New Jersey often gets a bad reputation, but it is in fact one of the best places for completing the Race the USA Virtual 5K Run Series. With mostly flat terrain, you’ll find yourself hard-pressed to race a faster virtual run. New Jersey offers gorgeous seashores, dense forests, and even wetlands as running backdrops.
High Point State Park is located in the northwestern corner of New Jersey, and, as the name would suggest, it is home to the highest point in the state. Views are stunning as you can see three different states from the High Point Monument. Trails range in length from half a mile up to seven miles and in difficulty levels of easy to moderate, offering plenty of choices for a virtual 5K race.
For city-dwellers looking for a quieter place to run a virtual race, try Branch Brook Park in northern Newark. The one-way road through the park offers a paved surface for quick running, but there are also walking paths. Pass by the serene fountains in multiple ponds and enjoy the fresh air and feeling of being away from the fast-paced city life.
The Richard W. DeKorte Park is located near the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Newark but feels miles away. It offers four miles of walking, hiking or jogging trails meandering through the Hackensack Meadowlands—now called the New Jersey Meadowlands. These wetlands are teeming with wildlife and offer a unique city experience for a virtual 5K race in New Jersey.
Head to the Jersey Shore for some beach running in Atlantic City or check out one of the many rail-trails in the area. Go farther south to Cape May Point State Park where you can explore historic sights and wetlands wildlife. The park itself is a fun place for the whole family, and you’ll find a few miles of trails on which to complete a virtual race.
If you are ready to go the distance, one of the biggest races is the Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon. Typically taking place in April, a 5K, 10K, and half marathon are also included in the race weekend.