Active Vacation Series: What’s Happening in the Race Scene

race scene
It’s never been a better time to be a runner. Whether you’re thinking of getting started on a running program, or have been running for years, there is a plethora of fun races to strike the match of motivation. Here are some of my favorite running race trends.

Themed Races

These races tend to hover around the 5K distance and pack a huge fun factor punch on the course. Start with a plain white shirt at The Color Run 5K, and as you run through the paint powder stations, you create your own colorful race shirt. From the minute you cross the start line in the Zombie Race, you’ll be running in horror from the hordes of undead whose mission is to devour and eat you alive! Get your hip on and run The Electric Run. A nightclub meets 5K, you’ll run this course at night, while wearing glowing, blinking, lights and finishes with a dance party.

Destination Races

Blend your vacation with a race in an interesting destination. Runners are traveling the globe to race in all fifty states and seven continents. You can explore Alaska on a cruise ship and run a half marathon along the way, run the Vegas strip at night, the Great Wall of China and through destination based courses all over the world. Pack your shoes, your running gear and explore the world with your own two feet.

Adventure Running Races

Take your running off the beaten path and challenge yourself in an adventure running race. Trail and obstacle racing is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation. Tap into your inner warrior in three-to-four mile Warrior Dash course featuring 12 extreme obstacles including flames, the warrior wall, chaotic cargo netting, and Alcatraz water crossings. If you’re looking for something a little more zen, try a trail race. Dirt inspired, you’ll get hypnotized by the rhythm of the trail, and challenge every muscle in your body.

Boutique Races

Looking for a unique race, but don’t like the crowds or the expensive race fees? Run the Lost Dutchman marathon, half, 10K, 8K or 2-mile. There is something for everyone, the race is limited to an intimate 500 participants, and you’ll enjoy a chaos-free pre-race atmosphere with roaring campfires, blankets to sit on, and hot cocoa or coffee (they had me at coffee). As you navigate the challenging trail and road course, you’ll be treated to the sunrise over the Superstition Mountains.

Virtual Races

Don’t have the time to travel to a race? Run a Virtual Race for bling or charity. Once you sign up, you run a specified distance and on your own time schedule, and submit your finish time and distance. It’s all based on the honor system, and often includes a medal and contribution to a charity. Shop these races carefully as some are not legit. You can find reliable Virtual Races at Moon Joggers and Will Run for Bling.
Coach Jenny Hadfield is a published author, writer, coach, public speaker and endurance athlete. To find out more, visit our Meet Our Writers page or visit Coach Jenny’s website.