Oct 4, 2023
Fall into running!
Temperatures cool down and mileage creeps up. Leaves fall while race registrations rise.
Yes, fall is finally here for runners!
While I like to highlight the best parts of running for every season of the year, it’s safe to say that running activity hits its peak during October, November, and December. More people hit the roads or trails during autumn than any other season, and fall offers an abundance of race opportunities for everyone.
Consider some of the following opportunities for running this fall.
Pumpkin Runs: If you live in a cooler climate, fall means pumpkin patches filled with brightly colored leaves that make a perfect backdrop for a race. If you’ve been wanting to try trail or cross-country running, a short family-friendly run through a pumpkin patch is a good way to get introduced to it. Once you’re done, enjoy some apple cider from the mill to stay warm – it’s a great fall treat!
Halloween Runs: Test your creativity and fitness by creating a running-friendly Halloween costume and hitting the road. Most Halloween-themed runs are geared toward the whole family with their focus on costumes, but if you want something a little spookier, look for a nighttime Halloween run through a “haunted” field or woods. You’ll have a ghoulishly great time!
Turkey Trots: Did you know that Thanksgiving is the biggest running day of the year in the United States? That’s right! More people go for a run that day of the year than any other, primarily by participating in a “Turkey Trot” race. In large cities, a Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot might even draw more participants than some major national marathons.
If you don’t already run on Thanksgiving day, create a new tradition and join the millions around the country doing a race that morning. From large cities to small towns, almost every locality has some kind of Turkey Trot you can enter. Run or walk the race, then give thanks later at the dinner table for your family, friends, and health!
If you really don’t want to wake up early Thanksgiving morning, never fear – Turkey Trots are so popular that more organizations are sponsoring them in the days before and after Thanksgiving as well. Now you have a whole holiday weekend to take in a Turkey Trot – or two!
Marathons and half-marathons: If 13.1 or 26.2 miles are your goal, you have so many options during the fall to complete a marathon or half-marathon.
The Chicago and New York City marathons, considered two of the world’s major marathons, bring tens of thousands of runners to the U.S. each year, and many other cities large and small host their marathons and half-marathons in the fall.
If you haven’t been training at longer distances, you might want to make these races your fall goal for next year. This fall, however, search to see what races might be in your area so you can put them on your calendar. If you want to travel, search for phrases like “top fall marathons” or “best fall marathons” to get ideas.
Happy fall running season!
By Shannon Shelton Miller /Twitter: ShannonSMWrites, Instagram: shannon.shelton1
Shannon Shelton Miller is a longtime writer and journalist who enjoys writing about sports, fitness, health, beauty, and parenting. She has been running for 27 years, starting from joining her high school cross-country team. She has run a marathon, two half marathons, and countless 5K and 10K races.