at the races The iRun Spring 2024 iRace Guide: Paris, Duluth, Rome and Beyond!

The iRun Spring 2024 iRace Guide: Paris, Duluth, Rome and Beyond!


Nothing gets you through the hard December training runs like a race bib already purchased for spring. This year in Canada, two giant anniversary races are planned in Calgary and Ottawa and I’m sure racers already registered for Boston still have end-of-year fuel in their tank. Here’s a look at awesome events you can currently register for in Canada, the US, and worldwide.


The Steveston Ice Breaker 8K & NB Kids 1K, January 14

Start the new year off with this flat and fast 8K in Richmond, British Columbia. There is also a 1K run for kids. Run or walk the event, and stay for the post-race food and awards.

Polar Paws Winter Trail Race, Turkey Point, St. Williams, ON

Polar Paws Trail Race, January 20

You read correctly, this race allows for our four-legged furry friends to run in their very own Doggo 10K! Situated on the shores of Lake Erie at Long Point Eco Adventures, in St. Williams, Ontario, with a 5K, 10K and 25K distances on both single and double track trails. Organized by Crazy Cat Adventures, participants are treated to post-race handcrafted soaps, lip balm, and finisher medal.

Coast Mountain Trail Running, February 24

Looking to hit the trails? From the organizers of the Survival of the Fittest and Squamish 50 (to name a few), Gary Robbins and the Coast Mountain Trail Running team’s events offer lake views, mountain vistas with varying distances. Register for these races in British Columbia now, as the the Run Ridge Run and Squamish 50 are already SOLD OUT! 

2024 Chilly Half Marathon, March 3

The official start of Ontario’s race season takes place in Burlington and sees Olympians and first-timers all trying to knock the dust off their winter in a friendly, time-honoured illustrious event, hosted by the great Kelly Arnott.

Nigh Owl 5K, March 23

Racing is not only for morning larks, but for night owls too! If you’re in the latter camp, then this evening 5K event is for you!  Situated in scenic Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, the event starts at 7:30pm, and coffee will be provided. Bring your headlamp!

Around the Bay, March 24

I feel like I’ve been making these lists since 1987 and I’ve never once left off North America’s longest consecutively running road race. Older than Boston with bigger hills and new course, celebrate 130 years at the exciting new finish line into Tim Hortons Field for 2024.

Spring Run-Off, April 6

The infamous finish for the 8K and 5K race that has a moniker of “Kill the Hill”, for the finish on Spring Road (hill), kicks off road racing in Toronto.

21K de Montreal, April 20

Run the scenic routes in Parc Jean Drapeau in Montréal. Always on the forefront of innovation, a new green initiative called the Green Bib option allows participants to opt out of a race shirt and medal and have that portion of their entry fee go towards a charity focused on sustainability.

Spring Warmup, April 20

The first in the OUTrace trail race series and an opportunity to test your winter training on a few short hills on country roads and the Bruce Trail.  Registration for the 13K opens soon.

Get Shit Done Run, Calgary, AB.

Get Shit Done Run, April 20

The name of the race is probably one of the best race declaration. This race offers a flat and fast half marathon, 10K and 5K event, in Nose Creek Pathway, Calgary, AB. Very welcoming for walkers and beginner runners. A great local race – super fun post race atmosphere – there are always GREAT snacks afterwards.  A good race to kickstart spring season in Calgary.

Beneva Mississuaga Marathon, April 28

The Beneva Mississauga Marathon event weekend has taken on a new and enhanced look and feel. With the newly announced partnership with Beneva, the event will once again host the marathon and will also offer runners of all levels, from families to seasoned athletes, the 10K, the Novo Nordisk 5K, and half marathon distances.

Lévi, Quebec

20th edition of the Lévis Half-Marathon, May 4-5

The popular Lévis Half-Marathon attracts thousands of participants to the south shore of Quebec City. This fast, mostly downhill route, is always a hit with runners. To celebrate the 20th edition of the Lévis Half-Marathon in style, the event is extending over the weekend to offer you two days of festivities and sporting events.

Suntrail Pure Grit Trail Race, May 4

Situated in the Sawmill Nordic Centre, Hepworth, Ontario, run the gorgeous trails Georgian Bay has to offer.  Distances include 2.5, 5, 7.5, 15, 30, 52.5 km and proceeds go towards Georgian Bay Nordic, a youth cross-country ski race team.

Georgina Spring Fling, May 5

A fast point-to-point and flat course is ideal for runners aiming for Boston Marathon qualifying time. The event is growing in popularity and also has certified half and 10K even, and a fun 5K. Organized by Endurance Event Productions, and situated in Georgina, Ontario—it’s only an hour and bit drive from Barrie, Toronto, Peterborough and Orangeville.

Sporting Life 10K, Toronto, ON

Sporting Life 10K, May 12

In a great race year which included crossing the finish line with Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, my best day at the races was this 10K for Campfire Circle, with my son. Tremendous camaraderie between racers all wrapped up in doing something good for someplace good—Campfire Circle benefits camps for kids and families affected by childhood cancer or serious disease—rarely will you see so many smiles above running shoes.

Toronto Marathon, May 5

Jay Glassman brings back his fast marathon course to Yonge Street, also offering distances of half marathon, 5 and 10K. Home to my personal best (and racers from 60 countries), the event also offers bib delivery and an epic course through Canada’s largest city. Plus, fees increase December 9. Register by midnight on the 8th, right here.

Emera Blue Nose Marathon, May 17-19

Experience Atlantic Canada hospitality as you run through Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. There is a distance for everyone, 2K, 4K, 5K, 10K and Half Marathon. Double up on the Saturday with a 5K and run a second distance on Sunday for two medals.

