Race Across the Mitten: It’s Fall-tastic!

Race Across the Mitten: It’s Fall-tastic!

Summer is officially over and as we transition into my favorite season (winter!), there is an abundance of lovely fall runs to participate in. Here are a few that I thought sounded exceptionally fun:

Dances with Dirt – September 21, 2013. Hell – 50K, 50 Mile, 100K Relay

Photo Courtesy of Dances with Dirt
Photo Courtesy of Dances with Dirt

With an accurate tagline of “see you in Hell,” this race is not for beginners. The options available include a 50K, a 50 mile race, and a 100K relay; and that is just the beginning. Not only are these races extremely long, they are on uneven terrain, loose trails, and across streams and various muddy waters. The disclaimer for Dances with Dirt includes the following: “you will get wet and muddy, but you won’t get swept downstream in any whitewater. Some big hills but no supplemental oxygen is needed,” with a concluding, “all in all, a great run in a beautiful environment…with stupid spots,” which I think can sum up almost any long race. Most are absolutely stunning, yet most have those areas that make you regret signing up for such a physically challenging event. Both the 50K and the 50 mile race start at 6:15AM and the relay begins at 7:30AM. Registration for the 50K is currently $79, becoming $100 on race day, the 50 mile races is now $89, and will rise to $110 on race day, and the 100K relay is already full. There is an after-party thrown by Bell’s Brewery and all finishers receive a belt buckle of the “4 B’s series,” which stands for bloodied, boned, bruised, and burned. This race is going to be outrageous.

Baker’s Dozen Beer Run – September 21, 2013. Marshall – 1/2 Marathon

Photo Courtesy of the Baker's Dozen Beer Run
Photo Courtesy of the Baker’s Dozen Beer Run

“Start with a donut, finish with BBQ and a beer.” Sold. This race consists of all my favorite things: running, beer, great food, and a brewery. The start and finish of the Baker’s Dozen Beer Run is at the Dark Horse Brewing Company in Marshall. The donuts are provided by the town’s favorite bakery, Louie’s Bakery. If you’ve never completed a half marathon before, this event is perfect for fun-loving, casual runners. It is designed to be tackled however you choose; individually run, relayed, or even via bicycle. It is rare to find a race that is so open and easy-going, so I highly advise taking advantage of this opportunity. Plus, you’re in great company of fellow beer and food lovers! If you don’t want to participate actively but still want to enjoy the festivities, spectators can register and sample the BBQ, beer, and drink $3 pints from Dark Horse Brewing Company all evening. Runners launch at 9:00AM and the bicyclists can start at 10:30AM and it is a mere $20 to register, being the cheapest half marathon I have ever encountered.

Ambulance Chase – September 26, 2013. Detroit – 5K

Photo Courtesy of the Wayne State University's Law School Ambulance Chase
Photo Courtesy of the Wayne State University’s Law School Ambulance Chase

True to the stereotype, this event is put on by Wayne State University’s Law School. It is only a 2.2 mile race, but the entertainment is well worth the time. Generally 250 people will run the race and 150 individuals attend as spectators. Registration is $25 ($15 for students with a valid student ID) and all proceeds go to Cass Community Social Services, which is a Detroit-based charity that helps individuals with housing, community involvement, and self-improvement. This is an evening race beginning at 6PM and concluding with a barbecue for all runners and spectators. The race is run around various parts of Wayne State’s campus and is run entirely on sidewalks. Walkers are welcome to participate as well.

Fall is full of entertaining runs that not only will be a blast to participate in, but are actually quite challenging as well. With cooler weather, it is the perfect time to head out and take in Michigan’s breathtaking color changing leaves while actively enjoying the outdoor scene. Many of these races become full day events that encourage family participation as well, which creates a great opportunity for some fall-tastic family fun.

Are there any fall races that we should know about? What is the most entertaining race you have ever run?