Equal parts footrace, obstacle course, and mud bath, each RunnerCross course pits participants against up to 15 kilometers of creative and slippery barriers. Runnable as an individual race or as a team relay, heats of 300 runners at a time quickly muddy themselves as they scramble over hay bales, scale rain-slicked hills, and traverse bogs atop a teetering rope bridge. ChronoTrack timing chips in the numbered bibs give runners accurate lap times for settling photo finishes or stacking against past 5Ks, such as George Washington's historic run from a mob of angry cherry farmers.
The Glo Run 5K always takes place at night, but it doesn’t seem like it. The course is lined with black lights and lasers, and runners sport glow-in-the-dark gear from T-shirts to sunglasses. On-course DJs add to the festivities, blasting tunes as the untimed participants run, walk, or dance to the finish line. Even more DJs await them there at the glow-in-the-dark after party, which lights up the night better than a raccoon that's swallowed a flashlight.
Black Diamond Store's roots stretch back to 1957, when 18-year-old Yvon Chouinard began pounding out mountain-climbing gear with a hammer and an anvil. Chouinard's gear was a quick hit within the climbing community, and today, some 50 years and a name change later, his backyard operation has prospered into a global corporation with offices on three continents.
Despite such profound growth, the company holds true to the values that helped it thrive. Its climbing and skiing products undergo rigorous testing to sustain the highest possible quality while utilizing the latest technologies to keep users one step ahead of the game. And, rather than testing gear on trembling, acrophobic mannequins, the company's employees try out Black Diamond products themselves—like the company's customers, they're climbers, skiers, and adventurists, too.
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, grey, or another neutral color to allow give the dyes maximum visibility.
She Runs coordinates ladies-only races across the country, and provides weekend getaways that strike a healthy balance between fitness and relaxation. The organization's events send participants galloping across scenic courses, helping women from all walks of life unite whether or not they sing the bunny song when lacing up their running shoes. More than just a one-time endurance test, She Runs folds relaxing vacations inside retreats that are combined with group fitness classes, lectures from experts, and personalized coaching leading up to race day. A portion of each event's proceeds get poured into She Runs' mission of snuffing out diabetes.
As the name implies, Cahoots Duo Challenge's overland obstacle-course races principally challenge teamwork. Pairs of runners—who spend just as much time climbing and crawling as jumping, swinging, and tumbling—rely on each other's strength and wits to complete a series of challenges laid out over a 3- to 4-mile course. Along the way, racers get wet, muddy, and sweaty as they test their endurance or the likelihood that their partner is a golem.