Sweating it out on a treadmill or even a running path in a park is an acquired taste. Although the streets are flooded these days with runners of all abilities, shapes and sizes, it's one of the toughest sports to love as a novice. That's why novelty runs are taking off as a fitness trend for those who want to dabble in running but need an extra fun incentive to hit the ground running.
Here's a list of our TOP FIVE 5K FUN RUNS to get you thrilled to run instead of filled with dread:
1. The Color Run - This run is coined "The Happiest 5K on the Planet" for good reason. It's an un-timed race where thousands of participants get doused in colored powder-paint at every kilometer on the run: yellow at 1K, blue at 2K, green at 3K, pink at 4K and at 5K you get a "color extravaganza". The powder gets squirted at you from staffers at all angles.
60 percent of the color runners are first time 5K runners just looking to have fun and get messy rainbow-style while burning some calories throughout the 3.1 mile run. Color-runners typically run with a group of friends, as do many people who sign up for novelty runs. That's Mizzfit and her friend in the pic below.
The Color Run also recently launched a new event called The Kaleidoscope Tour which sounds intriguing and will be debuting this Summer in Brooklyn, NY. Check out The Color Run website to find the next race happening in a city near you!
2. The Electric Run -This 5K run is basically an electronic music dance party disguised as run. You run through all these neon trees that change colors to match the music, tunnels adorned with lights and lasers, colored fountains and when you reach the finish line the lights and sounds go into full effect as you basically end up at a killer DJ dance party.
Participants get cool shirts designed by NEFF, a LED bracelet and a glow necklace and sunglasses. Ready to get electric? Check it out how to find a run near you here.
3. Hot Chocolate Run - Dubbed "America's Sweetest Race", you can either run a 15K (9.3 miles) or a 5K (3.1 miles). The hot chocolate part of the run happens at the finish line where you end up at a kid friendly play zone with bounce houses, games and hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and other sweet lovers' treats. This run is also sweet because it's sponsored by a good cause since the official charity partner is Ronald McDonald House Charities. Click here to find a hot chocolate run near you!
4. The Warrior Dash - This 5K race is a mud lovers and thrill seekers delight. Filthy is the best word to describe this run where you have to endure 12 "obstacles from hell" including jumping over a fire, scaling 12-foot rope walls and running and often crawling through tons of muddy obstacles. You finish with beer and a cool Warrior helmet and tons of war stories to share with your friends back at the water cooler on Monday. Ready to get dirty? Check out The Warrior Dash website.
5. The Zombie Run Extreme - If you’re looking to live out your favorite zombie horror flick in the form of a 5K race, then this is your run! You dash through 8 to 10 obstacles covered in mud and (fake) blood and of course dodge "zombies" along the way. You’ll scream and laugh as you race your way through the zombie wasteland. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Both the alive and dead celebrate together (in peace) at the post-apocalypse after-party. This is your chance to run through a horror flick while burning some serious calories (with your legs and vocal chords). Don’t like being preyed upon? Then participate as zombie! Info here: Zombie Run Extreme
Photo courtesey of The Zombie Run photo gallery
Hopefully this Fun Run round-up inspires you to dust off your running shoes, grab a few like minded friends and sign up for a novelty run near you. Whether you want to get preyed on by zombies or colored in all shades of the rainbow, these races can be your gateway from calling yourself a novice racer to completing your first 5K without even noticing it!
If there's a 5K Fun Run I missed that you think deserves to be on this list, please add it in the comments section below. Thanks!