With a new year comes new goals and resolutions – for some people this might include starting or improving their running ability. Signing up for a race is a great way to motivate yourself to reach a running goal. Once you’ve signed up for a race, you have a set date you need to prepare for, a specified distance, and if you’re really ambitious, a finishing time.
If you’re brand new to running you might find these additional GenTwenty articles useful as background information before picking which awesome race you want to sign up for:
- So you wanna be a runner?
- Running for your health: Tips for beginners
- Marathon training tips and tricks
Since the aforementioned articles cover getting started with running let’s dive right into the good stuff: fun runs! Even if you’ve never completed a race before or you’re an absolute beginner (read: couch potato) some of these runs will sound like so much fun you just have to sign up.
So what is a fun run? It’s generally classified as a friendly race that participants take part in for their own enjoyment rather than competition. Basically, finishing times don’t really matter and it’s all about enjoying the experience.
Here are some popular fun runs that you might want to add to your calendar this year:
- People sign up for Color Me Rad solely as a photo op – and why not? The race is a short five-kilometer (a little over three miles) loop where runners dress in white and other funky gear get blasted by color bombs (colored corn starch packets). The race currently has locations across Canada and the United States and, although each city does have a charity it supports, the race is considered for profit and some people have criticized the amount or actual benefit the race provides to the charity.
- Taglined “America’s sweetest race” this race currently operates across the United States and if it chooses to venture north of the border it will probably be well-received by Canadian running and chocolate fanatics. All finishers receive mugs filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue, and tasty dippable treats.
- With the popularity of Zombies thanks to shows like the Walking Dead, Zombie-themed races have popped up all over. A quick Google search should show which ones are in your area. Once you’ve found the race, you often get to pick between being a survivor or a zombie (the fun part of these). The zombies in these races are tasked with taking out the survivors, often in costume and full make up.
Tough Mudder or Spartan Race
- These events are great for anyone who has met their running goals and wants an additional challenge. Both are highly-rated obstacle course/race combinations that test participant’s endurance and dedication. Successful completion comes with some serious bragging rights.
Nike Women’s Marathons
- Whether it’s the special Nike swag or being personally handed a Tiffany & Co. necklace at the finish line by a firefighter in a tuxedo, many people set their first half or full marathon goals for the Nike Women’s series. Racing in San Francisco and Washington D.C. annually, each race has a cult-like following. If you’re looking for a longer distance to strive for maybe this is your race.
Fun runs are everywhere and there is something for everyone. Have a favorite food, holiday, or charity? There’s probably a run for it. If none of the runs mentioned above meet what you’re looking for or if you’ve already completed them all, a quick search should turn up plenty of other options in your area that can be added to your run bucket list. Happy racing everyone!