My favorite races of 2012

by: Kelly Leighton
January 2, 2013

Although I was unable to run for a good chunk of 2012 (from early April to July 31), I still managed to participate in 12 races in 2012, ranging from 5Ks to a marathon. Even though not every race is “the best” or a PR, I think there is something to be enjoyed in all of them, and I am always glad to participate. With that being said, there were a few races I ran in 2012 that I loved so much, I’ve already added them back to my calendar for 2013.

Cherry Blossom Run – Washington, D.C.


I didn’t blog about this run, but I wish I had because it was so much fun. A group of girlfriends and I entered the lottery for registration to get into this 10-mile race, and we were thrilled to be selected. The race is very organized, with the 15,000 runners divided into corrals, based on their speed. The course is fast and flat, and very scenic as you get a brief tour of D.C. We’ve gotten into the race again this year, and I can’t wait for April to return to D.C. for this.

Harrisburg Marathon – Harrisburg, PA


This race was a last-minute decision for me, but I am so thrilled I ended up running it. If you’re a local runner, then you’ve probably run parts of this course before. It takes you throughout downtown, Shipoke, HAAC and Wildwood. It’s mostly flat, and we lucked out with beautiful weather this year. It’s also really cheap for a marathon, costing at most $75.

Parker Palermo 5K – Wilkes-Barre, PA


This is a race in honor of a good friend of mine who passed too soon. I’ve participated in it every year since its creation, and I make sure I get to Kirby Park every August to run it again. This year, it was my first 5K post-injury! It’s not the easiest course, or the fastest, because part of it is through a field, and it’s also in the midst of the heat of the summer. But running in Parker’s memory triumphs all that. I look forward to it every year, seeing familiar faces and of course, adding to my collection of “Parker Palermo Memorial Run” t-shirts.

Great Pumpkin 5K – Harrisburg, PA


I love this race because it’s Sara’s and my tradition! We first ran it in 2011 (with Jamie), and we ran it again this past year. It’s a pretty big 5K for this area (nearly 500 people ran it last year), and it takes place on a familiar course, in and around City Island. It’s also held in late October (obviously), so the weather tends to not be too bitter or cold yet.

Kris Kringle 5 Miler – Reading, PA

I just ran this on Sunday for the second year in a row. They changed the course this year, and in my opinion, it was much tougher, plus we had just been hit with a few inches of snow, making the trail portion (about three miles) super slippery. However, like Kayne West once said, “that what don’t kill you, makes you stronger.” Call me shallow, but the real reason this is on my favorites list is because you get a hoodie with the $25 registration fee. Now, that’s a steal. Or so I kept telling myself as I huffed and puffed up snowy hills.

What was your favorite race (or races!) this year? What are you running in 2013?

Categories: Running

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