by Emily Abbate
Sure, maybe you have friends that like to run regular old 5Ks, half marathons, and the like. But the latest trend in racing has everything to do with all things obscure and wacky. Whether it's running 2.5 miles while scarfing down hot dogs or completing a 5K while getting doused in neon paint, so many of today's fun road races and obstacle courses have nothing to do with athletic ability. It's all about showing up, trying something different, and living to tell the often hilarious story (that is, if you escape the zombies).
Seriously. A race with zombies. Go on, take a look at these 10 wacky races that are anything but your average 5K:
1. Color Run: A 5K race that occurs in cities all over the country where runners start out wearing white and end up completely doused in bright colored dust. Makes for a whole lotta fun pictures!
2. The Krispy Kreme Challenge: Located in Raleigh at North Carolina State University, participants run 2.5 miles, inhale a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts, and THEN run another 2.5 miles to the finish line. My stomach hurts just thinking about this one.
3. The Tough Mudder: A 10- to 12-mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces that tests your mental and physical limits. Oh and of course, like the name says, you're gonna get messy.
4. The Spartan Race: Featuring fire, water, barbed wire, and mud -- the Spartan Race's goal is to "rip competitors from their comfort zone." Yeah, intense is an understatement.
5. Dirty Girl Run: An all-women's 5K run featuring 12 obstacles and a whole lot of mud.
6. Run for Your Lives: A 5K that has participants "running for their lives" while being chased by zombies. The best part? At the end runners can celebrate their survival at a festival complete with a DJ, live bands, food, and beer.
7. Cupid's Undie Run: A fundraiser to benefit the Children's Tumor Foundation, this Valentine's Day weekend run happens in 30+ cities worldwide. Just like the name, all competitors run in their skivvies.
8. Glow-in-the-Dark 5K Dance Party: Put on by LivingSocial, runners rock a ton of glow-in-the-dark swag, run around Citi Field, and jam out to music in the dark along the 5K route. Post-race, the whole thing turns into one major party with a DJ, local entertainment, cash bar, and food.
9. Twinkie Run: Held on April Fools' Day in Ann Arbor at Gallup Park, this 5K features Twinkies before, during, and after the race.
10. The New York Hot Dog Challenge: During a 2.5-mile run throughout Midtown Manhattan, runners must stop at 10 predetermined food carts, purchase a hot dog, and scarf it down before moving on to the next station.
Have you done any of these races? Do you want to?