Perhaps you’ve considered training for a 5K, but the idea of running or walking a traditional race just isn’t motivating enough to get you off the couch and out the door. These days, there are a wide variety of races to participate in, from the local run through your neighborhood to some of the more entertaining (and crazy!) runs popping up across the country. Have you ever thought about running from zombies, crawling through mud or sprinting through glowing trees and tunnels?
Fun runs like these can break up the monotony of traditional races, and can also be motivation to pick up the running habit even if you’re not that into it. Here’s a guide to some of the races gaining popularity as people look for fun ways to get up and moving.
The Color Run is a 5K, untimed race in which participants are doused from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer. The finish line also has a giant ''Finish Festival'' which uses more colored powder to add to the fun. The Color Run started in 2012 with 50 events and 600,000 participants, and has already grown to 100 events and over one million participants in 2013. The event stresses the idea of health, happiness and individuality. How could you not smile when you and everyone around you are covered in a rainbow of colors?
The Zombie Run is a 5K race in which participants run through 5 zones of 1K each with zombies chasing them. Each zone is populated with more zombies than before, all dressed in costume and full makeup. Participants can also choose to wear a ''Life Balloon,'' which zombies will try to pop. There’s no reward or penalty for keeping or losing the balloon; it just adds to the excitement. If haunted houses and scary movies are your thing, the Zombie Run might be just right for you!
The Electric Run is a 5K race with music and lights along the entire route. Participants will run or walk through distinct lands with lights and music custom mixed to match the mood of the lighting elements. Each event has 5-7 lands and features. Some of the possible features include glowing neon trees, tunnels of light, colored fountains and glowing arches and columns. Participants are encouraged to dress the part, wearing LEDs, carrying glow sticks, etc. If you are looking for a unique, nighttime racing experience, this race fits the bill.
Mud runs have exploded in popularity all across the country. Most races contain obstacles designed to be challenging and dirty. Some common obstacles include rope pulls up muddy hills, swinging across monkey bars, crawling under cargo nets through muddy water, or scaling over walls. There are a wide variety of runs and distances to choose from, so do your homework before deciding which one is right for you--then get ready to get dirty!
A slightly different version of a mud run, the Foam Fest gets you dirty and clean all in one race. This 5K event includes a variety of obstacles. Right after you get dirty in mud pits, you get washed up in foamy, sudsy obstacles. Examples include a Slip-N-Slide, mud pit and giant foam pit. If you’ve considered a mud run but don’t like the idea of driving home covered in dirt, this race might be a good alternative.
Hot Chocolate 15/5K
Touted as ''America’s Sweetest Race,'' the Hot Chocolate 15/5K is one of the fastest growing race series in the country. What makes this race special is the after party, where runners enjoy a finisher’s mug filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and tasty, dippable treats. Who wouldn’t be motivated to run for chocolate?!?
If a race like one of these sounds interesting, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Active.com is a site where you can search for races in your area. Recruit a family member or friend to join you for a unique experience. Exercise shouldn’t have to be painful or boring; finding fun ways to get moving will ensure you and your loved ones stay active for many years to come!
Have you ever tried running a ''fun'' race? Which one of the above races would you love to try next?