The Official Philly Runner’s Bucket List: 10 Races and Runs to Do (At Least) Once

The Philly 10K | Photo by Matt Stanley

The Philly 10K | Photo by Matt Stanley

If you’re a runner in Philly, chances are you’ve done the Broad Street Run and the Philadelphia Marathon. (Haven’t yet? Get on that!) But what about the Midnight Madness Run? Or the 26×1 Marathon Relay? Or a Run the Vineyards race? Add them — and the other awesome runs and races below — to your bucket list pronto. 

Valley Forge Revolutionary 5-Mile Run
The course gets you up-close and personal with the statues, exhibits and memorials inside Valley Forge National Historical Park. It’s a race-turned-history-lesson you won’t forget. Plan it: April. 

Blue Cross Broad Street Run
It’s a classic, sure, but that doesn’t keep 40,000 runners from signing up every year. The 10-miler starts in North Philly and ends in the Navy Yard, with thousands of spectators cheering you on to the finish. Plan it: May.

WPR 26×1 Mile Marathon Relay Challenge
If you’re not up for running an entire marathon by yourself, try this race, organized by West Philly Runners: 13 competitors each run two (non-consecutive) miles — with one person putting in overtime to complete the final 0.2 — to collectively tackle the marathon distance. The last runner carries a torch across the finish line. Plan it: May.

ODDyssey Half Marathon
Finally, a race with serious mileage that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Costumes are encouraged, live entertainment lines the course, and optional challenges — larger-than-life Jenga, dunk tanks, beer pong — keep things interesting. Plan it: June.

Midnight Madness Run
Stay up past your bedtime for this 8.4-mile glow-in-the-dark race on the Schuylkill River Loop. Glow sticks, paint, blinky lights and headlamps are encouraged. Plan it: July.

The Philly 10K
This two-year-old race showcases the real Philadelphia — the streets and neighborhoods where locals live and play. One thing to always expect: a killer finish-line party with lots of local flavor. Plan it: August/September.

Now in its second year, we’ve made a bit of a tradition out of Run to Work Day Philly, a collaborative effort between Be Well Philly, Run215 and Philadelphia Runner to encourage Philly-area workers to skip the car, bus or train commute and run to work instead. Here’s to your most stress-free commute ever. Plan it: September.

Philadelphia Marathon
If you haven’t conquered the city’s marquee race, it’s time. The course covers 26.2 miles from the Delaware River to Manayunk, for a tour ofPhilly’s most-loved sights and sounds. Plan it: November.

Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run
This just-for-fun 31-mile run follows Rocky Balboa’s training route as famously montaged in Rocky II. Seriously, could it get more Philadelphia than that? Plan it: December.

Run the Vineyards
Love wine? Swap cramped city sidewalks for rolling vineyard trails at this popular race series. There are well over a dozen Vineyards races of varying distances at wineries all over the region. Wine at the finish line is a given. Plan it: Dates throughout the year.

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