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Runners pass through the Brandenburg Gate at the Berlin Marathon
Run through the iconic Brandenburg Gate at the 50th Berlin Marathon

For the inspired runner looking to upgrade their race schedule or medal collection, the distinctive energy and swag of an anniversary celebration is a sure-fire solution. Here, in the third edition of our popular series, we spotlight 11 notable race weekends that are poised to celebrate their golden (50th), silver (25th) or platinum (20th) anniversary in the coming year. So lace up your shoes, grab some electrolytes and join the party—and tell the bouncer at the door RaceRaves sent you! 🥳

(See the final section below for more milestone anniversary shout-outs.)

Races Celebrating Golden (50th) Anniversaries

Governor's Cup logoGovernor’s Cup
Helena, MT | Jun 8, 2024
Marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, 10K, 5K
Originally named for the gold cup awarded to each of the winners, the Governor’s Cup was established in 1974 to support the newly created Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness. Half a century later, Montana’s longest-running marathon continues to set the pace for community health and fitness in the capital city. Starting in the mining ghost town of Wickes, the rural point-to-point course follows smoothly paved roads through beautiful Big Sky Country. A series of second-half rollers—most notably Cardiac Hill in mile 24—will test your resolve en route to Downtown Helena where, quads willing, you’ll have enough left in the tank for one final surge down Last Chance Gulch. And adventure seekers looking to extend the weekend will appreciate Helena’s convenient location midway between two bucket-list destinations—Glacier National Park to the north and Yellowstone National Park to the south.

Anchorage Mayor's Marathon 2024 logo Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon
Anchorage, AK | Jun 22, 2024
Marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, half marathon relay, 5 miler
Held on the Saturday nearest the solstice when daylight exceeds 20 hours, Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon is a summer celebration in Alaska’s largest city. Sporting a laid-back sensibility, AMM has more the feel of an intimate trail race (off-road section included) than a big-city road marathon, with “absolutely gorgeous scenery” and “breathtaking views” of Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains to help distract from the rolling hills. Don’t let your mind wander too far, though, as you’ll want to be on the lookout for four-legged locals (i.e. moose and bears) out strolling the Tony Knowles Trail. And speaking of hills, the “amazing post-race food” and “awesome after party” earn the organizers some measure of forgiveness for one last challenging climb to the finish in Delaney Park. If a 50th anniversary in the 49th state sounds appealing, AMM is a “great destination race” and “a perfect way to see Alaska.”

Quad-City Times Bix 7 logoQuad-City Times Bix 7
Davenport, IA | Jul 27, 2024
7 miler, 2 miler
Whether persuasion or promise, the larger-than-life mural overlooking the start line of the Quad-City Times Bix 7 urges its audience to “RUN WITH THE BEST.” And for good reason—founded in 1975 by a Quad Cities runner hoping to capture some of the excitement he’d felt at the Boston Marathon, the Bix 7 has grown from local gathering into perennial summer powerhouse with legends like Joan Benoit Samuelson, Bill Rodgers and Meb Keflezighi all gracing the winner’s circle during its 49-year tenure. With an uphill start in the heat of summer, the 7-mile out-and-back course gives a hint of what’s to come as it rolls along steamy city streets lined with raucous spectators. Not only does “the Midwest’s biggest post-race party” await all finishers, but heat and hills notwithstanding, its unconventional distance all but ensures that Bix 7 first-timers will take home a personal best, no matter their fitness level.

BMW Berlin Marathon logoBerlin Marathon
Berlin, Germany | Sep 29, 2024
Marathon, 5K
With anticipation building for its golden anniversary in 2024, runners from around the world will be hoping to experience the magical freudenfreude of marathon weekend in Germany’s capital city. Berlin distinguishes itself not only for its cultural and historical significance but for its flat and fast racing circuit, which has hosted each of the past eight men’s marathon world records, most recently in 2022. And whether you’re a world-class elite or a weekend warrior, few home stretches in the sport inspire such raw emotion as passing through the iconic Brandenburg Gate with the finish line in sight. At the same time, gaining entry can be its own test of endurance—Berlin is a member of the prestigious Abbott World Marathon Majors, meaning 2024 hopefuls will need to enter a random lottery in fall 2023 or find another way to secure a coveted spot on the Tiergarten start line next September.

