Have you been pelted with rainbow colors while running with your best girlfriends? Or faced fire and electrocution on a not-so-friendly 12 miler? Whether it’s The Color Run or Tough Mudder, themed fun runs have swept the nation as the next hottest fitness craze. (Okay, maybe a Tough Mudder isn’t exactly the quintessential definition of “fun,” but you get the idea).
There are santa runs, superhero runs, even undie runs, all in the name of fitness, entertainment, and community. So many choices, so many miles to runs! It’s great to try out the popular races - Warrior Dash or the Disney runs - but as this craze grows bigger, why not branch out to some of the lesser known, but equally as awesome races? The Color Run is phenomenal, yes, but even the trendiest races eventually run their course. Pun intended. Instead of registering for a repeat experience, check out these 5 fun 5Ks you’ve never heard of before!
1. 5K Foam Fest. If you love a nice relaxing bubble bath, then the 5K Foam Fest is for you. Well, minus the relaxing part. This race strings 15 to 30 obstacles along a course filled with water, mud, and as its name promises, foam. You’ll hit the 50 foot slip and slide, plummet down the 40 foot Death Drop, and wrap up the race with a dip in the Chamber of Foam. This race is a giant human car wash. Price: $65; Swag: T-Shirt, medal, and virtual swag bag; Timing: There is a clock at the end, but no chipped timing
2. Dirty Girl 5K. No boys allowed! The Dirty Girl 5K is the largest women-only 5K in the country, and promises tons of laughs throughout its obstacle course. After all, with obstacle names like H2OMG and PMS (Pretty Muddy Stuff) how could you not let out a chuckle or two along this exhausting course? The best part? The Dirty Girl isn’t only a good time, it’s a good cause. The race donated $250,000 to Bright Pink in 2013 to help find a cure for breast cancer. Get out there, and get dirty! Price: $75; Swag: T-shirt, commemorative charm, and a complimentary adult beverage (ooo la la); Timing: No timing
3. Electric Run. The Electric Run is a race and a rave in one. This nighttime 5K course is decked out in neon glow from start to finish. From neon trees, color-changing tunnels, and brightly lit fountains, you’ll run through 5 different worlds of amazing electric fun and jamming music. Once you’ve run your 3.1, gather at the main stage for an epic dance party with a live DJ! Price: $47; Swag: T-shirt, LED bracelet, glow sunglasses, and glow necklace; Timing: No timing
4. Mustache Dache. The Mustache Dache pays homage to Movember - that month when every guy at your office is growing a gnarly mustache to raise money for men’s health. It’s as simple (and hilarious) as it sounds. Don a mustache. Run the 5K. Whether you’ve grown your own masterpiece or want to rock a stick on ‘stache, everything is fair game. Once you’ve finished, the party starts. Visit the beer garden. Ride the mechanical bull. Get your haircut with the proceeds going to the Movember charity. Yes, you’ll have to wait until November, but it will be mo’ than worth it. See what I did there? Price: 2014’s prices aren’t yet posted, but 2013’s started at $30 for individuals; Swag: T-shirt and medal; Timing: Chipped timing
5. Bad Prom Run. Who doesn’t want to relive one of the most romantically awkward nights of their life? The Bad Prom 5K helps you do just that, all while getting in a workout of course! Dress up in your tackiest prom attire, and run through the most cliche of prom themes from Under the Sea to A Night in Paris. Cross the finish line, and head to the dance floor where you’ll dance the night away to prom classics and current hits! Price: $47, but may vary by location; Swag: T-shirt, glow accessories, and other bad prom trinkets; Timing: No timing
Jennifer Cohen is a leading fitness authority, TV personality, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. With her signature, straight-talking approach to wellness, Jennifer was the featured trainer on The CW’s Shedding for the Wedding, mentoring the contestants’ to lose hundreds of pounds before their big day, and she appears regularly on NBC’s Today Show, Extra, The Doctors and Good Morning America. Connect with Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and on Pinterest.