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.
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.
It's a charity race with a back story like none other:
bloodthirsty demons have been working in your community's offices, living in its homes, attending its schools. And now they're on the hunt and people are
running for their lives. Citizens might be booking it across a field, seemingly far from the chaos, when shapes emerge on the horizon dressed head-to-toe in vampires' telltale black clothes. If you're a citizen, be prepared to run. If you're a vampire—lock in your target.
That's just part of what you might experience on the Vampire 5K, a twilight fun run where participants can register as
"citizens" or "vampires" and take off from two separate starting lines. Both camps eventually converge in a chase that finds vamps trying to convert their mortal counterparts to the dark side. Citizens, dressed in white, sport two garlic flags; if the flags are taken before runners cross their finish line, they switch to a black tee and
citizens. After the race, a moonlit party finds both camps sipping bloody marys during a dance party and award presentation. The race benefits the Mission to Hear Foundation, which provides hearing aids to underprivileged children, adults, and whatever they're calling the age group that comes in between these days.
Of the many 5K events held in the midwest, only one requires runners to sully themselves slipping down a mudslide. The annual Eat Dirt Mud Run sends thousands of runners through a grueling and characteristically muddy 5K landscape. The hosts have devised a one-lap course replete with slippery hill climbs, cargo nets, multiple mud pits, and fields of tires to challenge runners' endurance and grit. As adult participants—some donning costumes—sprint and stumble through the course, child runners can test their mettle in the Kids Mini Mud Run, in which competitors 6–12 traipse through a smaller, one-mile course. After concluding the race, runners rinse off at the course's wash station and can describe their thrilling journeys to fellow racers and earthworms they befriended during their muddy plunge.
In comic books, sightings of masked and caped individuals means someone is about to get rescued. Sightings of these people at The Super Run are no different, except the beneficiaries of
these superheroes are charities in need of funds. The Super Run partners with non-profit organizations across the country to host superhero-themed events that raise funds and awareness for each charity’s cause. The Super Run’s super staff provides logistical support, helps charities pick out the location to hold the run, and manages volunteers who recruit sponsors and work the run. Charity runs take place from coast to coast, including Seattle, Honolulu, and Gotham City.
The Rhino Challenge is one of the few races where contestants are encouraged not to break away from the pack—unless, of course, their friends and families are sprinting alongside them. The race, which preaches teamwork, community, and family, unfolds across a 5K course. Runners work together to hurdle a slew of obstacles, each of which has a path for "Elite”, ”Amateur”, and “Beginner” racers. To foster the community abroad, the race benefits local charities.