Races Celebrating Silver (25th) Anniversaries

WhistleStop Marathon 25th Anniversary logoWhistleStop Marathon
Iron River, WI | Oct 14, 2023
Marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K
For the discriminating runner in search of a memorable marathon (or half), there’s a lot to love about WhistleStop. While it may not boast the name recognition of its more publicized peers, this small-town gem 💎 stands out in a crowded fall lineup thanks to its “absolutely beautiful” setting, PR-friendly course and Midwestern hospitality. The “train”quil point-to-point route travels through farmland, wetlands and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest on a crushed gravel rail-trail, crossing ten railroad trestles before finishing on the south shore of Lake Superior. Along the way, participants are treated to peak fall colors plus a gradual elevation loss of 510 feet, most of it in miles 8–23. Throw in the pre-race pasta feed and post-race Blues and Brews Festival featuring live music and local microbrews, and you may just find that WhistleStop checks all the boxes as your next fall favorite.

Hatfield McCoy Marathon logoHatfield McCoy Marathon 🏆
South Williamson, KY | Jun 8, 2024
Marathon, Blackberry Mountain Half Marathon, River Road Half Marathon, 5K
In a nod to its notorious namesake, Hatfield McCoy promises “No Feudin’, Just Runnin’ ” in the heart of Appalachia. A perennial favorite among 50 Staters, HMM starts in Kentucky and finishes in West Virginia, where it was voted best marathon and best half marathon by runners nationwide. The charming course visits a number of landmarks within the Hatfield-McCoy Feud Historic District as it follows wooded backroads through tranquil green countryside dotted with colonial-style homes and patrolled by the Tug Fork River. Less charming to the legs and lungs are the early-summer heat and the steep climb up Blackberry Mountain. But with its “past awesome” volunteers, personalized signs to welcome back returning runners, and rifle-toting characters who greet every runner at the finish, it’s no wonder first-timers and long-timers alike call Hatfield McCoy an “incredible experience” and a “must-do event!”

Races Celebrating Platinum (20th) Anniversaries

Grand Rapids Marathon 2023 logoGrand Rapids Marathon
Grand Rapids, MI | Oct 15, 2023
Marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, 10K, 5K
If a platinum anniversary race weekend “designed by runners, for runners” piques your interest, then forgo the hype and hassle of big-city crowds this autumn and head to Grand Rapids. Michigan’s other fall marathon prides itself on supporting every runner & walker and embracing every pace—there are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t run with yet. Starting and finishing downtown, the flat and colorful course showcases a city in the throes of fall, highlighted by a lakefront loop of Millennium Park and an out-and-back stretch along the Grand River. But it’s in its thoughtful attention to detail that GRM really shines, with personal touches like finish-line handshakes from Race Director Don Kern and marathon pace groups based on celebrity finish times, e.g. 4:29:20 for Team Oprah and 3:56:12 for Will Ferrell’s Sub-4′s. Because when it comes to celebrity runners, if you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em!

Monterey Bay Half Marathon logoMonterey Bay Half Marathon 🏆
Monterey, CA | Nov 11–12, 2023
Half marathon, 5K, 3K
Staged on a backdrop of rugged beauty and crashing waves, the sublime sibling to the Big Sur International Marathon earns a reputation as the best half marathon in California—no small feat in a state that boasts more than 10% of the nation’s total halfs. Like BSIM, finishers hail Monterey Bay as a “must-do, bucket-list type race” with a “great coastal course.” Unlike Big Sur’s hilly profile, however, MBHM’s flat, fast route will appeal to first-timers and PR chasers. The dramatic out-and-back course hugs the coastline, leading runners past John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row and the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium to the rhythm of rolling waves. (Keep an eye out for aquatic locals! 🦦) And all finishers receive MBHM’s signature handcrafted ceramic medallion. For a feel-good favorite reviewers call “breathtakingly beautiful” and “otterly picturesque,” just say “yea” to Monterey Bay.

