12 Philly-Area 5K Runs With Crazy Themes, Fun Obstacles, and Amazing After Parties

Ready to run this summer? Here's a guide to upcoming short-distance races with themes and finish-line bashes that make the 3.1 miles totally worth it.

The Color Run Philadelphia | Photo by Cara Worcester

Welcome to Run Week at Be Well Philly! Every day, we’ll bring you the best and the latest on how and where to run around Philadelphia. Stay tuned for more great running articles all week long!

As much as we love the challenge of a long-distance run, there’s a lot to be said for 5Ks. You don’t have to spend as much time training, they’re quick and family-friendly — and some of them come with insanely fun themes, mid-race pit stops, and finish-line celebrations.

Below, find 12 area races that provide all of the above — and then some.

If You’re In It for the Finish-Line Party 

The Color Run
What: Wear white to this untimed 5K run — throughout the course, you’ll get blasted with colorful powder that’ll cling to your clothes and skin, turning you into a human rainbow. The good news is, you’ll be all decked out by the time you reach the Finish Festival dance party.
When: August 11, 2018
Where: Talen Energy Stadium; 1 Stadium Drive Chester
Price: Tickets on sale May 22.

Night Nation Run
What: It’s a music festival and a 5K fun run in one. The course will take you past live deejays, a laser light show, selfie stations, and end at a main stage with more music.
When: June 23, 2018, 8:30 p.m.
Where: Xfinity Live! 1100 Pattison Avenue
Price: $60. Tickets here.

Run to the Phillies Game
What: Join the city’s Beer Runners for a run from City Hall to Citizen’s Bank ballpark, where you and the crew of runners with watch the Phillies play the Nationals. The full distance is just a touch over a 5K, but don’t worry: there’s beer, hot dogs, and cheesesteaks waiting for you at the finish line.
When: June 30, 2018, 3 p.m.
Where: City Hall; 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Price: $33 includes the price of the baseball ticket. Venmo @FishtownBeerRunners by June 14 to join.

The Skull Run: Fantasy and Fear
What: This Day of the Dead-themed 5K features mariachi bands and dancing along the course, with authentic Mexican and Latin American foods and music at the finish line celebration.
When: August 25, 2018
Where: 9 Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Price: $25. Tickets here.

If You Like Getting Muddy

Warrior Dash
 A muddy, obstacle-filled 5K around the Pocono Raceway, featuring different stations to challenge your journey, including a super soaker and something called “Muddy Mayhem.”
When: August 25, 2018
Pocono Raceway; 1234 Long Pond Road, Long Pond
$60 through May 23, then incremental price increases. Tickets here.

Muckfest MS: The Fun Mud Run
What: Bring your sense of humor (and your oldest running clothes) to this obstacle-filled 5K. Plan on splashing around on a slippery, water-covered ramp, zip lining over a watery pit, and belly crawling through the dirt.
When: June 9 and 10, 2018
Where: Glen Mills Schools; 185 Glen Mills Road, Glen Mills
Price: $85 through May 23, then the price increases to $108. Tickets here.

The Zombie Mud Run
What: You know what your mud run is missing? Zombies. You’ll get a little (or, you know, a lot) of both at this early fall race, featuring a muddy run done for time, obstacles, and blood thirsty zombies to make sure you’re really feeling the adrenaline.
When: October 6, 2018
Where: 94 Park Avenue, Sinking Spring
Price: $55 for humans, $25 for zombies through August 7. Tickets here.

Spartan Race Sprint
What: A three-to-five mile race featuring 20 obstacles that are certain to challenge you — and get you a little dirty.
When: September 22, 2018
Where: Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way
Price: Starts at $120. Tickets here.

If You’re Up for an Adventure

The Great Amazing Race
What: This family-friendly race supports pediatric cancer. Register in teams of two for the 1.5-mile course peppered with obstacles.
When: September 29, 2018
Where: Neshaminy State Park; 3401 State Road, Bensalem
Price: Starts at $50, tickets here.

The Inflatable Run
What: A family-friendly course featuring inflatable obstacles, plus live music and food trucks at the finish line.
When: June 23, 2018
Where: Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way
Price: Prices vary by age of participant. Tickets here.

If “There Had Better Be Wine (or Beer)” Is Your Motto

Run the Vineyards 5K
What: This shady, flat 5K will be a breeze — especially once you remind yourself that there’s a wine tasting waiting for you at the finish line.
When: June 10
Where: Amalthea Cellars; 209 Vineyard Drive, Atco, New Jersey
Price: $42. Tickets here.

Run Fest
What: A timed 5K that tours past the Horticultural Center in Fairmount Park and ends with a finish line bash with a beer garden, free massages, and food trucks.
When: June 3, 2018
Where: Gates of Smith Memorial Playground; 3500 Reservoir Drive, Philadelphia
Price: $45. Tickets here.

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