6 Races So Fun, You'll Forget You're Exercising!

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/6/2013 10:00 AM   :  33 comments   :  27,991 Views

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. 
 
Color Run
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?
 
Zombie Run
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!

Electric Run
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
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! 

Foam Fest
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?


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Comments

  • 33
    So funny that as I am reading this, I am sitting on my bed in my Color Run t-shirt. My daughters and I participated just last month. It was so fun. We are totally doing it next year and the college I work at is now working on setting one up for our staff, students and community. My daughters and I are planning on doing a mud run and a zombie run. I haven't heard of the others, but will definately check them out. - 9/12/2014   11:15:56 PM
  • 32
    I've done a color run, electric run, and bubble run-I don't like just a straight run; it's more fun for me with a gimmick! - 5/31/2014   1:07:06 PM
  • 31
    Me and my 14 year old daughter did the Color Run in Orange Beach, AL. this month. It was SO much fun. I'd love to do some of the other one mentioined. - 4/18/2014   9:29:49 AM
  • 30
    These articles make me feel jealous of you all living in the US. I think it will be many years before these races reach Switzerland. I'd love to do a color run - maybe one day! - 4/18/2014   8:02:09 AM
  • 29
    I am doing a 5k walk/run in May called Hair of the Dog. It is NJ and hosted by Working Dog Winery. All the proceeds go to help local shelters and spay & neuter programs. It is great walk/run that you can bring your pup along with you. Also they have a small wine festival at the winery afterwards. Check it out. www.HairOfTheDog5k.com - 4/18/2014   7:47:41 AM
  • 28
    I've walked the color run, color me radd, the dirty duck, and part of the neon run. The neon run was NOT FUN. It was like the electric run, but not well organized, and was done on gravel and grass full of potholes in the dark, with strollers running people over. I would consider the electric run only if it was on pavement.
    Planning zombie run this month. - 10/10/2013   12:31:13 PM
  • 27
    I've done a color run and a glow run among many other charity races. I only walk but they are super fun just the same. - 9/21/2013   12:04:44 PM
  • 26
    I did a mud run last week - one of the best memories I ever made. It gave me a goal - something to work hard for. - 9/17/2013   11:27:02 AM
  • MLAN613
    25
    I love running races and have partaken of 5ks, 10ks, 15ks, 10 milers, and halfs but I just can't do these runs that require obstacles or getting sprayed with stuff. I can't even do the water rides at theme parks! But, I know these races help people get active when they otherwise would chose to stay on the couch. - 9/15/2013   10:54:43 AM
  • 24
    I'm volunteerting for Diva Dash (Shape Magazine) until my knees fully recover and I'd love to do the obstacle 5k! - 9/13/2013   8:59:42 AM
  • 23
    I just did the Color Me Rad run this week-end and had an absolute blast! Was able to run all but about 1/2 mile on a very hilly course, so was very proud of that accomplishment! If you ever have the chance, don't miss it. It was a great way for me to celebrate a year of hard work and "rad" results! and to make a goal of running the whole thing next year! - 9/12/2013   9:41:48 AM
  • 22
    I did my first 5K in a Color Me Rad run here in Maine. It was awesome! I was very glad I did it. I couldn't run the whole length but I was still very proud of my accomplishment. It was fun, untimed and got me motivated to continue working towards to being able to run the complete course next year. - 9/11/2013   6:06:05 PM
  • PEACENCARROTS
    21
    Doing the Color Run in October. I can't wait! - 9/11/2013   9:23:52 AM
  • 20
    Did my First Color Run last year and loved it! Did the Electric Run in July it was a Wonderful Experience, full of energy! Have my Second Color Run in October! Love both of these runs and will do again! Great break from timed races and fun for all! - 9/11/2013   6:36:28 AM
  • 19
    My son ran in the Color Run this year and I am working my way to run in it next year. It is truly the happiest run on earth. I am not a runner but I a Zombie run earlier this year it was an eye opener for me. - 9/10/2013   8:14:46 PM
