Running in Waldorf

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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.

11765 St. Linus Dr.
Waldorf,
MD
US

Cosmic Run provides a multisensory experience that pushes the limits of participants' imaginations with a mind-bending journey through a setting flush with dance music and fluorescent pops of color. As you run, witness futuristic, animated lighting effects before dancing the night away as world-famous DJs spin. During the festivities, you become a part of the cosmic canvas as glowing lights fill the space and the crowd takes on their otherworldly bright hues.

11765 Saint Linus Dr
Waldorf,
MD
US

Each year, Mud Factor plows into towns across the country towing along a fun, yet challenging 5K course full of obstacles and mud to trudge through. Costumes are encouraged for runners who like to rock their own style.

27861 Budds Creek Road
Mechanicsville,
MD
US

Established: 2010

Staff Size: 2?10 people

Reservations/Appointments: Not offered

Most popular offering: Adventure Races, MTB Races, and Trail Runs

Pro Tip: Looking for adventure? REV3 Adventure can help you out.

Good for Kids: Yes

A portion of mountain biking, a dose of trail running, a pinch of trekking, and several gallons of watersports. This is Rev3 Adventure's race director's recipe for creating their adventure runs?and the training regimens to prepare for them?throughout the year. The races can be intense, as participants might switch between mountain biking and canoeing on any given day, but athletes can choose an adventure that fits their stamina levels, participating in events that last a few hours or a few days. For example, the annual Shenandoah Epic Adventure Race incorporates paddling, biking, trekking, and navigating, and competitors can opt to reach all the mandatory checkpoints in 13 hours or hit the additional optional checkpoints in 26 hours, the average number of hours a cat sleeps every day.

Still, the race director says that the organizers and volunteers try to keep their events family-friendly. "We wanted to help families become active in the outdoors," says the race director, "and at the same time, create fun and exciting challenges that will push competitors to their personal limits in a fun and safe environment."

884 Indian Hollow Road
Bentonville,
VA
US

While the goal in a foot race is usually to outrun your opponents, the organizers of the Run N' Mate 5K hope to see participants sticking together. This is because their run focuses socialization over competition, encouraging participants to chat, mingle, and hopefully meet future running mates. By emphasizing the social element of running, they've create an event where runners can meet new friends with similar interests or glare at new frenemies wearing the same outfit. And to help break the ice, the run includes a Friday night pre-party, a Saturday night after-party, a digital photo booth, and more.

165 Waterfront Street
Oxon Hill,
MD
US

The story of Mental Health America is a story of hope and transformation. In the year 1900, a young man named Clifford W. Beers suffered an acute breakdown brought on by the death of his brother, and after an unsuccessful suicide attempt, was hospitalized in a private Connecticut mental institution. There, he faced degrading and inhumane abuses at the hands of the untrained staff. Over the next decade, Beers was confined in a number of hospitals, all in brutal conditions. Bruised—literally—but unbroken, Beers began to overcome his tribulations in 1908 with the publication of his autobiography, A Mind That Found Itself. The next year, he founded the organization that would become Mental Health America. Perhaps the starkest symbol of Mental Health America's metamorphic character is the Mental Health Bell, a 300-pound carillon forged from the melted-down chains and shackles once commonplace in mental institutions.

Today, Mental Health America consists of a network of 240 affiliates working to address mental health conditions. The organization lives up to its mission of "promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders, and achieving victory over mental illness" through a number of programs, including health-care reform advocacy programs. Mental Health America has been combating mental health conditions and their associated stigmas for more than a century, and will continue to do so.

2000 N Beauregard St
Alexandria,
VA
US