If you couldn't tell by the saturation of Color Run posts on your Instagram feed, non-traditional "fun runs" have been increasing in popularity over the past few years. While some of these food-filled races are more serious than others, the concept holds the same: running can be fun, especially when there is food involved.
Offering both a 4.5 mile run and Half Marathon, the Mud & Chocolate Trail Run awards finishers with chocolate medals. Afterwards, runners enjoy a reception filled with truffles, cupcakes, and other chocolatey treats. The 2017 dates are set for the end of April, leaving plenty of time to train (for the running and the chocolate eating).
If you aren't looking to take yourself too seriously, let beer take your runner's high to the next level. Cincinnati Beer Run participants sample specialty craft beers every half mile of the 2.5-mile course. Keep an eye out for the 2017 dates, because the music, food, and beer-filled post-race party is supposed to be just as fun as the race itself.
If you're not up to running the 26.2 miles that the New York Marathon entails, try the NYC Pizza Run. NYC Pizza Run participants must eat a slice of cheesy, dreamy, New York pizza at three checkpoints spanning the two-mile course. We've all ran to eat pizza before, so why not do it in an official race setting (and get a T-shirt for it)?
If you've ever found yourself suddenly hitting the bottom of a Ben & Jerry's container while mindlessly eating ice cream, this is the race for you. Runners are expected to run half the 5K, eat a pint of Ben & Jerry's, then finish the remaining 1.5 miles. No need to feel guilty about the calories after– the running, and the fact that the proceeds benefit People Helping People Global, certainly balances it all out.
If the Mud & Chocolate Trail Run went well, I've got another run for you. This running tour of "The Sweetest Place on Earth" takes runners past landmarks including Hersheypark and Chocolate Avenue, and registration includes two tickets to Hersheypark in the Dark. Is there a better way to recover from a 13.1 mile run than consuming endless amounts of chocolate in Hersheypark?
Meat lovers, rejoice– this Orlando 5K is serving up bacon at refuel checkpoints along the course. Training will be a breeze if you think about the bacon awaiting on race day. In the meantime, try this bacon mac and cheese recipe to get hyped for race day, or fuel up before training with these bacon and egg toast cups.
This race is not for weak legs or light stomachs. The Krispy Kreme Challenge entails running 2.5 miles through downtown Raleigh, North Carolina to a Krispy Kreme location, where participants must eat 12 donuts (totaling 2,400 calories) and then run 2.5 miles to the finish line– tough for even the biggest donut aficionados. The proceeds benefit the UNC Children's Hospital, so eating those donuts serves a great cause.
While bacon and donuts are great for race day, these pre-workout foods will give you the energy you need during training. Lace up your sneakers, grab a few friends, and sign up to run. It's bound to be a good time...just don't vomit.