Typically, when people have friends or family in town, they show off their city by cramming in as many attractions and sights as possible. The four brothers behind the Sasquatch Relay take that approach to its logical extreme, orchestrating 75- and 190-mile relay races that spotlight their native region of Puget Sound. The trek leads teams of 6 or 12 in a one- or two-day journey through the shadows of Mount Rainier and the Northwest's sea of evergreens. At a party at the finish line, runners celebrate and share their surprise over how much shorter Sasquatch looks in person.
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.
During the challenge, teams of two or more individuals will run helter-skelter around the city in a frantic race for cash prizes and personal pride, with a first-place award of $200. Not only will participants have to solve strands of interconnected clues that would test the deductive powers of even the most seasoned children's book detective, they'll need to plot spatiotemporal stratagems while exploring undiscovered corners of the city. Although being physically fit is a plus, quick wits and wise planning will ultimately determine the winners. Participation in the challenge gets contestants a clue packet, race-number bib, and T-shirt, and fees go toward the prize pool. The website offers a regular FAQ, as well as a Groupon FAQ detailing the intricacies of the race, what to wear the day of, why it's not okay to bring a boa constrictor, and more.
After discovering her love for outdoor sprints, certified personal trainer and RRCA running coach Beth Baker founded Running Evolution as a social outlet for aspiring runners. Beth has coached more than 400 nonrunners into trotting through 5Ks and marathons, and—with the help of skilled instructors—helms several group classes within what Examiner.com proclaims, a "positive and supportive environment." Running Evolution also hosts weight-loss boot camps, Free Friday runs throughout West Seattle, and full-on marathon-training courses, pushing clients from all ends of the fitness spectrum toward achieving their goal of having Gatorade celebratorily dumped all over them.
Now in its 34th year, the Shore Run/Walk lets legs sprint or saunter to raise funds for immunotherapy research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Opt for a 5K race starting in Leschi Park or a 10K jaunt beginning in Ferdinand Park. During each event, runners move their bodies' natural stilts through a scenic course and soak up views of Lake Washington. Though not included in this Groupon, there's also a half-mile kids' run ($10 for registration) that allows little ones to exercise muscles for a length of time directly proportionate to their attention spans and shoe size. All races begin in the morning and conclude in Madison Park with snacks, music, prizes, and high-fiving of weary feet.
Nestled along the shores of Lake Washington, Magnuson Park hosts the Magnuson Series, a monthly medley of running and walking events designed for all skill levels. Each series includes a 5k and a 10k run and walk, as well as a 15k run and a 400-meter dash for kids. In addition, attendees can often participant in marathons, duathlons, and even enroll their pups in doggie dashes. Rather than challenge repeat runners with new courses, the series keeps its same courses every month so racers can measure their improvement. Proceeds from each event go toward the non-profit Club Northwest, as well as various charities dedicated to preserving native plant habitats and green spaces.