the finish line? Sign us up! Sponsored by Budweiser and Clif Bar, among others, the race starts at Chicago’s Soldier field and takes runners on an out-and-back route on the city’s lakefront path. At the end of the race, cool down and refuel at the Budweiser Beer Garden, where you’ll get to pour refreshing brews into your souvenir glass beer stein. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, they’ve got veggie burger options, too.
5. Oregon Wine Country Half-Marathon
Location: Carlton, OR
Date: September 2018
Oregon is one of the few U.S. locations where runners can find a late-summer race without the humidity and heat. Participants will race in cooler temps while running through the state’s scenic Willamette Valley, which is filled with rolling green hills of the Stoller Winery Vineyards. And at the finish line, a music festival awaits, complete with post-race Pinot Noir (locally sourced, of course).
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6. NYC Pizza Run
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Date: September 2018
If there’s one thing New York City is known for, it’s the delicious pizza! And what better way to sample it than at various checkpoints throughout a race? This 5K fun run, which recently moved to Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park from the East Village, offers runners two slices at each water station. Participants will also receive a t-shirt, goodie bag and a free drink at the after-party. Proceeds benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
7. Corndog Classic 5K
Location: Tulsa, OK
Date: September 2018
The popular carnival food is the star of this event, which is presented by the Tulsa State Fair. Benefiting Food for Kids and the Tulsa Area United Way, this race is about eating and running as fast as you can. During optional breakfast challenge, participants will down a mini chicken and waffle, orange juice or mimosa and a mini caramel apple. And if binging on breakfast isn’t your thing, you’ll still receive plenty of treats and beverages.
8. Wineglass Marathon, Half-Marathon and 5K
Location: Corning, NY
Date: September 29-30, 2018
This event is a popular destination race that takes runners through central New York’s breathtaking Finger Lakes region, which is home to more than 100 wineries. At the finish, you’ll receive the fanciest swag ever: an engraved wine glass, mini bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate truffles. As a bonus, this fast marathon is also a popular choice among runners looking to qualify for the Boston Marathon. (Check out our complete list of fast and fun marathons here.)
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9. Bacon Run 5K
Location: Atlanta, GA
Date: October 2018
This delicious race allows runners to bring home the bacon — literally. After finishing the 5K, participants get to sample a variety of bacon-flavored treats and handfuls of cured meats from sponsors. Costumes — meat-themed or otherwise — are highly encouraged to add to the fun. But there’s a serious side, too: Proceeds go toward rescuing child victims of human trafficking.
10. Hershey Half-Marathon
Location: Hershey, PA
Date: October 2018
Offering up a 13.1-mile tour of the candy bar’s namesake town, runners and walkers can choose to participate as individuals or as part of a two-person relay team. As a special ode to the chocolate town, the race proceeds benefit the Children’s Miracle Network at Penn Stat Hersey Children’ Hospital. Participants will get a goodie bag of t-shirts, a finisher’s medal, post-race refreshments and two tickets to the Hershey Park In The Dark event. How sweet is that?
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