And you thought running can’t be fun

Come celebrate 30 years!

Exercise has always basically been the same: Burn more calories than you consume and you have exercised enough for the day.

If you are like me and get tired of the same old workout routines rather quickly, new imaginative goals that seem fun and rewarding instantly caught my attention.

Check out these three events that could be added to your workout plan this summer.

 The Color Run

This 3.1-mile/5K run is new and exciting because as participants run, walk, skip, and make their way through the untimed course, they are splattered with five colored powders that mark what kilometer of the race they have reached.

Each runner is instructed to wear some kind of white clothing to the start-line, basically acting as a blank canvas, and will collect yellow, green, blue, purple, and pink cornstarch based powders as they run. And while being tie-dyed as you run is fun all by itself, they add to the excitement with a “Finish Festival”, where runners, volunteers, and spectators join together to watch live bands, collect even more color, eat, and celebrate together.

Another excellent perk of The Color Run is that proceeds benefit a different charity in each city, so while having fun you are also giving!

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Sadly there is not a color run scheduled to come to Alaska… yet. The closest city The Color Run is scheduled in so far for 2012 is Seattle, Washington on May 13th.

For more information on this touring event, visit www.thecolorrun.com

Tough Mudder

This event is quite a bit more intense, however still seems like buckets of fun.  Created by Harvard Business School senior Will Dean in 2010 after becoming tired of boring marathon runs, this 10-12 mile obstacle course challenges teams and individuals to form camaraderie in order to make it through.

The Tough Mudder was designed by British Special Forces and includes 25 obstacles and challenges such as log carries, mud holes, jumping into freezing cold water and swimming a channel, running through live wires (yes, hanging wires with electricity coursing through them where you will get somewhat electrocuted), rope climbs, monkey bars, and many, many more that are too various and time consuming to list.  The Tough Mudder boasts to be “The Toughest Event on the Planet” and each event is set up differently from the last.

This course also has a post-event party where participants over 21 can pick up their complimentary beer for being in the race and join spectators to chow on food for sale.

The Tough Mudders proceeds go to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project where donations are given to help people who have served our country and returned home with both physical and mental injuries.

People interested can go to www.toughmudder.com to vote to bring one to Alaska and for more information. 

Run For Your Lives

 Everyone knows theme parties are fun, so how about a theme 5K run?

Run For Your Lives is a zombie infested 5K-obstacle course that really goes all the way to make it seem like runners are in a post-apocalyptic fight for their lives.

First, people interested in registering will have to choose whether to be a survivor trying to outrun the flesh and brain hungry zombies or a flesh and brain hungry zombie.  Second, the survivors, or runners, will be given flag belts that indicate their health and told to look out for hidden health bonus packs throughout the course. Since there are multiple routes to reach the finish line, this is not as easy as it sounds. The zombies will arrive on race day to be transformed via makeup and wardrobe professionals before the race and choose to be either “chaser”(fast) or “stumbler” (slow/stationary) zombies. The zombies can only grab survivors’ health flags; not trip, tackle, or attack survivors.

Both survivors and zombies receive a specific perks package, including medals to recognize their participations, however only survivors are eligible for awards like Top-3 Men and Top-3 Women.

This event is also finished up with the “Apocalypse Party”, where zombies, survivors, and spectators can come together to watch live entertainment, play games, and enjoy food, adult beverages and all things zombie-themed.

Run For Your Lives’ charitable partner is the American Red Cross.

There are currently no scheduled appearances of Run For Your Lives in Alaska, the closest city it will be visiting is in Onalaska, Washington, 2 hours south of Seattle.

For more information, visit www.runforyourlives.com.