Updated: Aug 4
Running—like most sports—can be heavily male-dominated. If you’re a woman, you might want to consider participating in an all-woman race for a few reasons:
Solidarity. An all-woman race can be an environment where women come together, support each other, and celebrate their achievements in a space dedicated to them. Women can find inspiration and motivation from running alongside other women who share similar experiences, challenges, and goals.
Equality. Women’s races can be seen as a way to address gender disparities that exist in running and promote equality and inclusivity in the sport. Historically, women have faced various obstacles and discrimination in running (Katherine Switzer, anyone?), and all-women races can serve as a platform to highlight their capabilities and achievements.
Comfort. Runner’s World found that 60% of women have been harassed while running. Participating in a women-only race can create a sense of security and safety for women who have experienced verbal or physical harassment while running.
Building confidence. For novice runners or those intimidated by mixed-gender races, participating in all-women races can provide a less competitive environment and a space to build confidence. It can be an opportunity to focus on personal progress, skill development, and the joy of running without the added pressures that can arise in mixed-gender races.
With that said: Here are the best all-women races—from a single mile to ultramarathons!
Multiple dates and locations
If you like a challenge and don’t mind getting a little dirty, the MUDGIRL obstacle race series might be for you. With events across the U.S., these events provide a high-energy environment for women runners to step out of their race comfort zones.
Cape Cod Half-Marathon, 10k, & Mile
Sept. 9–10, 2023
Stretch out with some sunrise yoga, take in stunning ocean views and explore quaint neighborhoods during the run, and celebrate all your hard work with an oceanside post-race party.
Santa Barbara 5k & 10k Sept. 9, 2023
Santa Barbara, CA
Featuring beautiful ocean views, this event supports Girls Incorporated of the Greater Santa Barbara Area. Registration fee includes a race shirt, a custom goodie bag, and free race photos.
Amelia Island Half-Marathon, 12k & 5k
Oct. 14–16, 2023
Fernandina Beach, FL
This oceanfront event is the perfect excuse for a beach vacation. Runners can easily treat themselves after the run: the post-race party on Sunday features mimosas, yoga, massages, and shopping.
Indiana Women's Half-Marathon & 5k
Oct. 21, 2023
Though this half-marathon is for women only, you can expect a full race experience with an expo, pacers, and entertainment along the route. With a flat course and competitive field, this is a great race for those looking to run a PR.
Thelma and Louise 15k, Half-Marathon, Marathon, & 50k
April 27, 2024
This women’s-only trail race offers a variety of distances on remote desert trails. Sandy washes, technical doubletrack, smooth jeep trails, and stunning views of red rock walls will keep runners entertained—even if they’re running the full 50k.
National Women’s Half-Marathon & 8k
May 5, 2024
Free race photos, a post-race party, and a run through the heart of the nation’s capital is hard to beat. The race partners with the American Heart Association to fight cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death in adult women.
Santa Cruz 5k & 10k
May 11, 2024
Santa Cruz, CA
With free race day childcare and a lactation station near the starting line, women runners will find support at every turn of this event. While all paces are welcome, those looking to run a competitive race are guaranteed an early start to separate easily from the pack.
Women Run the Cities 5k, 10k & 10-Mile
As if benefiting Girls on the Run isn’t enough incentive to check out these races, there’s brunch awaiting participants of Women Run the Cities at the finish line.
GO GIRL RUN Half-Marathon & 5k
March, April, and June 2024
Oklahoma City, OK, Springfield, MO, & Columbia MO
These events are designed for runners (and walkers!) of all paces to celebrate women’s health and fitness. Run all three races to get a special triple-crown finishers jacket.