Best West Coast Running Races

Best West Coast Races

If you’re looking for great racing at any time of the year, go west, young athlete! Runners from San Diego to Seattle will tell you: the West Coast is definitely the best coast when it comes to running. With friendly, temperate weather and beautiful terrain, runners of all levels find that there are many West Coast running races that suit their interests. From fast courses for serious runners looking to qualify for other races to events focused on music, camaraderie, and fitness, there’s plenty of opportunities for everyone. 

Regardless of which races you’re looking to enter, you should always be properly prepared. Custom Training Plans can help you train for mega-popular races like the Los Angeles Marathon or a local 5K with a West Coast running race training plan custom-tailored just for you. A customized training plan accounts for the endurance and strength you’ll need to build up by race day with running workouts, sprints, hill work, cross training, rest days and more to have you feeling confident. 

Now that you’ve got a handle on how Custom Training Plans can help you feel prepared to perform at your best, get inspired by this list of some of the most exciting running races on the West Coast.

California Running Races

  • Los Angeles Marathon
    • This spring marathon features a course that takes runners on a sightseeing tour of downtown L.A., Beverly Hills, and Hollywood. This surprisingly hilly course demands strength, stamina, and hill-climbing prowess from athletes, but the long downhill that leads to the finish line is well worth it. 
  • Bay to Breakers
    • This 7.46-mile race is one of the most popular races in the United States. The course takes runners (many dressed in wild and wacky costumes!) from the Embarcadero to the Great Highway alongside Ocean Beach. With a celebratory, casual atmosphere, Bay to Breakers is a race that’s truly fun for everyone.

Arizona Running Races

  • Pat’s Run
    • Pat’s Run is a 4.2-mile race that honors fallen Army Ranger Pat Tillman. Each year, more than 25,000 runners gather in Tempe to take on the brief yet challenging course. Pat’s Run finishes on the field of Sun Devil Stadium, an experience not to be missed.
  • Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon
    • The Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is one of the country’s newest races, but Arizona’s balmy January temperatures ensure a full field is present to take on the point-to-point course. Featuring a long, gradual hill during the final miles, this race demands real endurance from its runners. To keep you motivated, there’s plenty of live bands along the way rocking out.

Oregon Running Races

  • Shamrock Run
    • Oregon’s Shamrock Run is the largest running event in the state. The course is lined with cheering spectators, encouraging runners as they take on the infamous Terwilliger climb. But if you want to skip the climb, this race also offers 5K and 8K distances.
  • Smith Rock Ascent
    • One of the most challenging races in the United States, the Smith Rock Ascent involves nearly 5,000 feet of vertical gain. Finishers say that this race is well worth the effort—at the top of Gray Butte, athletes can see for miles. The summit is followed by a well-earned descent toward the finish line.

Washington Running Races

  • Lilac Bloomsday Run
    • Held in Spokane, Washington, the Lilac Bloomsday Run is a great place for beginners to lace up their racing shoes for the first time. The course features a few punchy hills along with gentle rollers, so it’s important to follow a training plan that helps you prepare for elevation.
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle
    • Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle mixes up the course each year, so it’s critical to get your legs ready for whatever challenges this year’s edition will bring. No matter what the route may be, though, you can count on tons of crowd support and a rockin’ atmosphere with live music at multiple points throughout the course.

From the mellow California shores to the challenging peaks of Oregon, there’s something for every runner to love when it comes to West Coast running races. Whether you’re preparing for a specific race or a specific distance, Custom Training Plans provides plans that get you in top form to meet and exceed your target times while reducing the risks of overtraining, burn out, and injury. From 5K training plans and 10K training plans up to half marathon training plans and marathon training plans (and everything in between), any plan CTP provides can be personalized to suit you and your race-day goals. Pick up a West Coast running race training plan and experience the difference CTP’s personalized, expert-developed programs can make on your performance.