There’s a special breed of person who loves running, but listening to them talk can be is worse than the sound of nails down a chalkboard. You smile while they go on about how they just couldn’t even imagine starting their day without a nice calming five mile jog, while you damn well know you were in bed hitting snooze until the point where you couldn’t even shower or you’d have been late for work that morning. You nod in agreement as they talk about the mental clarity only sprinting around a track can bring, as you finish your third cup of daily “mental clarity” in the form of a grande iced latte.

The thing about these runners, or “the 1%” as they shall henceforth be referred to, is that they are clearly superior to the rest of us sloths. They were straight up born with something that most people would kill to have (imagine what a stone cold fox you would be if you didn’t hate running?! Oh dear GOD.) Seriously, if Darwinism is a real thing, why have the rest of us not died out yet? Fortunately, somewhere along the line, the 99% decided they wanted to cash in on the health benefits of running, but in a fashion more suited to their love of fun, and hatred of physical movement and lack of discipline. And thus, the fun 5k race was born. There are tons of these kinds of races out there, but for the sake of alliteration, here are five fun 5ks that make running as bearable as it can probably be:

1. The Color Run
There’s a reason the Color Run is referred to as the “Happiest 5k on the Planet.” Instead of waking up at the crack of dawn and heading to the gym/streets to get your fitness on, grab some buddies, throw on some all white clothes, and run (re: jog) ((re: walk)) this untimed 5k at your own pace… while being blasted with colorful paint at each checkpoint. The only real competition here is who looks the most like a rainbow threw up on them by the end of the day.

The Color Run paris 11R*nners in Paris

2. The Electric Run Sometimes, turning up the music can help you concentrate less on how much simple tasks like breathing can hurt when you’re running. But headphones can only go up to a certain volume. Some call that volume “max,” while most of us call it “not loud enough.” The Electric Run laughs in the face of your stupid white ear buds. During this 5k, you’ll be exercising during a rave. In fact, the bright, neon, glowing, blinking wonderland you’ll be running through, combined with the blaring house music will probably cause you such sensory overload you won’t even have enough mental capacity to feel the lung burn!

LED-TubesEat, sleep, run, repeat.

3. The Epic Fail Challenge Have you ever watched the ABC hit TV show Wipeout? While you were watching, did you sit there and smugly think “That isn’t so hard!” while eating nachos from the comfort of your La-Z-Boy? Whelp, you’re wrong. And here’s the chance to prove that to yourself! Grab a fork and a big ol’ slice of humble pie before conquering unsuccessfully trying to conquer obstacles inspired by the television show laid out along a 5k stretch. Poor humored people need not apply.

ZC2_6244Not so easy now, is it?

4. The Jingle Bell Run Sleigh Bells ring, are ya listening? Well that’s awkward, considering it’s not December… Get in the holiday spirit early, while supporting a greater cause than your own fitness (TAKE THAT, 6AM JOGGERS). During this race, one of the Arthritis Foundation’s largest national fundraisers, don ye now your gayest apparel and fa-la-la at your own pace, all the way to the finish line. Feel good knowing that you did something great for not only your own body, but for someone else’s, too. Ain’t that what the holidays are all about?

8721274842_6a2b5230f3_z(ProTip: It’s a costume party, people get pretty into it.)

5. The Zombie Mud Run
Do you prefer it dirty and sweaty? (I’m referring to your workouts.) This inventive mud run will get you there. Worry not about your motivation, because if last night’s cheese fries binge, combined with the impending swim suit season doesn’t provide the proper motivation to get you up and running, maybe being chased by zombies will. You’ll be too amused (or concerned for your life) to feel your body transforming from “soft at best” into a lean, mean, un-dead surviving fitness machine.



The best part about these races is that they all end in after parties, ranging from the nice holiday music and hot chocolate Jingle Bell Run reception, to the casual hot dog and beer BBQ Epic Fail Challenge recovery, all the way to the full on alcohol-fueled Electric Run rager. Because really, 99%, is there any better way to reward yourself post workout than by consuming ten fold the number of calories you just burned off? HELL to the no.