D.C.’s Themed Runs: a Winning Trend – and Yours to Win
Home to everything from gourmet cupcakes to rooftop bars, D.C. is fertile ground for new trends to take root. This summer, Washington welcomes another winning fad: themed runs.
“Take running and add a whole lot of silly,” said Dean Silkstone, manager of Georgetown Running Company, describing this new athletic phenomenon. Ranging between three and 10 kilometers, the races have their own quirky obstacles and characteristics. These themes give the events a special twist that makes, as Silkstone explained, “running enjoyable even for people who never before considered themselves runners.”
“The events focus not so much on competition but instead on fun,” said Silkstone, so that people of all ages, gender, and levels of athleticism can participate. College freshman Gawan Fiore said, “The vast majority were 18-28 [years old]” in an electric run he recently completed. “Our races end up being about 55 percent female,” added Michael Epstein, president of the Down & Dirty Obstacle Run.
However, that’s not to say these races are not family-friendly. “It is a great father-daughter experience,” said mud-running veteran Jim Delgado, calling both runs he completed with his daughters “memorable and a lot of fun.”
The D.C. area will host singles’ runs, mud runs, rave runs, color runs and firefighter-themed runs, to name a few. Here is a preview of the most spunky, intriguing ones coming up soon:
Run n’ Mate 5K kicks off its five-run series on Friday, July 19. Describing its participants as “a community of young, active adults who want to meet other people with similar interests,” this race says it provides the “perfect opportunity” for runners to socialize. On Friday evening, participants gather for happy hour at a bar to mingle with – and motivate – each other. Saturday morning, runners complete the 5K. At night, they enjoy a post-race celebration in a local bar or club with their fellow finishers. Details can be found at here.
Down & Dirty Obstacle Run takes place on Sunday, July 21. “People looking to test themselves and try a new, exciting event” should try this race, said Epstein. Offering both 10Ks and 5Ks, participants climb a 24-foot cargo net, crawl under a rope net, leap over logs, and trek through a thick mud pit before completing the course. Details can be found here.
The Rave Run happens on Saturday, Aug. 17. This 5K, starting at 8:30 P.M., refers to itself as the event that brings “the adrenaline pumping music and special effects from electronic festivals into a fun run course…with music and light stations, neon-clad runners and a thriving after-party with live music.” Details can be found here.
Color in Motion 5K, on Saturday, Sept. 14, covers runners in pigments, paints, and pastels throughout the course. The run directs participants to wear white and prepare for “your moving body [to be] plastered in an explosion of vibrant color with all your friends” and promises to “transform a group of ordinary runners into a moving rainbow,” giving participants and spectators alike a morning to remember. Details can be found here.
Hero Rush Obstacle Race, taking place on Saturday, Sept. 21, describes itself as “the tough, crazy, fear-facing fun 4-5 mile race with 17+ totally unique firefighter and hero-themed obstacles.” Exposing participants to the types of athletic challenges faced by firefighters, the event pushes runners to push themselves outside their comfort zones and test their physical limits. Details can be found here.
With courses scattered throughout D.C., Maryland, and Virginia and such a broad range of themes, there indeed seems to be an event for everyone.
Plus, since this themed run phenomenon appears to be here to stay, why not run, walk, crawl, jump or even dance along?