Fantastic summer races may feel as though they’re few and far between, but fear not! Our city and boasts a whole slew of one-of-a-kind running events in the warmer months. From a jazzy mainstay, to a little bit of yoga and a bright sea of bubbles (don’t worry — they supply the soap!), you’ve got more than enough opportunities to shape up (and sweat your buns off) throughout summer. Read on to find your perfect (very sweaty) race.
For the lederhosen … ½ Sauer ½ Kraut Half/Full Marathon
When: Sunday, June 4th at 7:30 a.m.
Where: Pennypack Park, 3098 Rhawn Street, Northeast Philly
Tackling a ton of miles on a lazy Sunday in June isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, this half/full marathon duo (pick your poison) manages to make even the daunting parts of hot-weather running delightful – all with a Bavarian twist. You’ll stride along the shaded trails of Pennypack Park as Heidi (a German waitress) passes out gels and Hans (an accordion aficionado) waits to serenade you at the finish line. There’s a post-race feast of beer and brats, and, yes, they actually want you to wear lederhosen. $69/$75
For the costumes and challenges … ODDyssey Half Marathon
When: Sunday, June 11th at 7:00 a.m.
Where: Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Fairmount Park
Ready for a race that promises more than 13.1 miles’ worth of ditched sweatshirts and crushed Gatorade cups? The ODDyssey is, as its name suggests, offers up a delightfully odd series of surprise challenges throughout the course. Many competitors come dressed in killer costumes and determined to tackle as many of the wacky, mid-race tasks as they can or want. If you’ve been hesitating to wear a tutu through Fairmount Park, here’s your chance to finally have at it. $89
For everyone who’s always wanted to rock a cape … Superhero Showdown 15K/5K
When: Saturday, June 17th at 8:00 a.m.
Where: Norristown High School, 1900 Eagle Drive, Norristown
Calling all comic book lovers! The Superhero Showdown has custom team tank tops, glow-in-the-dark medals and a hard-earned after party at Redstone Grill (where you’ll get a free drink and half-off menu discounts). Oh, and the capes capture more than just style points: There’s a categorized costume contest, so expect to see spandex. So. Much. Spandex. $40/$30
For the ultimate tie-dye experience … The Color Run
When: Sunday, June 25th at 8:00 a.m.
Where: Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way, South Philly
Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’ve heard all about the Color Run because your chatty cousin Chris ran it two years ago. But have you ever actually, you know, tried it? This friendly 5K is great for runners who dig rainbows and low-key competition. The 2017 course wraps around Citizens Bank Park, so toss on a white tee, take the BSL to its southernmost stop and transform into a walking, talking first-grade art project. $39.99
For a sudsy sprint to the finish line … Bubble Palooza 5K Bubble Run
When: Saturday, July 15th at 9:00 a.m.
Where: Salem County Fairgrounds, New Jersey
Let me guess: You’ve always wondered what it would look like if your dishwasher and nephew’s finger paints had a baby. (Or, perhaps, you’re a levelheaded person with normal thoughts. If so, bear with me.) The Bubble Palooza, South Jersey’s most colorful midsummer run, is a super-fun frenzy of food coloring and family bonding. Kids under six run for free, and the Bubble Blasters target competitors and spectators alike (even Grandpa Jim). $40
For competition with a side of Cabernet … Run the Vineyards Yoga & Endurance Challenge
When: Sunday, July 16th at 9:00 a.m.
Where: Blair Vineyards, 99 Dietrich Valley Road, Kutztown
Looking for a grape time? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Formerly known as the 3.2.1 Challenge, this combination yoga session/vineyard run/obstacle course is an exciting — and exhausting — take on the average wine-drinking experience. You’ll find Zen for 12 minutes, then dash through vines and the occasional challenge. Every participant walks away a little wine-drunk holding a souvenir wine glass. $40
For the wannabe Kate Middletons … Queen of the Hill Triathlon/Duathlon
When: Sunday, July 30th at 7:30 a.m.
Where: Monroeville, New Jersey
Head on over to Lake Gilman for a day of races with royal flair. This July, the South Jersey waterway will play host to hundreds of queens in the making. Competitors can get their hair braided before and after the races, and they’ll be treated to serenades, posh stations and … drumroll, please … post-race brunch! (Sorry guys, this one’s for females only.) $85/$75
For the team players … the Philly Mayor’s Cup
When: Saturday, August 12th at 7:00 a.m.
Where: Belmont Plateau, Fairmount Park
Relive your high-school cross-country days by gathering together your crew and registering for the Mayor’s Cup. The single-day event is an awesome opportunity for Philly’s running clubs to find out how they stack up against one another. The top male and female finishers in each of the Cup’s five races snag points for their teams, and the winning group walks away with alllll sorts of bragging rights. Cost for event varies.
For a half that’s better without headphones … Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon
When: Sunday, September 17th at 7:30 a.m.
Where: Eakins Oval, Fairmount
Cap off your summer with a course that benefits concertgoers and cancer research. When you run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, it’s almost as if you’re the star of some insanely long music video. Live bands rock out as you race through the city and (because no run would be complete without a healthy dose of Boathouse Row) along Kelly Drive. Oh, and finish line = free beer. $89.99
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