I have long said I don’t run unless I’m being chased. And for a while, it served as a convenient excuse for the fact that I legitimately thought I could not run because I hated it so much. Humor as a deflection for the cardiovascularly challenged, you know.
But if hating something meant you were incapable of it, I wouldn’t be able to go to the dentist or clean my bathroom. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you’re my teeth or tile), I do both.
When I finally found the courage to train and run a 5k, I realized something new and important: I don’t need to be chased to run, but I also don’t like to run. And so running went to the proverbial back of the closet, only to be worn occasionally but often considered, like a tie-dyed vest or overalls (important note: my closet contains neither of these items). There were better, more fun cardio workouts to be had, like surfing and kickboxing.
And then came the Color Run. Suddenly, friends across all forms of social media were talking about signing up, and soon after, posting photos. All the while, I didn’t get the allure. You show up to run a 5k and people throw colored powder at you throughout the race? Colored powder! I’m sure that’s totally safe to inhale! If there’s anything I don’t need when running, it’s MORE impediments to breathing And this polychromatic running experience doesn’t come cheap, either: It costs $30 to $50 to participate.
I still can’t quite comprehend what inspires one to do the Color Run other than its trendiness, but people all over my Facebook feed have been showing up in white t-shirts and Color Run headbands. After multiple acquaintances changed their profile pictures to tie-dyed hues, I began to look into other trendy races.
And that’s when I realized: My joke about not running unless I’m being chased was actually possible. Enter: Run For Your Lives, the Zombie Apocalypse 5k.
I’m not joking. The level of meh I felt about the Color Run was immediately balanced by an intense desire to experience a 5k while being chased by zombies. It’s like an obstacle course, haunted house and race all in one! And at the end, there’s a party instead of the typical sad table of bagels and bananas (not that I’m hating on bagels and bananas, potassium is important y’all).
FYI: If you’re not motivated by the idea of people (er, zombies) chasing you, you can register as a zombie and chase runners yourself. Get ‘em, tiger.
Unfortunately, Run For Your Lives isn’t having a New York City race this year, according to their website. But there are zombie runs all over the country so hopefully there’s one near you. And if there is, will you please register and tell me all about it so I can live vicariously through you?
If zombies aren’t your thing, never fret my pet, there are plenty of other unique and exciting races for all types. You can’t swing a sports bra on my Facebook feed without seeing 10 friends who have taken part in obstacle races that would make the challenge creators on Survivor weep with joy, or “mud runs.” Supposedly it’s extra challenging to run, jump, dive, and climb while carrying 15 extra pounds of mud. If this appeals to you, check out the Warrior Dash, whose targeted Facebook ads may actually work since that’s how I learned about them, and Dirty Girl, a women’s only mud run.
There are lots plenty of other whacky, trendy and novel races, but the overall theme is simple: Fun. And making running fun. Why run boring laps around a park when you can get exercise and a party all in one? Why run … when you can be chased?
Photos: Run For Your Life Facebook page.