If it’s March, it’s time to start registering (and—hate to be the bearers of bad news—training) for the season’s first runs. These are a few of our favorite springtime Delaware River Town 5ks.
Happy Tails Rescue Run Your Tail Off 5K Run/Walk
When: March 30 | Where: Milford, NJ | Fee: $30
Yeah, March 30 is soon. But focus less on your lapsed fitness and more on the cause: Proceeds will go toward training neglected and abused dogs as service dogs for veterans. Plus, you could go home with a 50-inch 4K smart TV—all finishers will be entered into a raffle—which isn’t exactly much of training incentive after the race. But we’re not turning down a 50-inch TV. You?
Grape Gallup 5K Run/2-Mile Walk
When: May 11 | Where: Milford | Fee: Starts at $35 (Prices increase after April 4)
You’ll be running through a vineyard (Alba) right around the time spring should be pushing into fifth gear. If the scenery helps the kilometers tick by for you, this race is a must-run. It’s also a good place to be if your commitment’s still, um, a bit questionable. Where you’re concerned, the run/walk is a nice excuse to be outside, but the wine tasting that’ll follow is the real draw.
Mother’s Day 10K
When: May 12 | Where: Washington Crossing, PA | Fee: $33.50
If your wife’s the kind who’d prefer a little alone time for a workout over a buffet brunch on Mother’s Day, sign her up—and then tell her immediately, because surprising her the morning of would be cruel—and watch the gratitude spread across her face. From there, you could show up with the kids and cheer her on, but she’d probably be just as happy (if not happier) to have the entire morning to herself.
Memorial Main Street Mile
When: May 27 | Where: Yardley, PA | Fee: $25 (Price increases after May 20)
Tempted as you may be to read that and say, A mile? Pssht!, this race is part of the Cricket Wireless Spring and Summer Points Series, so it’ll draw a very competitive field. Like, expect the top runners to finish in the neighborhood of five minutes. Now, nothing says you need to run that fast. In fact, the Memorial Mile is a good means to squeeze in some fitness ahead of a long day of parading and picnicking.
Scenic Solebury 5K Trail Race
When: June 2 | Where: Solebury, PA (Honey Hollow Environmental Education Center) | Fee: $25 plus service fee (Price increases after May 14)
Trail running can be a nice change of pace after a couple months of serious training and racing. The ground’s softer (usually), the pace is a little slower, and the need to focus on every step forces you to be present, which can be a challenge when the training runs start to feel monotonous. If this is your first time, expect to trip and maybe even fall, but all you really need to know is that you always need to be aware of the terrain beneath you and the people around you. You know, like a really big group run through the park.