There's nothing like a little extra motivation.

With spring (hopefully) just around the corner, its time to start looking ahead and planning your races for the upcoming seasons. Now that we can safely step outside without freezing to death, we can hit the roads and trails and get some real miles in! The treadmill just doesn't cut it, ya know? So here's a list of some upcoming Annapolis-area races you might want to consider adding to your calendar!

1. Under Armour Kelly St. Patrick's Day Shamrock 5K

A mouthful, I know. This race is actually in Baltimore, but we gotta include a shamrock run on this list. On March 10, everyone is going to be wearing green, and the post-race party is at Power Plant Live. And it's not St. Patrick's Day shenanigans without the beer, so along with an Under Armour race shirt, runners 21+ years old get TWO FREE beers. Packet pick-up and registration will not take place the day of the event, so be sure to hit up Charm City Run to get your packet before race day. For you Annapolitans, yes, you can pick your packet up at the one in the Annapolis Towne Center. Be sure to register early! The price goes up after February 28!

2. Escape Through the Cape

This 5K on April 13 helps out the Cape St. Claire Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization so you can feel good about lending a helping hand to local schools. It's a great family event, complete with a post-race festival with tons of FREE family-friendly activities. A shirt and a medal are included with registration, along with an extra award if you're one of the top two in your age group. Bonus: If you're not interested in a 5K, sign up for the one-mile fun run instead. It's a much shorter (and faster) event.

3. Earth Day 5K

Springtime means Earth Day is coming, and you can celebrate with this race hosted by Friends of Quiet Waters Park on April 20. An Annapolis gem, Quiet Waters Park is the perfect place for a 5K -- and for celebrating Mother Nature. This is a pet-friendly race, so the whole family can come out, enjoy the sunshine, and get some exercise. Be sure to stay for the Earth Day celebration after the race!

Looking ahead to the summer already? Me, too! The summer is a great time to travel for your races. I like to head over to Rehoboth Beach and support their local library with their Run for the Books 5K in May. Staying close? The Women's Distance Festival in July is shaping up to be a good local event as well.

The Run-Around is a weekly feature, focusing on fitness in and around Annapolis, MD.

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