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The Best 10 Mile Races: A Complete Guide to 10 Milers

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Whether you’re a seasoned marathon runner or just starting to venture into half marathons, ten miles can be the perfect challenge to test your speed and endurance. While not as common as marathons or half marathons racing ten miles there are many reasons why you should consider running a ten miler.

Starting line of the best 10 mile race in the country

Reasons to Race 10 Milers

Stepping Stone for Half Marathons: Making the jump from 10k to a half marathon can be daunting for some - after all is more than double the distance of a 10k. Ten miles can be a great stepping stone from 10k to half marathon.

More Time on Weekends: You don’t need as many weekends long runs as the half marathon, meaning more “you” time on the weekends. You can easily get away with 8 miles as your longest run.

No Hitting The Dreaded Wall: On average your body can store enough fuel for roughly two hours of moderate exercise. For beginner runners finishing under two hours, you’re just under the time your body can store fuel. This means you’ll be less likely to hit the dreaded wall, you may encounter in a half marathon and marathon.

Moderate Challenge: Ten miles is long enough to provide a substantial endurance challenge for many runners, requiring both physical and mental stamina. It allows individuals to push their limits and test their endurance without venturing into marathon distances.

Time Efficiency: Ten miles can be completed within a reasonable time frame for many recreational runners, typically falling between 1 to 2 hours, depending on individual pace. This makes training manageable to fit into a busy schedule.

Training Purposes: For runners preparing for a half-marathon (13.1 miles) or a marathon (26.2 miles), a ten-mile run can be an essential training milestone. It helps build endurance, confidence and provides a solid foundation for longer distances.

Balanced Effort: Ten miles strikes a balance between speed and endurance. It allows runners to find a sustainable pace and work on maintaining it over a significant distance, without requiring the all-out speed necessary for shorter races.

The truth of the matter is that any distance that motivates you to lace up your running shoes and stay active is a good distance for you.

Best 10 Milers in the US

When: Early May

Where: Philadelphia, PA

At over 30,000 runners, the Broad Street Run is the country’s largest 10-miler, and one of the largest road races in the US. The course is a point-to-point that goes straight through Philadelphia with a net downhill.

When: Early April

Where: Washington, DC

The ten-mile race course in Washington, D.C. takes you through a captivating journey filled with iconic landmarks and significant historical sites. It coincides with the blooming of Cherry blossoms in DC. Along the route, you'll have the opportunity to pass by and appreciate a range of noteworthy sights including the Jefferson Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the towering Washington Monument, the solemn Arlington National Cemetery, and the majestic Lincoln Memorial.

When: Early April

Where: Sacramento, CA

Experience the best of downtown Sacramento in the exhilarating Credit Union SACTOWN Run 10 Mile or 5K. This event takes you on a journey through the city's highlights, including the charming Old Sac, the vibrant Sutter Health Park, the iconic Ziggurat, and the impressive Golden 1 Center, among others. The courses are designed to be flat and speedy, allowing you to showcase your running prowess. Notably, the 10 Mile race also serves as the esteemed USATF Masters Championship, giving you the opportunity to witness the nation's top runners as they take their positions at the starting line.

When: Mid June

Where: Minneapolis, MN

The Medtronic TC 10 Mile stands proudly as the 5th largest 10-mile race in the nation, captivating spectators with its exhilarating atmosphere. This race not only promises a fast and picturesque route but also boasts impressive viewer engagement. Starting from downtown Minneapolis and concluding at the grand Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, the course covers over 7 miles of the renowned Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon route. In just 10 miles, participants get to experience the excitement and festivities that make the full 26.2-mile course so remarkable. As part of the race experience, participants receive a top-quality Brooks® long-sleeve technical shirt, a stunning finisher medal, and a memorable post-race celebration on the capitol lawn. Due to its immense popularity, entry into the Medtronic TC 10 Mile is conducted through an online drawing, adding an element of anticipation and excitement to the event

When: Early October

Where: Arlington, VA

As the second largest ten-mile race in the United States, the Army Ten-Miler takes place each October in Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., proudly sponsored by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. This highly anticipated annual event extends beyond the main race, offering a vibrant race weekend experience. Alongside the main race, participants can enjoy a youth run, engaging youth activity fair, and a delightful pre-race pasta dinner. It's a celebration of fitness, community, and the indomitable spirit of the U.S. Army.

When: Mid September

Where: Huntington Beach, CA

Mark your calendars for September 17th as Huntington Beach welcomes back one of California's most breathtaking running races. Set against the stunning backdrop of Huntington Beach's Pier Plaza, this event promises a remarkable start and finish line experience. Lace up your running shoes and embark on a captivating journey along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). As you run, be prepared to soak in the beauty of sandy beaches, picturesque palm tree-studded hills, and even catch glimpses of playful dolphins riding the waves.

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