Presented in part by Dan Clark, also known as Nitro, of American Gladiator fame, the Gladiator Rock'n Run is a unique and challenging event, pairing an obstacle-heavy running course and an attempt at breaking the record for the world?s longest mud pit with post-race entertainment, including beer, music, and food. Those prepared to race must dance through tires, army-crawl through mud, and clamber up rope ladders to avoid barrels thrown by giant apes. The roar of spectators rings throughout the course as bystanders cheer on runners to inspire strong finishes.
The Cinco de Miler Run sets Cinco de Mayo celebrations in motion with a lineup of local races, including a 5-mile jaunt around the Westgate Entertainment District. Sanctioned and certified by USA Track & Field, this festive spring race leads runners past local landmarks, such as sports arenas and the Glendale Canal. In addition to its primary race, Cinco de Miler also offers a 5K run and a 1-mile Sombrero Shuffle, which gives participants a colorful sombrero to wear proudly or fill with guacamole for fuel. No matter which race they complete, finishers can all gather at a pet-friendly after-party to sip beers, play games, and dance to mariachi music.
Flashes of neon light up the night during the Rock N Glow 5K, a glow-in-the-dark race by Hi5F, which donates a portion of the proceeds to Coconino Humane Association. As darkness descends on the host city, racers get into the glowing spirit by strapping on vibrant clothing, oversized sunglasses, wigs, and layers of glow-in-the-dark swag. Once everyone is geared up, the noncompetitive race begins, snaking through 3.1 miles of neon-soaked path soundtracked by energetic, heart-pumping music. And once everyone is across the finish line, racers and supporters cap off the night with a glowing after party complete with live DJs, dancing, food, and a cash bar.
Hosted at the Wet 'n' Wild Phoenix water park, The Soggy Jog combines healthy family fun with heat-beating, aquatic entertainment. After the run, guests receive a towel, goggles, and day pass that allows them to spend the rest of the day exploring the water park, chasing thrills by hurtling down towering slides or pantsing Poseidon.
Forever Young Running Series' races and fun runs traverse the area's city streets, freeways, and nature trails, melding three racing styles into one event. From the starting line, the courses diverge and provide participants with different scenery. The 5K makes a loop on the nearby Skunk Creek Trail System, while the 10K incorporates a leg along the New River Trail System. The half marathon wends its way up 75th Avenue onto the asphalt of a blockaded, traffic-free stretch of Loop 101 and then back down the New River Trail System.
Along the way, runners get a dose of encouragement at morale-boosting entertainment zones, including Hot Rod Alley?hundreds of vintage cars blaring upbeat tunes?and the Superhero Journey, where costumed characters dole out high-fives. Once they've crossed the finish line, the post-race party welcomes participants to recharge with hot-rod and motorcycle shows, live music, and grub from food trucks. And an awards ceremony honors top finishers, unless they've used teleportation.
When participants at The Retro Run 5K take their marks, they're more likely to be taken for Cyndi Lauper than a marathon runner. That's because the 3-mile run eschews the put-ons of most modern races: there are no times collected, and those with the best '60s, '70s, or '80s costumes are the ones destined to win the big prize—in the post-race costume competition, anyway. Neon spandex, fanny packs, and fingerless gloves are a hot choice among racers, but even if you're just there in a T-shirt and shorts, the staff will hook you up with a free pair of sunglasses to help you look the part. After the race, runners, walkers, and even pets celebrate with an '80s-themed festival complete with top party music, a costume contest, and pyramid teams reenacting the fall of the Berlin Wall.