Running in Newport Beach

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With Soul Symmetric, founder, certified trainer, and nutritionist Stacie Schneider divorces workouts from the gym. Instead, her fitness classes take place outdoors, some on pristine beaches, and some in the ocean itself. Aspiring stand-up paddleboarders, for example, ride ocean waves as they hone their technique and strengthen their cores. Swimmers also practice in the ocean, which many prefer over their home koi ponds, while Pilates students stretch in the glow of the sunset during classes held right on the beach. To complement their outdoor workouts, Soul Symmetric's wellness experts also craft custom nutrition plans and administer music therapy, which can help sharpen brain function.

Orchid/Ocean
Newport Beach,
CA
US

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday about togetherness and Latino culture. As runners tread the path between the beach and state park enjoying the beautiful ocean views, they'll compete for cash prizes including an iPod Nano and trophies. There are even phantom prizes awarded randomly to participants regardless of their race time. Everyone's a winner at the end, with the after party featuring Latin music, beer, and tacos at Dos Toros in Downtown Huntington Beach. Every entrant's participation also benefits the Save A Warrior Foundation, which is dedicated to helping veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress.

412 Olive Ave, Suite 212
Huntington Beach,
CA
US

In the unusual parlance of the Hunger Runs 5K, runners are “dedications,” teams are “organizations,” spectators are “assemblies,” and the race is known simply as “the hunt.” The race’s creators, the “huntmakers,” devise a series of obstacles specifically designed to encourage teamwork and camaraderie, and they set up “challenge centers” demanding expert bow-and-arrow skills, simian climbing abilities, and courage in the face of flaming objects. Organizations that finish fastest or with the most points in their designated wave earn bragging rights, awards, and cheek pinches from their proud grandmothers. Dedications are strongly encouraged to wear fun costumes and comfortable sneakers and to come bearing team spirit and the will to win.

16801 Euclid Street
Fountain Valley,
CA
US

Run or Dye is making race running a little more colorful, one major city at a time. This 5K is divided up into four separate courses of varying lengths, each designated by a separate color??which also reflects the color of safe, eco-friendly powered dye the participants get splashed with. At the end of the race, they'll cross into the aptly-named Dye Zone?a polychromatic free-for-all, where fluorescent color is thrown freely from all sides, allowing runners to splash their fellow runners or get colorful revenge on their friends, family members, and any cranky art-history teachers that happen to be walking by.

Unlike some races that rank runners by time, Run or Dye only measures success in color and fun. While the safe-to-eat dyes should wash out of clothing, runners are encouraged to wear things they don't mind getting dirty, preferably in white, gray, or another neutral color to give the dyes maximum visibility.

6950 Marine Way
Irvine,
CA
US

Here are the sounds you'll hear at a typical marathon: huff, puff, wheeze, snort, repeat. Here are the sounds you'll hear at the Hit and Run 5K: sploosh, boing, splat, whoopee, and other onomatopoeias that haven't yet been invented. Less like a race and more like running through a living cartoon, the Hit and Run 5K's obstacle course of inflatable onslaughts has been known to "make ninjas cry."

Dodging, ducking, leaping, and balancing across a wet-and-rubbery battlefield, contestants face formidable foes such as the giant spinning balls of the Duck or Dive, the unreliable puffy poles of the Wobble Walk, the flying wet menaces at the Whacking Wall, and the Bouncy Bridge, which is kind of like London's Tower Bridge if it were any fun. All contestants receive their own spiffy T-shirts and matching headbands?a fetching ensemble that instantly deflates roving dodge balls?along with a hearty packet of deals from the race's sponsors.

6990 Marine Way
Irvine,
CA
US

Like a city street after every nearby car wash has malfunctioned, The Bubble Run welcomes participants to play in light, glistening foam. Runners, walkers, jumpers, and skippers cruise their way through five easygoing, untimed kilometers, each marked with a 6-foot-deep bog brimming with colorful foam and floating bubbles. Bubbleteers armed with foam-slinging cannons ensure that each adventurer receives a healthy dose of bubbles as they pass, running safely thanks to the dry makeup of the foam solution used. Racers clad in white may start clean as a whistle, but by the time they cross the finish line, they’re dyed like a rainbow, finally readying them to sneak up on a leprechaun. Then the fun keeps going—live DJs and bubble cannons amp up afterparties to celebrate runners' efforts. Proceeds from each race benefit local charities.

1 Medical Plaza Drive
Irvine,
CA
US