A regular running routine is a healthy and often enjoyable habit, but what do you do when running becomes a chore instead of an enjoyable recreational activity? You may use music to motivate you or you may decide to run on an outdoor trail if you’ve been inside on a treadmill. If you make changes but still find your enthusiasm lagging, mix up your routine with one of these unusual fun runs coming to a city near you.
1. The Running Dead
The Run for Your Lives 5K might not be considered a fun run as much as a terrifying run. Take on obstacles — as well as the undead — as you zigzag through zombie hordes in this year-round race that tours the country. Tie on your running shoes and do your best to escape the undead.
2. Radiant running
The Color Me Rad 5K encourages you to run for the hell of it while promising to brighten your day and your body. Runners are bombarded with different coatings of color as they run through the city. This race not only spreads color but a load of sadness to your running, and the money you put toward registration goes to a local charity.
3. Madness? This is Sparta!
Looking for something different that will also push you to the edge of madness? The Spartan Race draws tough runners prepared to encounter obstacles like mud, fire, barbed wire, and, as some participants have said, occasional hell on Earth. Good luck!
4. Some races just want to watch the world burn
While a cape isn’t required to run this course, it’s certainly encouraged. The Super Hero Scramble promises more obstacles per mile than any other fun run. How many miles? Well, that’s up to you. You can choose a four-mile run or turn it into a marathon as the race goes into the shadows of the dark night. While it doesn’t promise superpowers, you’ll feel like you have them after running this race.
5. A Mini-Amazing Race
The Urban Dare challenges runners to use their legs and their minds. This race of wits, walking, and running takes place throughout the year as competitors use their minds (or their smartphones) to find clues and complete challenges to get to their next destination. Most people finish in two to four hours and cover five to seven miles while competing. Racers enjoy live music and refreshments after they’ve crossed the finish line.
6. Oysters have feet too!
Oyster… the race? It’s way more fun than it sounds. This event doesn’t involve just running; you’ll be biking and drinking beer, too. Complete a 10-30 mile course that winds through the city as you solve brain-bending puzzles and various athletic challenges. This race series starts in June and extends across the country until September.
7. Run and eat for charity
The Krispy Kreme Challenge is just what you’d think. Participants run a 5K, stopping in the middle to scarf a dozen donuts (it’s for charity, so it’s okay, right?) and running back with a stomach full of satisfaction as proceeds go to the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. The race is run in Raleigh in February.
8. A race that lets you play in your food
The Greensboro Collegiate Biscuit Bowl will not only excite your sense of fun but also your sense of taste. Run through tires filled with wet grits and feel the frictionless fun of sliding on a buttermilk-basted slip ‘n’ slide as you run this April 5K.
9. Jingle all the way
This yuletide race takes place in December. Holiday-themed costume contests and a Reindeer Run where runners are tied together in teams of three are extra features to this 5K.
10. Wife carrying is indeed a thing
This short obstacle course is just what it sounds like. The North American Wife Carrying Championship is your chance to be carried by your spouse (or vice versa) for roughly 300 yards and win five times your weight in cash!
Fun runs can be a lot of fun, from cheering on your fellow runners to supporting charities. Remember to outfit yourself in comfortable running gear, especially when you’ll be dodging obstacles (and zombies).