How to Find Local Running Races

Runners in race
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Running road races, from 5Ks to marathons, is a great way to have some fun running, meet other runners, and stay motivated. Knowing that you have a race marked on the calendar will encourage you to keep up your running, and it can be thrilling to push yourself in a race environment. If you're not sure if you want to participate in a race just yet, you could always volunteer for the race to get an idea of what to expect.

Chances are you'll want to participate next time!

Finding Races Close to Home

Not sure how to go about finding a race? Here are some suggestions for how to find races in your own backyard.

1. Contact your local running club.  Most running clubs sponsor at least a couple of local races each year. If you're not aware of a local running club, check out the Road Runners Club of America website to find the one closest to you. Even if they don't sponsor races, they'll probably know about some local races in your area. If you become a member of the club, they'll put you on their mailing list to keep you informed of their races, as well as those put on by other organizations.

2. Check in at your local running specialty shop or sports store. They'll probably have signs posted advertising upcoming races. If not, talk to one of the salespeople — they should know about local events. They may even offer group training runs, starting at the store, for a specific race.

You may also find out about store discounts offered to those who register for the race.

3. Search the Internet for races. Some great sites with lots of local events to check out include: or Running in the USA. If you're looking specifically for full or half marathons, try and

4. Talk to other runners. If you have a friend, family member, or co-worker who likes to run, ask them for recommendations of local races. If they've run the race before, they can give you their review of the course, race amenities, and overall experience to help you decide if it's a race you want to run. It's always fun to do a race with a friend (even if you don't run the race together), so see if there's a race you can plan to do together.

5. Check with your local YMCA or health club. Some YMCAs or health clubs sponsor or help promote local races, so check and see if yours has any information on upcoming races. They may even offer some race-specific training.

6. Utilize social media. Facebook can be a great source for information about your community. Post on your Facebook page or in your local community Facebook group to see if anyone knows of any upcoming races.