For many people, a demanding, run-of-the-mill race full of competitive spirit is the perfect sporting challenge. For others, however, this is all a bit too serious, and nowhere near exciting enough.
Enter: the themed run! Crazy, kooky and very, very fun, these races are cropping up all over the UK. With the focus on having a good time rather than finishing in the top ten, any theme goes – you’ll see what we mean when you read on…
- The Sumo Run
To some, a five km race may seem like a big enough challenge, but try tackling one whilst wearing a sumo suit! The Sumo Run is a fun-filled race for charity where each and every participant takes to the course in a sumo wrestler suit, which has previously seen the race set a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people running in this bulky attire.
- Electric Run
If you feel like day-time races are so last year, you need a themed run that’s a little more electric. The atmosphere at the Electric Run practically fizzles with excitement, with participants decked out in their brightest neon and a whole variety of themed ‘lands’ lighting the way along the route. What could be better than running through an electro rainforest? A finish celebration incorporating DJs and dazzling lighting effects, of course!
With tickets for the London Wembley event on 2nd May now on sale, don’t miss your chance to grab your tickets!
Location: London, Manchester and Glasgow.
- The Color Run
If lashings of colour and a vibrant atmosphere are likely to spur you on during a race, then The Color Run is for you. Otherwise known as ‘the happiest five k on the planet’, as you make your way towards the finish line you will be showered Technicolor dye that turns the thousands of participants into a moving rainbow. Followed by a fun-filled ‘Color Festival’ complete with music, this race is all about healthiness, happiness and individuality.
Location: London, Manchester, Birmingham and Belfast.
- Tough Guy
Tough Guy is a hard-as-nails mud run designed to test participants’ mental and physical stamina, aiming to help them ‘experience the addictiveness of fear’. Heights, confined spaces, fire, water and electricity come together in a minefield of waist-high mud, barbed wire and punishing wild terrain. It’s safe to say you need nerves of steel and a whole lot of training to complete this run!
- Run to the Beat
What could be more fitting than a themed run sponsored by a deodorant brand? Sure’s ‘Run to the Beat’ is London’s only music-themed ten k race, with DJs playing right along the length of the route to help you keep your rhythm and keep spirits high. With past DJs including Sigma, Nick Grimshaw, Calvin Harris and Annie Mac, you can rest assured that you’ll be raving as you run!
- Olney Pancake Race
Food-themed runs like The Chocolate Race and the New York City Pizza Run are largely associated with states across the pond, but little do many people know that we actually have our own foodie fun run here in the UK! The Olney Pancake Race is hugely popular, and actually dates back to 1445 when (as the story goes) a local housewife heard the chime of the bell signalling the start of the Shriving church service, and breaking off from making pancakes, sprinted to the church with her frying pan in hand, still dressed in her apron and headscarf. These accessories are still toted by the Olney runners today!
- Wolf Run
Whether you prefer to run as part of a pack or tackle themed runs as a lone wolf, you are sure to be intrigued by the Wolf Run. Combining challenging obstacles with ten kilometres of untamed terrain – open ground, woodland, lakes and lots of thick mud – this themed run will test your strength and stamina to their limit. It’s tough, but very, very fun!
Location: Leicestershire and Warwickshire
- Zombie Evacuation Race
This race’s mission statement says it all: ‘Scare the masses, and get them running for their lives!’ The Zombie Evacuation Race definitely isn’t for the fainthearted, incorporating a five km course peppered with challenging terrain, even more challenging obstacles and – you guessed it – a horde of brain-thirsty zombies! Get ‘bitten’ and you become infected yourself, or if the zombie lifestyle is actually your cup of tea, you can apply to be a zombie rather than a runner.
- Great Gorilla Run
This is a race run by gorillas, for gorillas. Every year, entrants don their gorilla suits to run, walk or jog eight km around our capital city, all in aid of The Gorilla Organization. With just 880 mountain gorillas left in the wild, all money raised by the race goes to a very worthy cause. Plus, you don’t even have to buy your own gorilla suit! You will be supplied with one by the charity.
- Tough Mudder
Mud running is the biggest phenomenon to have hit themed races since the sumo suit, and in particular, Tough Mudder. Complete with obstacles that wouldn’t look out of place at an army training camp (including barbed wire, rope nets and lots and lots of mud), this race is seriously fun. Combined with an 18 – 20km route, you don’t have to be crazy to sign up, but it helps!
Location: London, Midlands, Yorkshire, North West and Scotland.
Will you be trading in your annual park race for something with a little more edge? Or skipping the warming and making sure that your first ever competitive run is crazier than the norm? Let us know!
Here at tombola bingo, we’re up for a few bonkers challenges too – Dawn, from our Marketing Department, embarked on the Royal Marines Commando Challenge, based in Exeter. The challenge was part of an incentive to get fit after having her daughter, Emily:
“I trained hard for the Great North Run for ten weeks, and was chuffed as a result to get a respectable time. So after that, I just fancied a right laugh with my friends for a great finish to the run season! It entailed crawling through lots of mud and tunnels and being fully submerged in the ‘sheep dip tunnel’ – it was hilarious!”
To give you an idea of the terrain, here’s a photo of Dawn (she’s on the right) with her comrades after the event itself: