As we celebrate the first few days of fall by sipping on our Pumpkin Spiced Lattes and dropping the children off at school, your weekend plans are beginning to change from poolside barbecues to football tailgates. But you can only resist the Halloween candy for so long and soon the cool, crisp air will invite you to take your workouts outside again. And you will be just in time because the Fall Racing Season has just begun!
Whether you have been running road races for years or considering your first this year, rest assured you have plenty of opportunities this Fall. In fact, if you are looking for something to train for, here is a list of races you might think about adding to your Fall Racing Schedule.
For those of you who like a little FUN in your RUN:
- The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K Run/Walk might be the nation’s largest and most well-known fall road race. Benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, this race hosts hundreds of thousands of runners and walkers all invited to Pink Out their wardrobe and take to the streets. Held nationwide each year during Breast Cancer Awareness month, (October) the Race for the Cure is a celebration of life and hope for all those affected by this illness. It is an empowering atmosphere for people of all ages. Find out when a city near you is hosting this event at http://apps.komen.org/raceforthecure/FindARacefortheCure.aspx.
- The Color Run – Held in Worldwide Cities Year Round – The Color Run has been dubbed the “Happiest 5K on the Planet” as it celebrates healthiness, happiness, and individuality. This un-timed race sends you along city streets with your fellow color-chasers to stations at which you are blasted with colored powders, water, gels, and glitter! Choose to “shine by day” or “glow by night”. The Color Run benefits local charities in the city the race is held in (i.e. Children’s Hospitals, Boys & Girls Clubs, United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, etc.) The race party at the finish features music, plenty of photo ops, and more chances to add some color to your wardrobe. For more information or to find a Color Run near you, go to thecolorrun.com.
- Will run for Chocolate? Try the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k also known as “America’s Sweetest Race” hosted by RAM Racing. This race is held nationwide from October-early April and benefits The Ronald McDonald House. The first Hot Chocolate race was held in Chicago, IL in 2008 and has gained exponential popularity ever since. Racers receive a finisher’s mug filled with hot chocolate to enjoy along with access to chocolate fondue fountains and dipp-able treats! Have your family and friends meet you at the finish line for music, games, and bounce house fun! Visit hotchocolate15k.com to find one near you!
For the THRILL SEEKERS:
- Are you ready for the Zombie Apocalypse? Find out at the Zombie Run Escape! This race hosts custom events for unique venues. The final race of the season will be held on October 24, 2015 in Perry, GA at the Guardian Center, a former cold-war nuclear missile plant converted to be the nation’s premier disaster preparation and validation center. You can register as a runner or join the Zombie horde. The Zombie Runs benefit Smile Train, an organization that assists American families in providing corrective surgeries for children born with cleft palates. For more information on the chase, visit zombierun.com.
- Can’t make it to Georgia? Don’t worry, check out The Zombie Mud Run. You will run for your life through terrain and obstacles as you avoid zombie attacks! This race benefits the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and is held in Northeast cities during the fall. This organization also puts on a Zombie Night Run, a 1 mile course held during the Shocktoberfest in Reading, PA. For more info visit www.thezombiemudrun.com.
- If you like the idea of obstacles and getting muddy, but aren’t into zombies check out the Warrior Dash. This is a great race in which to make your obstacle course racing debut. Most Warrior Dash races are 5K distances with 10-15 obstacles to challenge you along the way. The obstacles are not mandatory and there is no punishment if you come upon an obstacle that isn’t quite for you. The Warrior Dash benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and is held worldwide from April – October. Go to www.warriordash.com to find one near you.
For those looking for a race with a Holiday theme:
- Check out the Turkey Trot held nationwide on Thanksgiving Day. This race is put on by local businesses (typically health care facilities) to benefit local and national charity organizations. Bring the family to run, dress, and act like a turkey before you eat the turkey. The distance is set by the race organizer and ranges from 3-8 miles. Over 300 cities are participating in 2015. Click on the link to find a Turkey Trot Race near you. http://www.active.com/search?keywords=turkey+trot&location=Everywhere&category=Activities&daterange=All+future+dates.
- Jingle all the way at the Jingle Bell Run/Walk 5K. Don your own jingle bells and join the likes of Santa, his reindeer, the elves, gingerbread men and women, and many more festive characters. In case you were wondering, yes it is all about the costumes at the Jingle Bell Run. This event is held nationwide in November & December to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. Pull out your red and green and walk or run for those who can’t at a Jingle Bell 5K this year. Check http://www.arthritis.org/get-involved/jingle-bell-run-walk/ for dates and locations near you.
Now that fall is officially here, set yourself a new goal. Pick a race, to challenge yourself, to run for fun, or to raise awareness for something close to your heart! To find more races near you, go to www.active.com/running!