Color Me Rad stages 5K races that transform runners into mobile rainbows by launching cheerful barrages of colored cornstarch. Each color station along the racetrack flings a new, nontoxic pigment at passersby, who wear white shirts to enhance the chromatic onslaught's costuming effects. Brilliant neon-blue, green, purple, and yellow clouds dapple participants along the way, and the race concludes with a prismatic finish-line finale as sprinters chuck colors at each other in celebration. The race's noncompetitive credo shifts the emphasis from speed to silliness, and a portion of its proceeds go to local charities.
Upon registration, each runner collects a Color Me Rad T-shirt, sunglasses, sponsor gifts, and a race bib. Though they don't receive a gift packet, runners younger than 8 years old can sprint for free, provided they have a waiver signed by a guardian and won't give in to demands for gold from confused leprechauns.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham's Campus Recreation Center opens its doors to the community, encouraging fit-seekers of all ages to get active. The all-inclusive 150,000-square-foot facility has it all: swimming pools, cardio and weight-training equipment, aerobics studios, and an indoor track. For those who like to mix calorie burning with friendly competition, the site also hosts basketball, racquetball, badminton, and volleyball courts; an indoor soccer and floor hockey field; and even a climbing wall. Kids aren't left out of the fun, either. The center hosts kids' day camps, packed with athletic activities and arts and crafts, and welcomes youths to imitate mountain goats on the rock wall or play racquetball in the supervised Kid Zone.
The Barbarian Challenge pits racers against the elements, in the classical sense. In the airy outdoors, runners plunge into icy creek beds, crawl through mud pits, and conquer various man made obstacles in their quest to secure the fastest running time, or the simple bragging rights that come with finishing at all. The course covers 4.5 miles and many man-made obstacles, and the top finisher in men's and women's categories earns a replica of Conan the Barbarian's sword.
"Cheers to your health." That's something often heard at the Breakfast Smoothie Run, but there's no champagne or sparkling chocolate milk here. Instead, race organizers hand each participant a breakfast smoothie. That vitamin-packed beverage serves as a sippable symbol of the three-mile run's larger mission: to promote health and get everyone up and moving. And that means everyone?participants can run or walk at their own pace, and there's a shorter one-mile course for beginners. That means people of all skill levels can participate, compete for prizes, and support a good cause. Each year, the run benefits a charity such as the American Diabetes Association.