Over the years as I’ve worked on my half marathon time, done a few more marathons, I find a point during every training cycle where I’m thinking…
Man 10 miles is like a really awesome distance. I really wish there were more 10 mile races!
Turns out I’m not alone! A recent Facebook question about what your perfect race distance would be, lead a lot of you to also say 10 miles. Which lead me to wonder, where can we find these races?
While there aren’t a ton of them, there are plenty of great options to choose from. So let’s talk more about why you might want the challenge of a 10-miler, how you need to adjust training and the best options in the US!
Why are there so few 10 milers?
However, if I tried Googling “10 mile race”, I rarely came up with much beyond the Cherry Blossom 10 miler or a lot of trail races. Nothing wrong with a trail race, but I wanted road time to really test my paces.
So I went to the next source of all knowledge: Social Media. I was not disappointed!
I got so many great answers, I pulled them together along with dates for anyone else who might be looking to test their skills on 10 mile race either as a stand alone or to prep for their next big PR attempt.
**Update, I first created this post a few years ago and suddenly in the last few years there have been a LOT more 10 milers added to races around the US. Which not only excited me, but meant I got to add some new road race ideas to the list below.
What’s the allure of a 10 mile race?
First of all, let’s just talk about the elephant in the room.
Runners like round numbers and yet most races end on a .1 or .2, which should be enough to make us all batty. And yet, we keep doing them!
But seriously, I think for many of us there’s something special about our double digit runs.
- long enough to appeal to our far, not fast mentality
- allow us to push our paces beyond what we would try in a longer race
- gateway from the 10K to the half marathon
- automatic PR when you run a new race distance
How to train for a 10 Mile Race?
There aren’t a ton of 10 mile specific plans out there, so you could use a 15K plan which is a distance seen more in Europe and trail running.
A 15KM race is 9.3 miles.
While many of these plans are for trails, it’s pretty easy to adapt for that final .7 miles. Remember that just like in half marathon training, you don’t have to run the full distance prior to the race if it’s your first time.
Focus on getting in 3-4 runs per week, with 1 longer run and 1 speed session most weeks. Then include at least 2 days of strength training and you’re on the right track.
If it feels easier to scale a plan down, then try something like my 10K to Half Marathon Transition Plan.
Follow all the other smart training advice you’ve seen for half marathons:
- Always include a dynamic warm up
- Practice increasing your endurance
- Build a solid base
- Add in speed work smartly
10 Mile Races in the US
I’m sure there are plenty of amazing trail runs and possibly 10 milers outside the US, but these are all in the United States. I’m all about finding great racecation places and the dates for many of these definitely qualify. Plus it’s a great excuse to see a place you might not otherwise go.
Many are also smaller races, which could give you a podium chance! Most of these are going to have at least 5,000 runners so they aren’t tiny, but nothing like a Chicago.
Currently listed in order by time of year with bold indicating larger races.
Kailua 10 Miler – Kailua, HI: Feb
Charlottesville 10 Miler– Charlottesville, VA: Mar
Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Miler– DC: April (Lottery to enter)
Northern Trails 10 Miler – Greensboro, NC: Apr
500 Festival – Indianapolis, IN: Apr
Tenacious Ten – Seattle, WA: Apr
Soldier Field 10 Mile – Chicago, IL: May
Elm Street Run – Greensboro, NC: May
Urban 10 Miler – Denver, CO: May
Broad Street Run – Philadelphia, PA: May (one of the largest)
Garden of the Gods – Colorado Springs, CO: June
Baltimore 10 Miler – Baltimore, MD: Jun
Moon Pie 10 Mile Run – Bell Buckle, TN: June
Lift Bridge Road Races – Bayport, MN: June
Crim 10 Mile Festival – Flint, Michigan: Aug
Women Run The Cities 10 Mile – Minneapolis, MN: Sept
Bronx 10 Mile, Bronx NY: Sept
Surf City 10, Huntington Beach, CA: Sept
Army 10 Miler – Washington, DC: Oct
Medtronic TC 10 Mile – Twin Cities, MN: Oct (part of the Twin Cities marathon)
Disney Pixar Toy Story 10 Miler – Orlando, FL: Oct (night race)
**Note all these races still appear to be good, but dates are not updated yearly in this post, which is why I left it at the month. So you may need to double check that information!
BONUS: There are a few 15K races in the US as well that are pretty popular. The Boilermaker, Gasparilla Distance Classic and Gate River Run!
Have you ever done a 10 miler?
If you’ve done any of these leave your feedback to help another runner.
I’m having trouble deciding now that so many have come up…I need a race in June and I’d like to do something like a 10 or a half in August. Am I just asking for punishment wanting to race in the summer?!
Looking for some other challenges??
- Nude running – find a race!
- Ragnar Relay Tips
- Adventure Racing
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There is a 10 miler in the spring as well in DC! It’s the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and it’s during the cherry blossom festival. Weather can be unpredictable but this past year it was during peak bloom so you were surrounded by gorgeous trees and flowers.
I love the sound of a 10miler! I’m wracking my brain to think whether I’ve done one in the past, but I can definitely see the appeal. Long enough to be satisfying, but equally not too all consuming to train for! X
My 1st distance race was a 10 miler. It’s “the toughest 10 miler” in the Texas 10 series.
My best is 6 mile. Now after reading 10 miler, I wanna break the shackles. Thanks Amanda
Make sure to check out the Portland, Newport and Vermont 10 Milers which are all independent races and also part of a 3-race series where you get a fourth medal for completing them all in one calendar year. It’s labeled the New England 10 Miler series.
I’ve ran the papa john’s 10 miler twice to prepare for the Kentucky derby half marathon! It’s my favorite race and I always feel so good afterward! It goes through the beautiful Iroquois Park in Louisville which adds some hills and ends at the University of Louisville football stadium, the Papa John’s stadium! Plus, the pizza after the race is included for racers and what else would you want for a post race snack!? Lol
I ran my first 10 mile race this year! It was the 38th annual South Nyack, NY race that is always held in September sponsored by the Rockland Road Runners.