Fitness and fads pretty much go hand in hand, am I right? There’s always a hot new class everyone’s obsessed with (see: hot yoga, barre, et al) and gear you just have. to. have.
If I were a betting woman (which I am, duh), I would wager that summer 2013 will be the season of The Race that Doesn’t Feel Like a Race. Seriously, gone are the days of a couple laps around a track followed by a granola bar and free t-shirt. These days, a 5K is more likely to include some zombies, a mud pit, and clouds of colored cornstarch. And let me just say: This is one fitness fad I can get on board with.
Because I’m all for running races that are more than just, er, running, I’ve rounded up some of the most unique, most outrageously fun runs that are on tap for Philly this summer. Consider this the Ultimate Guide to Races for People Who Don’t Just Want to Run. Or something.
If You’re Into Rainbows (and Looking Like One, Too) …
Run or Dye
Get splattered with color, while running through the home of the Phillies at CBP!
$45, June 15th at 9 a.m., Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia.
Color Me Rad
What better way to benefit the Special Olympics of Philadelphia then by running a race that will leave you all colors of the rainbow?
$45, June 16th at 8 a.m., Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of Republic, Philadelphia.
The Color Run
The original Color Run is back in Philly for its second year. And we’re betting it’ll be better than ever, too.
*The Philadelphia Date is currently sold out. Click here to add your name to the wait list or here to sign up for the Atlantic City date.
$50 per person, $45 per person for a four-person or more team, July 14th in Philadelphia and October 19th in Atlantic City.
The Electric Run
You don’t have to be a morning person for this one. This run swaps out the typical early-morning start time for one after the sun goes down, and replaces the colored powder with glow sticks. Get ready to glow from head to toe!
Starts at $45 per person, July 20th at 8:45 p.m., Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.
Color in Motion 5K
CIM13 guarantees that you cross the finish line covered in a “vibrant springtime camouflage.” Niiiice.
September 7th at 9 a.m, Philadelphia. Exact price and location have not been set but click here to sign up to receive updates.
If You Want to Get Really Muddy …
With the option to run a 5K or 15K, participants will be barricade-jumping, fire-dodging and mud-swimming their way to some serious bragging rights.
Starts at $75 per person; race day is May 18th; 5K races will begin every 30 minutes starting between 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the 15k will begin at 1p.m.; 3143 York Road, Furlong, PA.
Trail Blazin’ 5K Mud Run
This course takes you back to your summer-camp days with hay-bale climbing, waterslides and, of course, a muddy swamp.
Starts at $40 per person, June 1st at 8:30 a.m., Camp Sankanac, 28 Bertolet School Road, Spring City.
A race so badass that it has a station to give finishers a tattoo of the Tough Mudder logo upon completion of the race.
$135 per person, June 2nd, Jandl Farms, 5585 Mulberry Drive, Lehigh.
Warrior Xtreme Challenge
Developed by a man with 12 years of military experience, this race will not only test you physically but mentally, as well.
Starts at $65 per person, June 8th at 8 a.m., 395 South Jennersville Road, West Grove.
The only mud run that gives 100 percent of all proceeds earned to the National MS Society.
Starts at $75 per person, June 8th and 9th, Ellis Preserve, 3805 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square.
Merrell Down & Dirty
Runners start out by taking a scenic tour of Fairmount Park—but things get really muddy, really fast.
Starts at $60 per person, SJuly 13th at 7:00 a.m., Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.
The world’s largest obstacle-course series will be making its way to the Poconos this August.
Starts at $60 per person, August 24th at 9:00 a.m., Pocono International Raceway, 500 Long Pond Road, Long Pond.
The Zombie Mud Run
Two of this year’s biggest obsessions, zombies and mud runs, join forces in this race near Reading.
Price varies, depending on if you’re a zombie or human and when you sign up; June 15th in Middletown, Delaware, and September 21st in Reading, Pennsylvania.
With three miles and more than 15 obstacles, this race has got it all.
Starts at $115 per person, Saturday September 28th at 8:00 a.m., Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia.
