Not everyone can be an Olympic runner, but almost anyone can enjoy a fun run! Whether you want to run your first 5K or are going for a half marathon, you’ll be sure to enjoy these goofy just-for-kicks races. You’ll be so busy eating junk food and watching the crazy costumes go by that you won’t even notice how tired you’re getting as you rack up the miles. Try out one of these crazy fun runs and take your running career to the next level—even if you’re a jogging newbie.
1 Run for Your Lives
This race series takes place all over the United States—check their website to see if one is coming to your city! This is the best way to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. As you run, zombies pop out of nowhere, chase you down, and try to grab the flags tied around your waist. If you make it to the end with any flags (“lives”) left, you earn a survivor’s medal! This will help you stay conditioned and light on your feet for the fateful day when real zombies stalk the streets.
2 Twinkie Run
Twinkies and exercise may not sound like they go together, but at least you know you deserve some creme-filled cake after a good run! Head to Ann Arbor, Michigan on April First (no pranks here) for a fun 5K and some Twinkies. Not only will you get to try both packaged and homemade Twinkies, but you’ll also be supporting ALS research.
3 The Color Run
This is probably the most famous fun run in the world. This 5K and 10K winds its way through a large selection of major cities every year, so chances are, there’ll be one happening near you! If you run this race, you’ll be doused in colored powder from head to toe. It’s traditional to wear all white so the color shows! Each year has a slightly different theme, so this race never gets old. The end of the race omits the prizes and instead includes a huge party with more colors and some live music.
4 The Rave Run
This run is just for fun—no timing, no prizes, no pain. Ok, maybe a little pain. It is a marathon, after all! But it’s all worth it! This nighttime run is taking the States by storm as college kids everywhere get to combine partying with running. Wear your glow in the dark gear as you job through light effects to the sound of electric music! The party at the end is the best part (after the bragging rights).
5 Beer Run
Johannesburg, South Africa has what one might call an anti-run. As you job this course, you’ll stop at dehydration stations for a glass of beer, included in the price of the run. Rather than grabbing it as you pass, like you would at a water station, you get to chill out while listening to music and move on to the next station only when you feel like it. And the end you’ll get – you guessed it – more beer and a party!
6 Donut Dash
What’s your motivation to run? Exercise? Endorphin? Doughnuts? If you answered “yes” to that last item, then this run is for you. People from all over Oakland, California gather each year to support ALS research and eat doughnuts. And some sprinkles and frosting and more than merited by a good 5k!
7 Costume Dash 5K
Each Saturday before Halloween, pull on your favorite costume and make your way to Boston! This fun run in the Boston Commons is one of the most hilarious races you’ll ever do. While your costume may not exactly help you to break a personal best time, it will help you to have a blast while you run alongside other crazily costumed joggers.
8 A Christmas Story Run
The cult classic Christmas film about poor little Ralphie is now a 5K and 10K event. That’s right, you can pull on your pink bunny onesie and go flying down the street alongside Santa, a leg lamp, and some “Fragile” boxes. This is one of the goofiest Christmas runs you’ll find, but it’s worth a trip to Cleveland, Ohio. If you just want to watch the movie, you can do that, too—it will be playing on a jumbotron at the event.
9 Safaricom Marathon
This race might only be fun if you have the right genes—Kenyan genes, that is. Even if you’re not up there with the unstoppable barefoot racers of the African continent, you can still have an incredible time racing through the Kenyan savannah and watching exotic wildlife explode from the bush as you and your fellow racers pound through the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. As you run, you’ll have the knowledge that you’re helping protect these animals through your entry fee.
10 Sumo Run
Haven’t you always wanted to be a Sumo wrestler? No? Well, you’ll have a blast at this run anyway. While raising money for education in impoverished nations, you’ll get to run through Battersea Park in London in an inflatable Sumo wrestler suit! Now, that sounds like a recipe for record breaking. Record-breaking fun, that is.
These runs are mostly for fun and everyone can participate. Wacky themes and a festival atmosphere mean a crazy good time, even if you aren’t really much of a runner. A race where I can take a break and have a beer or three? Count me in.