You’ve seen the ads popping up on your favorite sites and the pics of your Facebook friends smiling in their running gear, but what exactly are all these “fun runs” everyone seems to be partaking in? We’ve got your guide to all about fun runs to get your feet flying in the next race.
Speaking of race, that is exactly what a fun run isn’t. Fun runs are non-competitive races on the shorter side (most are around 5k). Sometimes they provide you with an overall time afterwards, so you can track your personal best, but usually they’re just at your own pace to your own glory.
Types of Fun Runs
Fun runs have a wide variety of themes and requirements. Many are organized simply to raise money or awareness for a cause or charity, and the only prep you’ll really need is a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Others, however, take a bit more prep:
- Glow runs are low-key runs that take place after dark. These are fun for the whole family since they involve minimum mess and strollers are often ok (always check with race guidelines). Pro Tips: Bring your own glo gear to supplement what you’re given with your race packet! You can find inexpensive glo items at any party store.
- Mud fun runs involve obstacles that take you over, under, and through muddy hazards. For these be ready to at the least walk the distance of the race and be in good enough shape to jump, climb, and lift a bit. Teams are recommended since you can help each other with bigger obstacles. Pro Tips: Wear your bathing suit under your race gear for an easy switch to dryer clothes after the race.
- Color fun runs are extremely popular races that involve covering participants with non-toxic colored powder. These family-friendly events are great for photos so don’t forget your camera; just make sure you protect it in a plastic bag or case from the color powder. Pro Tip: Make sure you get to the starting line well in advance of the packet start time. Many of these runs will let “waves” through on intervals of anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes making people in the back of the crowd start much later than the race start time given. If you hate waiting in crowds, then it pays to line up early.
- Foam runs are gaining popularity across the nation. These fun runs often offer up inflatable obstacles to tackle or stick with the simple “foam stations” where you are doused with bubbles and foam to slip and slide your way to a foamy 5k victory. Pro Tip: Wear goggles to keep the foam out of your eyes. It’s better to see you (covered in foam) with, my dear.
Fun Run Prep
With any activity, before you sign up read through the specifics of the event. First and foremost, are you able to handle the physical requirements of the fun run? Make sure you are at least able to walk the length of the race in a reasonable amount of time (standard walking pace is around 3 miles per hour). Be especially cautious about mud or obstacle runs since these tend to be the most strenuous fun runs available. If you have a question, always ask race organizers before you sign up.
Opt for inexpensive exercise wear rather than your old, falling-apart clothes; you don’t want your gear to disintegrate midway through! Don’t have anything that fits the bill? Head over to a thrift store!
Although most fun runs are well advertised within their local area, a quick search on running websites like Ohio Runner and Running in the USA will give you a thorough list. Local websites like Most Metro are a great resource, as well. Have a particular fun run that you love to do? Be sure to tell us on our Facebook page or in the comments below!