11 Themed Races To Make Running And Exercise Fun


In all honesty, I hate running. I complain about it every single time I go to the gym. I find nothing more boring than a session on the treadmill, but I do what I have to do so that I can squeeze into a pair of skinny jeans.

But nowadays, there are plenty of options to make running an enjoyable and social activity. Fun runs are more popular than ever and there is a theme for just about everyone. There are runs that involve eating doughnuts, getting wine wasted and dressing like zombies.

If themed outfits aren’t your thing, you can just get naked. In addition to the fun, most of these events contribute to charitable causes.

Krispy Kreme Challenge

Eating a dozen doughnuts is a foodie’s dream come true. The Krispy Kreme Challenge is a unique opportunity to burn off fat while you’re eating. Each participant has to eat 12 doughnuts (2,400 calories) during this five-mile run that tests both your running abilities and stomach capacity — just be careful not to vomit.

The Zombie Run

Have you threatened your friends against speaking while “The Walking Dead” is airing? Do you crave the rush of adventure that comes from humans outrunning a zombie apocalypse? In this 5K, you can participate as a human or a zombie — the undead get professional makeovers before the race.

The zombies chase after the humans and attempt to “infect” as many as possible by stealing flags off their bodies. It ends with an apocalypse after party. Yes, it’s not your typical 5K, but it’s certainly a fun one.

Disney Princess Half Marathon

What girl doesn’t want to feel like royalty for the day? In this half marathon, all participants run through the Disney parks dressed as princesses, complete with a tutu and tiara, while people cheer you on along the way. The only way this could be better would be if Prince Charming was a prize for the winner.

Electric Run

This nighttime 5K is more of a rave than a workout. There is a light show that are runners are encouraged to dance to throughout the course. Participants receive glow necklaces, bracelets and glasses to complete their rave look. There are several "courselands," each with a different mood, from upbeat to more mellow. It all ends with an Electric Run Finish Celebration, where alcohol is served participants who are of age.

The Hot Chocolate 15/5K

If you’re a chocoholic, this is the race for you. You get endorphins from both the running and from indulging in chocolate at the post-race after party. Those who complete the run get gift bags full of hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and other treats.

The New York Hot Dog Challenge

Hot dogs are a quintessential New York food. In the race’s course, runners have to stop at 10 hot dog carts and eat one hot dog (bun included) before proceeding. There’s no better way to discover your favorite hot dog cart in the city than by taste-testing them all.

Wine Country Runs

Enjoy running this 5K through a picturesque vineyard in California compete with complimentary wine for all participants. The male and female winners are rewarded with their weight in wine! There's even a half-mile grape stomp for kids who want to get their “I Love Lucy” on.

Bad Prom Run

We all remember prom: questionable dresses, regrettable dates and now-untagged Facebook photos. Well, here’s your chance for a fun redo. In this 5K, you will endure four stereotypical prom themes: An Evening in Paris, Under the Sea, Titanic and Fairytale Romance. There are photo ops along the course for you to perfect your prom pose and a dance party at the finish line. Plus, you get to wear one of those bad prom outfits that’s probably stuffed in a box in your parents’ basement.

Mustache Dache

Mustaches need not be a trend limited to just men — these days, the above-lip line of hair adorns so many accessories, from greeting cards to necklaces. This 5K happens all around the country and coincides with No Shave November. Even if it’s just one that’s painted on, all runners have to rock a ‘stache. And, if running’s not your thing, you can enter the mustache contest for pride and bragging rights.

Caliente Bare Dare 5K

Though many of these fun runs have themed outfits and accessories, sometimes less is more. Take it all off and dare to run through a nudist resort. Sure, you can check out the hot bodies; if the physiques are less than sexy, you have motivation to run away faster. There's even a post-race after party... with no shortage of nudity.

Undie Run

Let’s be real: we all hate wearing pants. Prance around in your undies and participate in what MTV described as “the sexiest charity work you can ever do.” You can even enter a contest for your college to have an Undie Run with Will Ferrell to reenact that infamous “Old School” scene.

It doesn’t matter how fast you run these races; the themes will take your running experience to another level of fun and allow for some hilarious memories.

Photo via Electric Run