Running is a great workout, but I’ve never been able to understand running for the sake of running.  There has to be an end goal for me, be it to be a better player on the soccer field or to run in a race. Having a goal gives meaning to action, and thus forces me to get in the habit of running so I can improve.Stormtrooper Bay to Breakers TeamCredit:

Granted I’ll most likely never win a race, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be fun to enter one.  Some of the famous foot races in the United States are quite colorful, such as having racers run in costume

1) Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Held in October, this race is one of the World Marathon Majors, making it a prestigious international race.  The course winds through most of downtown Chicago.  Just after the finish line the Marathon hosts the 27th Mile Post-Race Party to celebrate the finishers, complete with live entertainment and food.

2) Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is widely considered one of the most prestigious and historic marathons; it’s the oldest annual marathon in the US and attracts international runner.s  It takes place on the third Monday of April, which is a Boston holiday called Patriot’s Day. 

3) Camp Pendleton Mud Run

As the website says: "The Mud Run is a challenging 10K run with hills, tire obstacles, river crossings, two 5-foot walls with mud on both sides, tunnel crawl, slippery hill climb, and the final 30-foot mud pit."  Taking place during mid spring, it’s essentially a timed obstacle course, but one that sounds like a great time!

4) Dick’s Sporting Goods BolderBOULDER 10K

While not particularly long, this run is still attracts some high-class talent.  With the slogan of ‘sea level is for sissies’, participants have to have a qualified time in order to enter.  Held over Memorial Day weekend in Boulder, Colorado, this run is also entertaining due to the 30 acts spaced out over the span of the course.

5) ING New York City Marathon

Usually held in November, this marathon is one of the largest races to be held on US soil. More than 100,000 applicants sign up each year.  With all the media and public attention, running in this race is great thrill. While the course finished in Central Park, it weaves through a variety of NYC’s areas including the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island.

6) Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure

Known more for raising money for breast cancer than being a talent attracting race, you could argue that this is the most famous footrace as so many non-runners are also aware of it. The walk/run is a short, 5K event that takes place in Washington D.C in the National Mall.

7) Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K

This race was named by USA Today to be one of the best running races in the country due to the scenery of the course; winding through downtown Richmond, VA, Monument Ave is tree covered and lined with historic buildings. Similar to the Bay to Breaker’s run, costumed participates are encouraged to race.

8) Zazzle Bay to Breakers Run

This 12k race takes place every year on the third Sunday of May in San Francisco, with the course taking runners from the east side to the west side of the city. Many world-class athletes compete. There is also a costume contest every year, with five categories to enter, from best team costume to most be-dazzled.