Who says running has to always be so serious? Personally, I like to switch up my running routine by running at the gym, around my town, on the beach and on trails, and there are plenty of races out there to accommodate all running styles. Whether you are looking for a scenic race, a fast race, a dirty race or just a crazy race, websites like Active.com and CoolRunning.com are great resources to help you find the perfect race. Here are some of my favorites:
- The Color Run– This 5k race takes place all over the country and is “3.1 miles of color madness.” The Color Run is for runners of all experience levels and ages and is designed to be more about fun than about speed. Every runner is required to wear a white t-shirt and as they approach each mile marker, color paint is blasted onto them- by the end of the race “they end looking like they fell into a Willy Wonka… tie dyed… vat of colored goodness.”
- Hollis Fast 5k– If you’re looking to get your best 5k time, you may want to sign up for this race because it is the fastest 5k in New Hampshire. The race is a USATF-certified point-to-point downhill course creating a unique run for all participants. Some of the fastest 5k times have been recorded at this race as the course drops 224 feet in elevation in the 3.1 miles. Unfortunately, this drop in elevation exceeds the state limitations to qualify times for state records, but that doesn’t have to stop you from getting your own PR!
- Will Run for Beer race series– This race series takes place throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts and is sponsored in part by Smuttynose Brewing Company. I am running my first 5k in one of the series races in Hampton, New Hampshire and the best part of this 5k is there is free beer at the end. (No other incentive necessary!)
- Rugged Maniac 5k– You thought the Color Run looked messy? Try the Rugged Maniac 5k, a 3.1 mile obstacle race. Each course has at least 20 obstacles that include climbing over 7-foot walls, crawling through mud, jumping over fire and more. This is for the true adventure-seeker who is sick of your average 5k and is willing to get a little rugged!
- Luv2Run Portland– If you’re just looking for a scenic 5k to run, the Luv2Run Portland might be the right race for you. The off-road course through the Back Cove Trail in Portland is a scenic race sure to please any running who enjoys running near the ocean.