5k events that put the fun in running

This year one of my resolutions is to complete at least two 5k events.  I’ve been looking for fun runs to motivate me to get those running shoes out and start training again.

I couldn’t find a complete list of 5k events so I compiled the run series that sounded fun.  Have I missed any on the list below?

There are a lot of great events out there!Run Pic

Color Run – “The Happiest 5k on the Planet”

This is the only 5k I have run, and it was so much fun that I’m ready to do it again this year!  What’s not to love?  You get doused in colored powder at various color stations as you run the course, so you end up looking like a running rainbow.  Or like a Smurf in my case – I really got hit with the blue!  After crossing the finish line, it’s fun to join the color throws at the stage to complete your vibrant look!

I loved knowing that there was no pressure with this run.  It’s not timed and is all about having fun.  My husband ran it with me last year, and we’re thinking of running with our kids this year to make it a whole family fun run.  There were plenty of kids out there last year, and it was a family-friendly atmosphere.

The Color Run has events scheduled across the U.S. and overseas during 2014.  In 2013, 170 events were held in 30 countries, so there’s sure to be one near you!

Flying Powder Fun Run

This event is similar to the Color Run.  The web site shows a run in Boston on May 3, 2014, with other cities to be added.

Hot Chocolate 15/5k  “America’s Sweetest Race”

Will run for chocolate!  This 15/5k features finisher’s mugs filled with hot chocolate and chocolate fondue with snacks for dipping.  The run is timed, with results available online. The web site notes that runners must have a 15-minute mile pace or faster to be sure of course support. The event benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities and is scheduled for 14 cities across the U.S. in 2014.


How great to combine Disney with running events!  Disneyland is hosting three events and Disney World has five events planned during 2014.  There’s something for everyone, with 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon lengths available. 

Great Urban Race

The Great Urban Race is a race for teams to solve clues, complete challenges, and win prizes.  The race takes participants throughout the city for physical and mental challenges that vary from city to city.  Not exactly a run, participants can also take public transportation between locations they find based on clues.  In 2014, this event is planned for 14 U.S. cities as well as Toronto.

Night Glow Runs

  • Neon Dash The Neon Dash is an untimed color 5k that takes runners through a nighttime course lit by black lights.  Neon powder or water is sprayed at intervals on the course for a colorful glow.  Events are planned in 23 U.S. locations in 2014.
  • Glow in the Park – This nighttime 5k takes runners through foam, glow water, and neon powder.  The pre-race goody bag includes glow accessories and paint to make the most of the light-up-the-night experience.  In 2014, 19 locations are planned.
  • Glow Run – Glow Run features black light zones, a glowing finish line, and runners wearing glow gear.  This untimed run is planned in 18 locations in 2014.
  • The Glo Run – This run is planned for 13+ U.S. cities in 2014.
  • Firefly Run  – The Firefly Run was scheduled for 18 cities in 2013; the web site for this 5k/10k race has not been updated with full 2014 event dates and locations {as of 1/16/14}.

 Obstacle Runs

  • 5k Foam Fest – The 5k Foam Fest is a mud run that features various obstacles through water, mud, and foam.  The Death Drop slide looks particularly fun!  Events are planned for 36 locations across the U.S. in 2014.
  • Spartan Race – The Spartan Race is an obstacle challenge event with three race distances:  the Spartan Sprint (3+ miles / 15+ obstacles), the Super Spartan (8+ miles / 20+ obstacles), and the Spartan Beast (12+ miles / 25+ obstacles).  This trail/mud run is being held throughout the U.S. and in 15 other countries in 2014.
  • Tough Mudder - The Tough Mudder is billed as an adventure challenge series with hardcore obstacles designed by British Special Forces.  This team-based event has locations planned throughout the U.S. and around the world in 2014.  The Tough Mudder supports the Wounded Warrior Project. 
  • Warrior Dash – The Warrior Dash course covers 3-4 miles through rugged terrain with 12 obstacles.  The event is self-timed, with an optional competitive wave that enables the top 25 males and top 25 females be eligible to compete in the 2014 Warrior Dash World Championship event.

Zombie Runs

Several zombie runs are available that allow participants to choose whether to join the zombie horde or run from the zombies.   

  • The Zombie Run (Run for Your Lives) - Formerly known as Run for Your Lives, The Zombie Run is planned for locations throughout the U.S. in 2014. 
  • Zombie Run – Zombie Run is available in 13 cities in the Eastern U.S.  Three types of runs are available, both with and without obstacles.
  • The Zombie Mud Run  – Seven locations are currently planned for this 5k obstacle event in 2014.

I can only vouch for the Color Run, which was fantastic.  Have you tried any of these other events?

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2 thoughts on “5k events that put the fun in running

  1. Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

    I’m not a runner… I’m more like a try to run, trip on an uneven sidewalk, sprawled out on the ground kind of wanna-be runner. Really sad. I guess I could sign up to be a zombie in a zombie run.

    Great list of events! I look forward to hearing about your running adventures.

    1. LisaLisa Post author

      LOL, Jennifer! That’s how I felt while growing up! I still worry about tripping but so far, so good. :) I should have mentioned that the Color Run had lots of walkers, too….


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