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.
Runners start the UV Splash Color Dash in white t-shirts, but by the end, they'll all be wearing the same colorful glow-in-the-dark uniform. As they traverse the 5K course, they'll be gently hit with splashes of UV-colored water. In the nighttime darkness?and under black lights that line the course?the colorful stains will glow, making the cavalcade of runners into a glowing, moving constellation. At the end of the race, each human painting can hang out and replenish in an post-dash celebration.
As night falls, participants in the noncompetitive Rave Run pull on neon T-shirts, don glow-in-the dark glasses, and stuff their pockets with glow sticks. Spectators look on as the throng of illuminated runners, which includes kids and adults, make their way through a 5-kilometer course that winds through city streets.
The event culminates with an after party, where a DJ spin tunes and powerful lasers cast out beams that illuminate wide smiles and the secret locations of any lost arks in the vicinity. Fog machines and CO2 jets help create a high-adrenaline atmosphere as attendees dance with their glow-in-the-dark compatriots. All the fun is for a good cause; The Rave Run partners with a local charity in each participating city.
The Lead the Field 5K serves multiple purposes, none more important than raising money for the Maricopa Health Foundation?the only public health system in the state of Arizona. But the race also celebrates wellness, both of its participants and of a completely renovated Riverview Park that has finally shaken off the grogginess of hibernation. During the 5K, runners and walkers of all ages transform the state-of-the-art facility into a haven for health. Collectively, they race toward the finish line, where medals recognize the top performers in every age group. The celebration doesn't end there, though, since an on-site fitness fest keeps the bash rolling into the afternoon with music, food, and health screenings.
After going on a number of boring hikes around Phoenix, the husband-and-wife duo behind Vertical Hiking Tours decided they had the perfect solution—pair hikes with other fun things to do in Phoenix. On one of their hikes, for example, the group explores the Phoenix desert while a photographer teaches techniques for capturing its natural beauty. On another desert hike, the group makes frequent stops to strike yoga poses, guided by a yoga instructor. Every excursion is also helmed by a guide certified in CPR, and First Aid.
It all started with a youth sports organization. Champions of Wickenburg Youth, or COWY for short, supports youth athletic programs and helps instill traits in youngsters, such as discipline, teamwork, and perseverance. But they need money to do so. That's where Wickenburg's Wild West Run comes in. The run, now in its second year, raises funds for the organization while encouraging the health and fitness of its participants. During the run, participants sprint along an undulating course that affords them views of the rugged landscape. Afterward, they gather in Sunset Park for the afterparty, which includes games and lively discussions about what the K in 5K might stand for.