Charity 5Ks, 10Ks, and half- and full-marathons can be found in every state. Runners choose to participate for a variety of reasons: they support the charity; they think the city is a great vacation destination; they like the cool medals awarded to winners; and, of course, they like the wacky themes, the wackier the better.
Theme races are fun and can be pretty funny. I remember the time my husband ran the “flying pig” marathon in Cincinnati, and a guy in a corn-dog suit came out of nowhere to cruise past him at the finish line! But what kind of race would entice even the least athletic person to get up off the couch and start moving? I have a few suggestions that are pretty darn sweet.
Ice Cream Race
There are several of these races around the county, but the one that gets the most publicity is in Centreville, Virginia. This race goes all out with spectators dressed in ice-cream-themed costumes shooting whipped cream at the runners. The runners also go through many different obstacles including a chocolate-syrup waterslide and a banana-peel pit. A costume contest is also part of the event.
Krispy Kreme Challenge
This race in Raleigh, North Carolina supports the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. Participants consume 2,400 calories, 12 donuts, and run 5 miles over the period of an hour. They promote the event as “a unique challenge of both athletic and gastrointestinal skills.” Participants run 2.5 miles from the North Carolina State University campus to a Krispy Kreme location, down a dozen glazed, and run back to where they started. It makes you wonder which time is faster, running to or running away from the donuts?
This run in Ann Arbor, Michigan is held on April 1st each year and supports ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) research. The racers are rewarded for their efforts with custom medals as well as an abundance of Twinkies at the finish line.
This race is actually a competition between people in Liberal, Kansas and Olney, England. It is held on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. Participants race to see who can run 415-yards and flip a pancake in the fastest time. This craziness has been going on since 1950.
Multiple states have cupcake races with plenty of different distances to choose to attack. Gainesville, Florida offers 5K, 10K, and – new this year – half-marathon distances, and they also donate to ALS research. Cummings, Georgia uses their 5K and 15K events to support the Atlanta Humane Society. Puppies and cupcakes are a definite win-win!
The Allstate Hot Chocolate Race
This race is billed as a movement, pun intended of course, with 5K and 15K races in 19 cities across the country. The race is set up with training schedules, attire, and a big party at the finish with a band and, of course, lots of hot chocolate.
Running may not be for everyone, but these sweet races may just be worth getting up off the couch for.