  • 18
    Doing "Run or Dye" on September 28th...this will be my first fun run :) - 9/10/2013   8:03:47 PM
  • 17
    I just finished the Electric Run on Friday! It was an amazingly fun time!!! I will totally do it again! I would like to try others at some point too! - 9/10/2013   7:58:57 PM
  • 16
    I've done the Color Run and a Mud Run and have thought about doing the others. Except for the chocolate one, which I've never heard of, but now totally want to do! - 9/10/2013   6:34:12 PM
  • 15
    The color run appeals to me because it sounds like a regular 5k with a little something extra. I've heard that it's fun to wear a white T-shirt (that will ultimately get stained) and then you can keep a memento of your race. - 9/10/2013   2:16:13 PM
  • 14
    Last year I did a mud run as part of a team we had a blast and a few black and blues!! I am signed up for the Boston Black Light 5k it seems like a good time! I do my regular 5ks and my trail runs, but I like to have fun too!! - 9/10/2013   12:35:07 PM
  • 13
    I did the Color Run in Brooklyn on one of the hottest days this past summer and it was an absolute blast. It was one huge party from beginning to start. - 9/10/2013   9:58:44 AM
  • 12
    I have participated in two mud runs and a zombie run. You can also visit www.mudrunfun.com to find a mud run near you or www.runforyourlives.com / for the Run for Your Lives Zombie Run 5K. That one includes mud too. They are SO MUCH FUN. - 9/10/2013   9:36:03 AM
  • MGALL4
    11
    I enjoyed the colour run in London, ON this year, and I have a lot of Zombie supplies so I hope to get out to the zombie run in Windsor - 9/10/2013   9:15:16 AM
  • 10
    I never have really gotten the appeal of the gimmick runs. The mud runs have had major issues with people getting injured besides no one covered in mud or colored chalk is getting in MY car. The only one that sounds interesting to me is the scavanger hunt ones but mostly I just run normal races. Plus a lot of them have beer at the finish. - 9/10/2013   9:07:09 AM
  • DOUGLASHENRY1
    9
    My vote for the best biking event is RAGBRAI. It is the oldest (41 years) and longest (approximately 450 miles) bike ride in America. It is a weeklong tour across the state of Iowa with food/events every 10-20 miles and awesome nightlife consisting of beer tents, local & national bands, food vendors and street performers. - 9/10/2013   9:02:39 AM
  • 8
    My 1st 5K is October 26th . . . .the Halloween Hustle . . .where everyone will be dressed up in costumes. - 9/10/2013   8:09:11 AM
  • 7
    Doing the baltimore color run in Nov. I now know there's more fun stuff out there too. Thanks! Zombies, here I come. :)
    - 9/10/2013   8:08:07 AM
  • EMERALDISLES
    6
    I am doing a Zombie 5k at the end of September and looking forward to it. The goal is to do at least 4 or 5, 5k, 10k, or 15k, or bike races, or triatatalons a year, because they are fun and inspiring. - 9/10/2013   7:57:20 AM
  • 5
    Thanks for the info, Jen! I'm considering doing the Pretty Muddy Women's Mud Run in a few weeks. I think I need this extra "kick" to get me excited about running again. :-) - 9/10/2013   7:55:00 AM
  • GENERIC-FIT
    4
    These sound like fun, not something you'd want to track with your iphone hanging on your arm though! But it's also something that's meant to be part of a group. I don't have friends to run with, it's just me. These races are meant to have you share the experience but I can't do that by myself.

    Those color me rad races bother me because I feel like the dust from them would give me a migraine! So I've never done one. - 9/7/2013   5:33:20 AM
  • 3
    Hot Chocolate? Not that much fun. If things go bad they blame: the local constabulary, the host venue, the runners. In fact they will make up phantom car accidents to explain away their incompetence. And then they will keep all the money. Oh, and the Hot chocolate was thin and cold, the distance was not quite 15k and though it was billed as the DC Hot Chocolate, it was in Maryland with Alexandria, VA, in between.

    One thing they did do right. They had more than enough potties.

    Otherwise, stay away from Hot Chocolates. - 9/6/2013   11:15:17 PM
  • 2
    I like my running pure and my races non-gimmicky. - 9/6/2013   12:42:18 PM
  • 1
    I would love to do the color race......It's right up my alley. - 9/6/2013   11:20:24 AM

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