A blog by runners. For runners.

Awesome (and occasionally weird) summer races

awesome-and-weird-summer-racesIt is officially summer! And summer is a great time to sign up for a fun race. You can test your fitness to see if you are on track for your fall goals — and have a blast doing it. Here are a few awesome (and occasionally weird) summer races we discovered across the globe. Let us know what your favorite summer race is in the comments below or on Facebook, and we’ll update this list on the regular.

Suzuki Midnight Sun Run, Reykjavik, Iceland
When: June 24, 2013
Why it’s awesome: The Suzuki Midnight Sun Run is held on the evening of June 24 — the day when it’s light all night long in Iceland. The race starts between 9 and 10 p.m. and runners choose from three distances:  half marathon, 10K, or 5K. After the race, runners can hang out in the geothermal outdoor swimming pool, Laugardalslaug, which also has hot tubs and a steam bath. Umm. Amazing?!

Bastille Day 5K and 8K, Chicago, Ill., U.S.A
When: July 14
Why it’s awesome: Celebrate French Independence Day with a race and block party in Chicago. The race — which says it brings “happy hour back” (though we’re not sure it actually left but we’ll go with it) — starts at 7:15 p.m. and participants get a très bien tech t-shirt, which is so chic right now.

Skirtchaser 5K, St. Paul, Minn., U.S.A (and other locations in the U.S. and Canada)
When: July 27, 2013 (other dates here)
Why it’s awesome (or weird?): Skirts (women) start at 5 p.m. and 3 minutes later, the chasers (the men) follow. If you’re single, according to the site, you should “wear a sign on your back to show that you’re looking for love!” Okaayyy then! Running for love?

Michelob Ultra Seafair Torchlight Run, Seattle, Wash., U.S.A
When: July 27, 2013
Why it’s awesome: (A) You’re encouraged to wear your “favorite” pirate costume (not just any pirate costume) and (B) the post-race bash is apparently epic. The 5K run/walk or 8K run option starts at Seattle Center and goes past many of the city’s iconic landmarks.

Lets Run Summer Series, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A
When: Monthly throughout the summer, always on a Thursday evening
Why it’s awesome: This series involves five summer 5Ks — starting in May and finishing in September — all around the Charles River in Cambridge. Each event has a specific theme — from Reggae to Mardi Gras to Twist and Shout — and the races end with an amazing cookout (free for participants!) and live music. Runners can do all of the races (and earn a pretty cool technical jacket at the end) or sign up for each one individually.

Beach Bum Triathlon, Hilton Head, South Carolina, U.S.A
When: July 27, 2013
Why it’s awesome: Besides the obvious fact that it’s on a stunning beach, we’ve also recently been into triathlons and this is a great Sprint event to get your feet wet (no pun intended).

Colour 5k, Essex, U.K
When: August 6, 2013
Why it’s awesome: This colorful 5K brings the color running trend to the next level. Not only do you get blasted with colored powder at each kilometer, but at the end of the race, YOU get to throw paint at the remaining competitors. Better finish fast!

U.K. Backward Run, Manchester, U.K
When: August 11, 2013
Why it’s awesome (or weird?): What? Yep. You actually run this entire race backwards. It is a scenic one mile course around Heaton Park. We can imagine training for this one will get you some weird looks.

City2Surf, Sydney, Australia (pictured above)
When: August 11, 2013
Why it’s awesome: This 14K race down under is the largest timed running race in the entire world — with about 80,000 entrants — and it’s probably one of the most beautiful. Runners race through the streets of Sydney and finish along the city’s most famous stretch of shoreline, Bondi Beach.

Written by Danielle Bressoud and Bianca Strzelczyk / Photo from City2Surf