If You’re Up for an Adventure …
Great Urban Race
Teams of two solve physical and mental clues for the opportunity to win cash prizes. (Warning: Last year’s participants had to eat worms! Gross!)
$65 per person, May 4th at noon, Cavanaugh’s River Deck, 417 North Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia.
The top 25 teams in Philly will have the opportunity to compete for $5,000 at the National Race in Los Vegas!
Starts at $30 per person, May 18th at 1 p.m., Morgan’s Pier, 221 N Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia.
Great Amazing Race
Modeled after the TV show of (almost) the same name, this race will challenge participants across a one-mile course.
$40 per team, June 2nd at 8 a.m., Neshaminy State Park, 3401 State Park, Bensalem.
Blues, Brews & BBQ Scavenger Hunt
The creators promise a crazy-fun day without eating any “Survivor-type bugs.”
$50 for a team of two, $75 for team of three, June 8th at 11 a.m., Allentown.
ODDyssey Half Marathon
This race puts a twist on your typical half marathon with a costume contest! It’s also perfectly timed for all you Broad Streeters who want to keep up your training and conquer a half marathon this spring. Runners encounter optional obstacles along the course for an additional challenge.
$80, June 9th at 7 a.m., Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia.
If You Think Three Events Are Better Than One …
Swim, bike, and run your way through Fairmount Park. Twenty lucky racers will have opportunities to win prizes from local vendors. Score!
Starts at $120 per person, June 22nd at 7:30 a.m., Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.
Brian Ballard Memorial Tri
This event has options for triathletes of all ages!
Starts at $65 per person, June 23rd at 7:30 a.m., Brookside Swim Club, 11 Ruth Mancuso Lane, Glassboro.
Upper Dublin Triathlon
This event is for both seasoned competitors as well as newcomers looking to get their feet wet (literally).
Starts at $65 per person, May 19th at 5:30 a.m., Upper Dublin High School, 1580 Fort Washington Avenue, Maple Glen.
French Creek Triathlon
Unwind post-race with massages and a buffet offered to all participants.
Starts at $85 per person, May 12th at 8 a.m., 843 Park Road, Elverson.
If You Like Letting Loose on the Trail …
Run the Vineyards 5K
Wine-tasting meets trail run at this 5K jaunt through Chadds Ford’s Penn Woods Winery.
$40 for the run, May 19th at 9 a.m., Penns Woods Winery, 124 Beaver Valley Road.
Dirty German Endurance Fest
While this race is technically located within the city limits, creators promise a course free of traffic, noise and concrete buildings in Philly’s Pennypack Park.
Starts at $55 per person, May 26th at 8 a.m., Pennypack Park, Philadelphia.
Creek and Co-op 5K
In its inaugural race, the Creek and Co-op 5K raises funds for the Prophecy Creek Preservation Fund and the Ambler Fod Co-op.
$30 per person, Sunday June 2nd at 8:30 a.m., Prophecy Creek Park, 205 West Skippack Pike, Ambler.
Race for Open Space
This Main Line event has games and activities for the whole family in addition to the race! The course takes you on trails in Willows and Skunk Hollow parks.
$25 per person, June 2nd at 8 a.m., 490 Darby Paoli Road, Radnor.
Wendy’s Poconos Xterra Series
For all you trail-run lovers, this series offers five opportunities for you to get your fix.
Five races for $100, Series starts on May 4th, Big Pocono State Park, Wilkes-Barre.
A perfect way to get some exercise in with family and friends, this race gives back to Friendship Elementary School in Coatesville. Victims of the recents Boston Marathon tragedy will be honored, as well, with a logo printed on the race shirts.
$20 per person, May 11th at 8 a.m., Friendship Elementary School, 296 Reeceville Road, Coatesville.
Mrs. Smith’s Challenge
This race is for all you ladies out there looking to challenge yourself on the trails.
$35 per person, May 11th at 10 a.m., 827 Rockford Road, Lancaster.
Stateline Loop 9K
This loop of the Stateline Woodlands will give you the perfect opportunity to check out conservation efforts around the area.
$25 per person, May 11th at 9 a.m., 814 Merrybell Lane, Kennett Square.