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.
On March 10, the unmistakable sound of scampering sneakers heralded the arrival of Peoria's first ever half-marathon. Divided into age groups ranging from children to senior citizens, participants followed a continuous, open, paved route along the New River Trail System in the first event of Peoria's inaugural race series. Instead of having to deal with the regular streets’ bustle of cars and escaped parade floats, runners will have sole ownership over the pavement during 11 events held throughout the year. All runners receive points for participating in each race and how they finish, with the top 100 point-earners entered in a prize lottery at the end of the Series. Some events also include abbreviated Tortoise & Hare Kids' Run courses that give kids a safe place to develop a love for running and stay active.
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.
Though some participants choose to run and others to walk, everybody who participates in the Color Dash experiences a transformation. As participants make their way through the 5K Color Dash and UVSplash courses they are subjected to bursts of color; additional events include Zombies by Color Dash, which adds the undead to the equation. Though the color will wash away, the memories will remain forever in the minds of all participants who aren't goldfish. Proceeds from Color Dash events benefit local children's charities and organizations.
Each year, Mud Factor plows into towns across the country towing along a fun, yet challenging 5K course full of obstacles and mud to trudge through. But it's not just the adults who get covered in the dirty stuff. Mud Factor Kidz offers all the steep hills, muddy pits, and dark moments of introspection as the grownup course. Athletes between 4 and 13 years old run between 1.5 and 2 miles. Costumes are encouraged for runners who like to rock their own style.
The creators of the The Graffiti Run use the term “run” very loosely. Less of a race, and more a celebration of the human spirit, The Graffiti Run encourages participants to dash, dance, prance, skip, cartwheel, or walk the course as they douse each other in vibrant hues that span the full spectrum. Each run also donates a portion of proceeds to a local charity, which range from Special Olympics affiliates and scholarship funds to city cleanup and beautification projects.