Photo credit: https://www.hotchocolate15k.com

Are you planning your upcoming racing season or creating a bucket list of races to run? Listed below are some of the best races in the US, across all distances.

Hot Chocolate 5k Chicago

Held in Chicago, Illinois in late October, this Hot Chocolate series race is the largest 5k in the country. With the “world’s best chocolate” on the course and in every runner’s goodie bag, it’s no wonder that 20,000 runners participated in the event in 2016.

Peachtree Road Race 10k

The Peachtree 10k is one of the largest 10k races in the world, with 57,000 participants annually. Held on the 4th of July in Atlanta, Georgia, entry into this hot 10k is coveted. Except for the elite field, each of the 57,000 participants is chosen through a lottery.

Detroit International Half Marathon

The International Half Marathon, which starts and finishes in Detroit, draws approximately 11,000 participants. What is keeping race directors from expanding the race? It turns out that when your race crosses international borders (twice!), you have to be mindful of limiting the number of competitors. The race takes participants through Windsor, Ontario, via the Ambassador Bridge and also through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel when passing over international waters.

Twin Cities Marathon

Named one of the top ten most beautiful marathons in the world, the Twin Cities Marathon is a point-to-point race that starts in Minneapolis and finishes in St. Paul. This winding, tree lined course takes runners through greenways and around scenic lakes, with the last several miles being run along the Mississippi River. Held in early October, the weather is typically ideal racing conditions.

JFK 50 Mile Memorial

Considered the oldest ultramarathon in the United States, the JFK 50 Mile has been held in beautiful Washington County, MD ever since 1963. The race, which is run in November, is a fast course with approximately 37 miles of the race on road and flat trail, with the other 13 miles on a technical portion of the Appalachian Trail.

Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run

Perhaps the ultimate 100 miler, this race, which is held in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, has one of the most coveted race entries.  To be part of the field of 369 participants, runners must receive a “golden ticket” by winning specified races in the Montrail Ultra Cup Series; place top 10 in the previous year’s Western States race; or win an entry via the lottery system.