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.
Imagine a major US city overrun with people leaping over police cars and taxis, sprinting while hauling water jugs and sandbags, and scaling ropes that dangle alongside the skyline. No, they're not actors filming an action scene for a TV show—they're participants in the City Challenge Race.
During the event, the city sprouts more than 20 obstacles that athletes tackle along the 3.5-mile course. Women and men scale walls, carry heavy objects, and lug the ceremonial key to the city through the streets toward the finish line. Once there, they can high-five each other and themselves over a challenge completed as well as funds raised for charity.
No matter when your birthday is, you deserve a massive celebration. Each iteration of The Birthday Run—held in more than 125 cities and a dozen countries—invites people of all ages to come together in celebration of another year of existence. During each untimed event, participants walk or jog along a 5K course peppered with multiple party zones where live DJs and light shows get runners dancing. The whole event culminates in an after-party on the mainstage with guest performers that vary from city to city.
What would you do to survive if the dead began to walk—or worse, to sprint? Brave individuals can find out at Zombie Rush obstacle course. The apocalypse conveniently starts the moment runners set foot on the event grounds and receive the keys to their survival: three flags that the nearby zombies want even more than they want brains or a decent moisturizer. Participants must protect those flags while traversing five kilometers of muddy obstacles, ever wary of the shambling threats that lurk in the shadows. Alternately, they can sign up to be the shambling threats themselves, and have their zombie makeup applied by professional artists. No matter which faction they choose, everyone makes up afterward at the Compound, where beer is served, music is played, and performers re-enact thrilling perimeter breaches.
The frighteningly fun run is one of the many events put on by Ultimate Combatant, an organization specializing in challenging mud races. With a founder and staff made up of firefighters, fitness experts, and members of the armed forces, the company's races aim to test participants' physical and mental prowess.
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During the Superhero Scramble, racers of all fitness levels tear across arduous terrain littered with body- and mind-challenging obstacles. Participants must wade through mud and, to reach the finish line, persevere through a barrage of Super Slime generously donated by retired Ghostbusters.
Upon completing the race, athletes ride their endorphin high into a party stocked with ice-cold beer. There, they can mingle with other contestants, sway to live music, and see awards doled out to the fastest runners in each age bracket. Male and female Scramble Gamble contestants compete for prizes that can cover the cost of replacing the engines in their sneakers. The benefits of the race extend beyond the Gamble winners, too—the organizers donate a portion of the proceeds to charity.