This is a list of races I have completed over the years, organized by date order. Most are in the Rhode Island area, but some are not. Over the last few years, I started traveling to races. Moving to Washington, DC opened up a whole new set of racing options.
Rock N Roll New Orleans/Mardi Gras Marathon - mid-Feb to early Mar, New Orleans, LA
Good choice for a first marathon. Fast, flat and mostly scenic. Well-supported with bands on the course, mostly interesting scenery, and a decent amount of spectators. Save Bourbon Street for after the race. The course changes every year. It was fine the year I ran it (2011) but was not as scenic the following year, especially in the second half of the course.
Shamrock Marathon and Half Marathon - mid-Mar, Virginia Beach, VA
Flat, great swag and post-race party, very well-organized. Good choice for a first marathon. Wear something green.
Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run - early Apr, Washington, DC
One of the largest races in Washington, DC. Registration is through a lottery in December. Crowded, but flat and scenic. Reasonable entry fee.
Gansett Marathon - mid Apr, got moved to October, Narragansett, RI
Small qualifiers-only marathon. Extremely well-organized. No frills but no hassles. Run it if you qualify. Seriously. I want to see Gansett stick around.
Boston Marathon - third Monday of April, Boston, MA
The holy grail of marathons. Pretty much a well-organized 26.2 mile block party.
Earth Day 5K - late Apr, Silver Spring, MD
Formerly one of the Pacers events. The Silver Spring store closed, and so the Earth Day 5K is no more. One mile downhill, one mile flat, one mile uphill.
Cox Rhode Races Marathon and Half Marathon - early May, Providence, RI
Slightly to moderately hilly. Both races are growing. There are always some kinks, but they are getting better with every year. Thumbs up on the half. Thumbs down on the full marathon, unless you are local and don't want to travel. The marathon is one of the few races I will think very carefully about running again.
Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon - formerly mid-May, got moved to Nov, Newton, MA
Uphill both ways with 900 feet of inclines. Course runs up Heartbreak Hill at the halfway point. Small challenging race. Great volunteers.
Katie DeCubellis Memorial Foundation 5K - June, Narragansett, RI
Local 5K that fundraises for the KDMF. Fun for families after the race and lots of prizes, especially in youth age categories. Can be hot. Katie was a 13-year old killed by a drunk driver in 1999. The KDMF does lots of good work around education, youth leadership, and substance abuse.
Harvard Pilgrim 10K - around July 4, Foxboro, MA
Finishes on the field in Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots. Can be hot and humid. Consider bringing your own water.
Blessing of the Fleet 10 Mile Race - late July, Narragansett, RI
Hailed as one of the best 10 mile races in New England. Fairly flat course with several miles by the seaside. Growing beyond the size of the small roads it runs on. Evening start time. Can be hot and humid. Arrive early and bring your own water.
Rock N Roll Providence Half Marathon - late July or early Aug, Providence, RI
Moderately hilly. Large race. Nice medal, expo, and shirt. Well-supported and fun. Pretty much what I expected from Rock N Roll.
CVS Downtown 5K - mid-Sept, Providence, RI
Large 5K in downtown Providence. Finish line is uphill, otherwise flat. Register early to get a technical T-shirt and bag of CVS goodies.
Divas Half Marathon Long Island - early Oct, East Meadow, NY
Flat boring course but fun female-oriented atmosphere and nice perks. Well-supported with crowds, music, and water stops. Giant sparkly medal (I could seriously take someone out with that thing), tiaras and boas on the course a mile from the finish, roses and champagne at the finish. Difficult to get to without a car.
Chicago Marathon - early Oct, Chicago, IL
One of the World Marathon Majors. Sells out early. Flat. Amazing crowd support. Good choice for a first marathon. Very large and can be hot, so be aware of what you are going into.
Ocean Mist 4.2 mile race - Columbus Day, Oct, Matunuck, RI
Small local race by the sea.
Amica/United Healthcare Half Marathon - mid-Oct, Newport, RI
My favorite half marathon by a landslide. Scenic. Newport Harbor, Ocean Road, and the Newport Mansions are part of the course. Rolling hills. Small expo and minimal crowd support, but the scenery makes up for it. Organizational kinks have gotten better every year.
MCM 10K - late Oct, Arlington, VA
Roughly follows the last 10K of Marine Corps Marathon. Starts on The Mall and finishes uphill at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington. Not a ton of crowd support or aid stations. Usually sells out before race day.
Get to the Point 5 mile race - late Oct, Narragansett, RI
Out and back from Galilee (fishing port) to the Point Judith Lighthouse. Small local race by the sea with a buffet lunch afterwards.
Monster Mini Dash 5K - late Oct, Providence, RI
One of the new holiday-themed 5Ks (others include St. Patrick's Day, Thanksgiving, and Jingle Bell) in Providence. Wear a costume.
Mews Tavern Gear and Beer 5K - mid-Nov, Wakefield, RI
One very steep hill that you run up twice. All the beer you can drink and a big post-race raffle.
Ho Ho Ho Holiday 5K - mid-Dec, Bethpage, NY
Holiday-themed 5K race sponsored by my hometown running club.
Volta a Cidade 6K - late Dec, Funchal, Portugal
Nighttime road race with a very cheap entry fee. Grab your running shoes and enjoy the "tour of the city."
Races on Tap
Bath Half Marathon - March, Bath, England