3…2…RUN! San Jose Summer Races
You may associate 5Ks with getting up way too early and digging out that active wear you use, well, not as often as you should. No more. The growing popularity of themed runs such as The Color Run, Foam Glow, Run With Zombies, Rock n’ Roll Marathon, and Color in Motion are coming to San Jose and are changing the face of fun runs.
Each of these races puts fun first and run second by offering plenty of distractions and attractions throughout the race course. The atmosphere at these events is electric and fast paced but you don’t necessarily need to bring your Nike’s to keep up. The Color Run, coming to San Jose on May 28th, for example does not post race times. It’s focus is on happiness, health, and individuality. That theme must be resonating with runners and fun runners alike because according to its website, The Color Run is now the single largest event series in the world, offering races in over 35 countries in 2015 and growing in 2016. Click here to register for The Color Run San Jose.
Normal races encourage participants to be courteous and practice basic runner’s etiquette. Not the case with some of these fun runs. At The Color Run (May 28th) and Foam Glow (Oct 15th) all of your fellow participants are out to get you. Each checkpoint lets you celebrate your progress by introducing a different color to attack with. (Ex: 1K is yellow, 2K is blue)
Runners come armed with colored powder, glow paint and confetti cannons. Foam Glow even has actual cannons that shoot neon foam at runners as they trek through the course. Upon finishing, runners are rewarded with a backup supply of color and it’s an every man for himself free for all. Grab some ammo for your light up bubble guns because this party will be glowing on for awhile. It’s all in good fun however, and The Color Run has aptly named itself “the happiest 5K on earth” while Foam Glows website boasts “The best race after party in the world”.
It stands to reason that if you are going to act a little crazy at these events, you should have the crazy outfit to match. For the Foam Glow, happening in San Jose on October 15th, participants get very creative with their apparel, decking out tutus with glow sticks, covering themselves in glow bracelets and necklaces and don’t even think about showing up without a couple pairs of flashing glow stick glasses.
If you really want to stand out, take your outfit to the next level by choosing a specific neon color for your team or creating a character. While making elaborate costumes is not required it certainly adds to the fun. Where else are you going to see a troop of hot pink butterflies racing against a pack of multicolored flashing glow worms. Click here to register for Foam Glow San Jose.
No need to bring your iPod either. These events come ready with multiple DJs, dance floors and plenty of bass to keep you moving throughout the race course. If dancing is your cardio, these themed runs are for you.
Consider the 5K portion of the course your warm-up because these events are all about the before and after party. Don’t even thinking about packing it in and heading home once you’ve reached the finish line. Runners are invited to stay and party into the early morning hours with food, beats, and at Foam Glow, blacklight EVERYTHING.
Because these runs are focused more on their individual themes than on speed, the races are a good fit for every age and ability. Avid runners can enjoy themselves alongside families and park walkers. Strollers are allowed and for most of the runs, and some offer free entry to children under 5 with a paying adult participant.
While technically the paints, powders, and bubbles hurled around during the race are washable, it is recommended runners wear something they don’t mind leaving a few colorful souvenirs on, or in the case of Run With Zombies, coming to San Jose on October 29th, fake blood. Click here to register for Run With Zombies San Jose.
These themed fun run races are happening across the country, with events being hosted every weekend throughout the summer and fall. In San Jose alone there are over 10 themed races from May to November. They are becoming so popular that some cities are opting to host multiple races per year or making a long weekend out of it by hosting multiple days in a row. The Rock n’ Roll Marathon series is a 2 day event to benefit St. Judes that will hit San Jose October 1st and 2nd. Click here to register for Rock n’ Roll Marathon San Jose.
While the big race names are successful in gathering the most participants, local communities are quickly catching on and creating their own localized events around the same theme. Some of these runs give back to charity and some do not.
To add some personal meaning to this event, choose a cause you care about and theme your outfits or T-shirts around raising awareness for your charity’s name or mission. Use social media and race hashtags to let people know who you are running for. If you are really ambitious you could even ask local business to make a donation matching the cost of your race participation entry fee.
One look around the starting line of a themed race will have you thinking, what’s going on here? Is it a dance party? A paint fight? A zombie apocalypse? A brightly colored parade of weirdos who reject traditional exercise? Yes, the races are all of those things. It may not be a serious runner’s cup of tea, but that is kind of the point. Finally, a race for people who hate running, but love fun. So throw some glow in the dark laces in your running shoes, throw on your best superhero cape and hit the course in San Jose this summer and fall. See a complete listing of runs and registration links below or visit our Events Calendar.
Katie Dillman is a Communications Coordinator with Premier Glow, an online retailer of glow products. She enjoys working with businesses through copywriting to share ideas that connect with their audience.