For some, just running a regular old 5K is a nightmare on its own. But for the craziest athletes out there, the ones who crave a thrill beyond that adrenaline rush that comes with the start of a race, there’s no better time of year than Fall.
As the leaves change color and the days grow shorter, all across the country races transform from ordinary runs in the park to Halloween-themed fright fests and costume contests. From being chased by zombies to running through wooded courses lined with menacing monsters and hauling pumpkins to racing through historically haunted towns, thrill-seeking athletes looking for a challenge that goes beyond beating their best time don’t have to search hard for ways to celebrate the season.
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The following 12 races include everything from the Headless Horseman's hometown and happy Halloween costume contests to zombies, killer scarecrows, and even family friendly fun runs complete with apple bobbing and face painting. So, whether you're after the adventure of (literally) running through your worst nightmare or simply want to prance around and show off your killer costume-making skills, these races will make all your Halloween dreams (both good and bad) come true.
Sleepy Hollow Halloween 10K— Sleepy Hollow, NY
Could there be a more festive way to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve than a scenic 10K run through The Headless Horseman’s hometown? Parts of the race course run along the Hudson River with views of holiday appropriate sites like Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, the Headless Horseman Bridge, and the Old Dutch Church. Non- runners and kids can sign-up for a 1-mile fun run that includes face painting, Halloween crafts, an obstacle course, and more. rivertownrunners.org/sleepy-hollow-10k/
The Haunted Half & 5K— Salt Lake City, UT
From apple bobbing to doughnut eating Haunted Half participants can expect to break for much more than just water and Gatorade along this 13.1-mile course through Salt Lake City. While the race doesn’t involve any brain-hungry zombies or menacing monsters, runners must make their way through Memory Grove— two miles of private road lined with “family friendly” frights like “Ghosts Gone Crazy,” “The Glowing Tunnel, “The Webby Reign of Giant Spiders,” and “The Unearthed Cemetery.” thehauntedhalf.com
The Great Pumpkin Hall— Littleton, CO
If your idea of Halloween fun includes hauling the heaviest pumpkin you can find for 2 miles (or more), then sign yourself up for The Great Pumpkin Haul. Lug your big orange orb through fields and forests and over creeks and hay bales to prove your fitness in the most festive fashion. Make sure you hold on tight the whole way because only those who finish without dropping their pumpkin are considered winners. Active.com
Who says you have to limit your hiking trip to the closest national park?
Summer has a way of inspiring us to get a little more active than usual — often because we can take more of our activities outside.
Summer is meant to be fun, not painful or itchy, and certainly not deadly.
Enjoy summer more than ever by eating smart as the temperature rises.