At dawn in the Coachella Valley, the first rays of light bathe the mountains and desert in vivid shades of gold and orange, animating a fascinating topography of breathtaking natural beauty. With its stunning landscape, along with year-round sunshine and warm weather, the Palm Springs area has emerged as a prime destination for competitive runners and cyclists.
Achieve your personal best in a palm-studded paradise and then unwind with luxurious spa and wellness amenities in our storied Waldorf Astoria resort. Here are our picks for 10 fantastic fitness events in and around La Quinta you won’t want to miss:
NOVEMBER 28, 2019
If you’re planning a La Quinta Resort & Club getaway for the Thanksgiving holiday, you can get a head start on burning calories and also give back by participating in the races below that support two outstanding local charities.
Wild Turkey Trot 5K
Running Wild’s annual Wild Turkey Trot takes place on Thanksgiving morning starting at 8 a.m. on scenic Palm Canyon Drive in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. The flat terrain presents an easy family- and dog-friendly course for runners and walkers of all levels; a portion of the proceeds goes to Mizell Senior Center’s Meals on Wheels program. The event is organized by Palm Springs Marathon Runners.
The 13th Annual Fortem Financial Thanksgiving Day 5K
Benefitting vital programs offered by Indio-based Martha’s Village & Kitchen, this Thanksgiving Day 5K presented by NBC Palm Springs kicks off at 8 a.m. on El Paseo in Palm Desert. One of the Valley’s largest 5K events, the charity race is both competitive—with a certified course and timed race—and casual with prizes for winners in several age categories. Festivities include a Kid’s Zone with face painting and crafts, a Beer Garden, and more.
DECEMBER 8 2019
Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells La Quinta
This global juggernaut of endurance contests marks its second year in the eastern Coachella Valley with an exciting new bike course that takes athletes on scenic roads boasting spectacular views to the Thermal Raceway and through the City of La Quinta to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The event starts with a one-loop swim in the clear waters of Lake Cahuilla and finishes with a two-loop running circuit traversing the lush fairways of the Indian Wells Golf Resort. Find complete details here.
JANUARY 7–8, 2020
22nd Annual Tour de Palm Springs
Growing from 400 participants in 1998 to upwards of 10,000 cyclists, the annual Tour de Palm Springs offers riders diverse distance routes (10, 28, 55, and 102 miles), as well as celebrity walk and ride, and 1.5 mile Sprint Challenge. Festivities surrounding the event include a food court, vendor expo and live entertainment. New for 2020: 10% discount on groups of 20 or more, plus food trucks at lunch SAG stops. Since its inception, the Tour de Palm Springs has raised over $3.2 million for nearly 100 local charities.
Palm Springs International Film Festival Red Carpet Run 5K & 10K
Named one of the top movie-themed fun runs in SHAPE magazine, the Red Carpet Run takes place during the famed Palm Springs International Film Festival (this year’s 31st edition will be held January 2–13). En route in the race, you’ll swing past a number of homes once owned by legendary stars like Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Marilyn Monroe, Sammy Davis, Jr. and more. Get creative—dress up as your favorite celebrity or wear the tutu, tiara and tuxedo t-shirt (included with registration). No matter your finish time, you’ll be rewarded with your own Oscar and a celebratory flute of bubbly.
Palm Desert Half Marathon & 5K
Starting and finishing in Palm Desert’s beautiful 70-acre Civic Center Park, runners can compete in the Palm Desert Half Marathon solo or as a two- or three-person relay team. The flat 5K course is ideal for all levels of runners. Fun for the whole family, the 1K Kids Race for ages 4–13 will help your child build self-confidence and sportsmanship.
2020 Wildflower 5K Trail Fun Run/Walk
Discover the unique wonders of the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument during this family-friendly trail trek showcasing spring wildflowers and sensational mountain views. The monument, a revered natural habitat and recreational paradise, encompasses 280,000 acres of desert and mountain wilderness. Although the Fun Run/Walk is free, donations are welcome to support the Coachella Valley Wildflower Festival and Friends of the Desert Mountains, a nonprofit organization focused on land conservation and protecting desert flora and fauna.
Playtri Annual Desert Triathlon
Now entering its 21st year, the Playtri Desert Triathlon welcomes all levels of triathletes to complete individually or as relay teams during this multi-sport endurance contest. Held at the Lake Cahuilla Recreation Area in La Quinta, the USAT-sanctioned event features a Sprint Triathlon (500 meter swim, 14 mile bike, 3.1 mile run), Sprint Duathlon (1 mile run, 14 mile bike, 3.1 mile run), Olympic Triathlon (1.5 km swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run), and Olympic Aquabike (1.5 km swim, 40 km bike). Pre-race day activities on February 29 will offer tips for first-time triathletes, details about the course, and an open swim session in Lake Cahuilla for race participants.
OCTOBER DATE TBD
35th Annual Tram Road Challenge
Join more than 1,500 competitors of all ages from around the world to walk or run the one-and-only Palm Springs Tram Road Challenge. Known as the “toughest 6K in the world,” the course heads directly into the awe-inspiring face of Mt. San Jacinto revealing an amazing desert landscape and vertical climb of 2,000 feet in six kilometers or just over 3.7 miles. Show off the custom medal and t-shirt you’ll receive at the finish line on Instagram—you deserve it—while snacking on refreshments and browsing the vendor expo.
For a sensational morning of outdoor adventure and race training, visit the hiking trails at the top of La Quinta Cove offering sweeping views of the Santa Rosa Mountains and located only three miles from La Quinta Resort & Club.