OC Marathon Running Festival 20th Anniversary logoOC Marathon Running Festival
Newport Beach, CA | May 4–5, 2024
Marathon, half marathon, 5K
If running is a numbers game, the OC Marathon Running Festival might best be summarized by the formula: four cities + three distances + two days of celebration = one high-energy West Coast weekend. Starting in the lovely harbor town of Newport Beach, the marathon opens with a fast downhill to the sea, winding along seaside streets lined with magnificent waterfront homes before continuing into the heart of Orange County and the neighboring cities of Costa Mesa, Irvine and Santa Ana. Crossing the finish line at the spacious OC Fair & Event Center, you’ll be treated to the unmistakable élan of Fitz Koehler and Rudy Novotny aka Team Noisy, arguably the best race announcing duo in the business. Then kick-start your recovery with food, drinks and free family fun at the two-day Celebrate OC Festival featuring some of the top local bands, brands, breweries & sports teams in Orange County.

Fargo Marathon 2024 logoFargo Marathon 🏆
Fargo, ND | May 31 – Jun 1, 2024
Marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, 26-mile bike tour, 15-mile bike tour
Mention Fargo to anyone who’s run it, and you’ll likely be greeted with unabashed enthusiasm for one of the nation’s most beloved race weekends. This Midwestern gem shines bright well beyond its home state thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of Fargo Marathon founder and director Mark Knutson, who died July 9 in a tragic cycling accident. The course, which starts and finishes inside the boisterous Fargodome, leads runners on a scenic tour of its host town plus seven miles in neighboring Minnesota while visiting three college campuses along the way. The event attracts first-timers and seasoned marathoners alike with its flat-as-it-gets elevation profile, cool May temperatures, Midwestern hospitality, and plenty of on-course support & entertainment including 50+ live bands and DJs spinning musical motivation. And did we mention Fargo’s a favorite among Boston Qualifiers? Uff da!

Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon 2024 logoNapa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon
Napa, CA | Jul 20–21, 2024
Half marathon, 5K
For a destination race that cranks up the festive factor in a normal year, it’s safe to say Napa to Sonoma’s 20th anniversary will be one for the books. After all, the weekend already earns rave reviews from finishers who call it “SPECTACULAR,” “a 10/10” and “definitely worth putting atop your bucket list.” The half marathon starts at Cuvaison Winery in Napa with an immediate climb up Butt Burner Hill that “gets you pumped for the rolling hills that follow!” As hot air balloons float overhead, the “absolutely stunning” course traverses vineyards, farms and ranches on closed roads before finishing in Sonoma Plaza, a National Historic Landmark. And once the running ends, the real celebration begins with “the perfect cherry on top,” the post-race wine festival (included with half marathon registration) that’s “not to be missed” featuring tastings from more than 20 local wineries and “tons of food options.”

Other Races Celebrating Notable Anniversaries

40th Anniversary:
Duke City Marathon (Albuquerque, NM | Oct 22, 2023)
Run Barbados Marathon Weekend (Benab, Barbados | Dec 9–10, 2023)
Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon (San Francisco, CA | Feb 4, 2024)
Sunburst Races South Bend (South Bend, IN | Jun 2024)

30th Anniversary:
Hartford Marathon (Hartford, CT | Oct 14, 2023)
Philadelphia Marathon (Philadelphia, PA | Nov 18–19, 2023)
3M Half Marathon (Austin, TX | Jan 21, 2024)

20th Anniversary:
Dallas Marathon Festival – half marathon only (Dallas, TX | Dec 8–10, 2023)

Looking for more running events? Search for races by state/city or month, and try our handy Find a Race tool to search for events by name, date range, distance, location, terrain & more. Then sign up for a free account to build your wish list and start coloring in your 50 States Map!

Author: Mike Sohaskey

Mike Sohaskey is the co-founder of RaceRaves, the premier online reviews community for runners to share their race experiences and find their next challenge. Mike honed his creative and critical thinking skills as a research scientist, earning a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from Stanford. He’s also completed over 100 races — including 50+ marathons and ultras — in locations ranging from Antarctica to Zimbabwe.

Other RaceRaves articles you’ll enjoy (trust us!):

Dec Featured Races You Need to Know About
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Let’s Talk Marathons: The AMR Trains Podcast
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And for more helpful articles, check out our blog!

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2 thoughts on “Anniversary Races to Celebrate (2023–24)

  1. Excited for ALL the race celebrating their big anniversaries! Such a great thing for the running world! Local to me, we have the Cannonball Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k & 5K celebrating 20 years this October! And the GoFar program is also celebrating 20 years!

Your turn – what do you think?