The Duchesnay Trail Race in Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, QC

10th edition of the Duchesnay Trail Race, May 20

The 10th edition, that’s something to celebrate! The Duchesnay Trail Race in Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, Quebec, offers participants the perfect wilderness experience to push their limits. Choose the distance that’s right for you between the 48k, 34k, 18k, 8k, 3k or the Kids Trail (1.5k).

Rocky Mountain Soap Women’s Run, Canmore, AB

The Women’s Soap Run, May 24-26

A weekend of running with distances from 5K, 10K stroller run and half marathon in Canmore, Alberta. This event proudly supports Fast and Female and aims to produce an unforgettable, fun and inclusive. Registration opens January 1st, and all registrants receive a $50 soap package from local business, The Rocky Mountain Soap Company.

The 59th Calgary Marathon kicks off at Stampede Park in Calgary, AB on May 28, 2023. (Photo: Dave Holland/Run Calgary)

The Servus Calgary Marathon, May 26

The longest running marathon in the country turns sixty this year and, in a city that knows how to party, race experts pull no expenses to ensure this year is the event’s best. Offering all distances—including a 60K (!!!)—curious out-of-province runners should pick this year to give Kirsten Fleming’s return race a try.

Saskatchewan Marathon, May 24-25

Run along the South Saskatchewan River on the out-and-back course at the Saskatchewan Marathon in a variety of distances from 2K to the full marathon. This event talks the talk and gives back to the environment, as all proceeds support trail infrastructure and nature conservation along the race course.

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, May 25-25 

The largest race in the country sees the most Olympians participating and the 10K championships last year pitted Cam Levins against Moh Ahmed. It’s a party, it’s an expertly timed and managed event, it’s a fiftieth birthday celebration, and it’s absolutely going to be huge this year. Sign up now.

Scarborough 5K, Morningside Park, Toronto, ON

Scarborough 5K, June 3

Created by Founder of Black Runners of the GTA, and in an effort to bring running to communities often excluded to road racing, the Scarborough 5K and 1K kids run aims to create an inclusive sport that is representative of the cultural mosaic of Toronto and the GTA. It also raises funds for three local organizations, Fast and Female, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto and BGC of East Scarborough. Registration opens soon, and it’s an event not to be missed.

Whistler Half Marathon, June 3

Be immersed in nature and run on the Pacific coast in Whistler, British Columbia. Offering a kids race, 5K, 10K, half marathon and 30K distances, run the Sea to Sky Trail through Lost Lake Park.

The U.S. 

Los Angeles Marathon, March 17

ASICS presents this beacon of hilly North American racing with a starting line at Dodgers Stadium. Hard to beat California while Canadians still struggle through wind and cold.

Boston Marathon, April 15

22,000 qualifiers have already been accepted, but there is no higher achievement for a Canadian hoofer than participating in this event. If you’ve never done this before, it’s something to shoot for; if you have, there’s no reason not to try again. Last year also made for epic TV watching as Kipchoge proved anyone can have a tough day.

Eugene Marathon, April 28

Oregon’s parks in the spring make this running mad town a perfect location for a flat, fast spring race. They call Eugene track-town US and the lovely environment and laidback atmosphere makes this nice counter-programming to larger American events.

BolderBoulder 10K, May 26

Spend Memorial Day with 40,000 runners at a 10K that concludes at University of Colorado’s Folsom Field. For anyone that’s not been to Denver, this town reserves some feel of the Old West, mixed with a party, and culminating in a great trip for a great, legendary event. Perfect for a group trip.

The Grandma’s Marathon, June 22

Perhaps it’s middle age creeping in, or else wonderful experiences at the marathon in Erie, but these small town races like Grandma’s in Duluth along the shores of Lake Superior hold major appeal. Friendly, almost quaint, accessible and fast, these events move quickly—the half and 5K are already sold out. Come for the racing, stay for the vibes.

Glass City Marathon, April 28

Why go to Toledo, Ohio for a marathon? Because Rick Rayman has run 400 marathons and on Sunday, will mark 45 years of everyday running. He calls Glass City one of his favourite spring races and says, “Great race director, easy and interesting course, excellent Expo and super jackets for all runners.” Other of Rick’s spring favourites are the Spring Fling in Georgina and the Buffalo Marathon.


Marathon de Paris, April 7

Run the streets in the City of Lights at the Marathon de Paris. With the start right on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the course criss-crosses the city traversing through the Bois de Vincennes and Bois de Bolougne before ending near the Arc de Triomphe. Let’s go to France!

Rome Marathon, March 17

Rome in Spring, plus running? What better place on Earth to carbo-load (and this one comes from the great Rachel Hannah, who is sending one of the athletes she trains to this event).

Seemingly the coolest race in the world, this was designed to promote sport in Tanzania, and started in 2002, apparently over a pint of Kilimanjaro Lager. There’s a charity component for local kids with cancer and distances of 5K, half and full marathon.
Hilly and challenging and iconic since 1999, the finish is up more than 5,000 steps and the course wades through small villages. It sells out, as of course it would. Sounds awesome.
From its website: “With the Serra do Mar Mountains rising inland from Rio’s fabulous shoreline, this scenery with ocean and mountains makes the course one of the more picturesque marathons in the world.” Hard to imagine something much greater than this. 
It’s been called the Toughest Marathon in the World, from hot springs to Machu Picchu, and if any readers complete this race, would you please take pictures for iRun?
Started in 1996, New Zealand’s largest race has 10K, half marathon and marathon distances and starts and finishes at Sky Stadium. There’s also a kid’s race and, while it’s windy, it starts and finishes at sea level, and participants can expect (well, hope for) fast times.

So? What will it be? We’ve given you nearly fifty events to choose from. Please let us know what you’ll race in the comments below.