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.
For runners at the starting line of Run13, LLC's signature half-marathons, 10Ks, and 5Ks, it's all downhill from there. The organization plots many of its events on a breezy downhill route, giving beginning runners a leg up on their first race and experienced runners a better shot at a personal record. But runners aren't the only ones that benefit. The Racing Cane 10K, 5K, and 1K benefits children in the Dominican Republic's impoverished cane-shack communities, using shoe collections and race registrations to help them break out of the cycle of poverty. And for every race, the organization designates a charity to donate its proceeds to, often taking suggestions from its fans or the magic 8 ball that presides over all affairs.
Body4Change’s fleet of experienced instructors helps guests to liquidize fat with boot camps and personal-training sessions, structuring all workouts around resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, and nutrition. During boot camps, the trainers provide a no-nonsense environment in which guests focus on a different set of muscles each day, rotating between legs, arms, and second sets of arms to avoid body burnout and muscle ennui. They'll also customize workout stratagems in personal-training sessions that equip exercisers with moves tailored to individual goals and abilities.
The ElectroDash's organizers score their 5K night runs with the most appropriate soundtrack: electronic dance music. The pulsing beats, which can be heard at runs throughout Canada and the United States, attract runners to tackle the neon-light illuminated course. On the track, a slew of light displays, lasers, fog tunnels, projected images and black lights highlight competitors' eye-dazzling accessories, including neon duds, glow-in-the-dark glasses, and water bottles filled with an excited anglerfish. Though the ElectorDash's main mission is fun, it also champions giving back to the community by donating a portions of the proceeds to support a local charity.
Pound the Pavement for Parenthood brings awareness—and hope—to people who are struggling with infertility. Its staff coordinates fundraising events across the country, ranging from golf tournaments to 5K and 10K marathons. These events often sponsor specific people or couples who want to add to their families, helping them to pay for methods such as adoption or in vitro fertilization. Since its formation in 2010, the non-profit organization has assisted in bringing more than a dozen babies into the world.