14 Fun Runs and 5Ks Even Non-Runners Will Enjoy
Even people who swear they hate running will manage to enjoy these races that somehow make the sport fun.
Craft Brew Races
The Craft Brew Race series hosts events up and down the East Coast to celebrate local beer. Participants run 3.1 miles, mostly on scenic, flat, and easy courses, and then celebrate their accomplishments with a 3-hour long craft beer festival featuring suds from both local and national breweries. The festivals host between 30 and 50 breweries and samples are included in the price of the race ticket. The events are strictly 21+ and will be in Newport, Rhode Island; Portland, Maine; and New Haven, Connecticut for the summer of 2017. The best part? Recovering from running with a beer is actually good for you! For more info, head to craftbrewraces.com.
Murder Mystery Series
Even if you’re running your first race, don’t sweat it. The Murder Mystery 5K series is a team event where you will use your detective skills to unravel the dramatic chain of events in order solve the mystery of a murder. At each clue, participants can either solve a riddle or do a dare (make a silly face for a camera, hug a stranger, etc.) to get the next clue in order to solve the case. With events on the West Coast and Midwest, it’s time to gather your investigative team and solve the mystery. Plus, a support team is a great way to run your first race. For more info, head to mudermystery5K.com.
Insane Inflatable Run
Embrace your inner child and play on 11 inflatable obstacles along a 3.1-mile fun run course at the Insane Inflatable 5K. From the ball pit to the wave runner, these obstacles will give you an added, fun challenge without risk of bumps or bruises. With 120+ tour stops planned in 2017 throughout the United States and Canada, there will certainly be an event near you! For more info, head to insaneinflatable5k.com.
Rock N’ Roll Run
The Rock N’ Roll Marathon has become famous around the world for being part road race, part rock concert. They also offer a 5K distance for shorter-distance and more casual runners to get in on the fun vibe that the event offers. With races held around the globe—from Los Angeles to Portugal—you can party all over the world and get a little calorie burn while you’re at it. For more info, head to rocknroll.com.
Dubbed “The Happiest 5K on the Planet,” runners wear white and are doused from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer, crossing the finish line in a kaleidoscope of colors. The fun run is untimed, taking the pressure off runners to keep a specific pace or worry about placing. Instead, the emphasis is on fun. Find an event near you at thecolorrun.com.
A Christmas Story 5K
Fans of the classic Christmas movie will enjoy this 5K or 10K course, winding through downtown Cleveland and passing by the house from the movie, as well as the museum (across the street) dedicated to the film. The event benefits the Christmas Story House Foundation, which is dedicated to the preservation of the neighborhood and icons from the movie. Many participants dress up as characters for the film for this December race. Find more info at achristmasstoryrun.com.
Lozilu Women’s Run
Lozilu emphasizes that their races are for participants of every level, and the obstacles—while challenging—aren’t excessive. They’re a great entry race for women looking to get a little dirty and “exfoliate their 5K.” This women-only, untimed mud run supports the Leukemia Ironman Fundraiser for Eric (LIFE), so you can do some good while getting muddy. lozilu.com. Need some convincing? Here’s why a mud run is so great. Find out more at lozilu.com.
Enjoy all of the festivities of the Boston Marathon weekend without the months and months of marathon training. Opt instead to participate in the Boston Athletic Association’s 5K run, held the day before Marathon Monday. The course follows some of the most iconic Boston back bay sights and takes runners within steps of the Marathon’s famous Boylston Street Finish line. If you stay in town the next day to watch the Marathon, you might just be inspired to continue your running journey. Learn more at baa.org.
Mud not your thing? How about colored, soapy foam instead? There’s no timing in the Bubble Run, held during all seasons across the country, so participants can take their time running through four separate “foam bogs,” blowing bubbles, and enjoying live music and on-course entertainment. After the finish line, the party continues with a DJ and extended finish line party. For more info, go to bubblerun.com.
Hot Chocolate 5K
What better motivation on a cold morning run than the promise of a steaming cup of cocoa and lots of chocolate treats? At the Hot Chocolate 5K series that’s exactly what awaits you at the finish line. There’s also a 15K option for the more experienced runner. The events are scheduled in the cooler months in major cities around the country. Find the one nearest you at hotchocolate15k.com.
Disney Running Series
Why not combine a trip to the happiest place on earth with a little exercise? RunDisney offers a number of half-marathon and marathon weekend packages, many of which also feature the more accessible 5K distance. On Disneyland’s Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend, Friday features a Spiderman-themed 5K, while the Disney World Marathon Weekend runs a family-friendly 5K through Epcot. Find out more at rundisney.com.
Running with the Balloons
This cross-country style 3.1-mile race in Reddington, New Jersey runs over grass, gravel, and concrete to create a new challenge. But, the highlight is the launch of more than 100 hot air balloons during the Reddington Festival of Ballooning, the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America. The motivation? The top male finisher and the top female finisher will each win a free ride in a hot air balloon! Learn more at balloonfestival.com.
Santa Anita Derby Day Run
“Run like a thoroughbred,” says the event tagline for California’s Santa Anita Derby Day 5K. The course starts in the horse’s starting gates, runs through the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, then finishes on the horse track at Santa Anita Park. Hang out after the race to watch the horses run the track for Santa Anita Derby Day! Check out derbyday5k.com.
Run for the Wild 5k
This family-friendly event in the Bronx, New York allows participants to choose, and run for, their favorite animal in support of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Run through the Zoo and among the animals, and finish at a beer garden and rock climbing wall. There are prizes given to the top three male and female finishers, but casual participation is encouraged. There is even a later start time for families and children. Check out bronxzoo.com for more info.