The Boston Marathon is a great motivator. As roughly 27,000 runners cross the finish line April 16, thousands on the sidelines will be inspired. Maybe a marathon goes on the bucket list, but a shorter race may seem a more realistic first step. New England boasts a calendar packed with spring, summer, and fall road races of all distances.The events listed here all offer a slice of New England - covered bridges and lighthouses or quintessential Main Streets and village greens. They show off familiar cities from unfamiliar vantage points and turn small towns into hot spots for a weekend. In these 10 races, the experience goes beyond the course and competition.
By Shira Springer, Globe Staff