A blog by runners. For runners.

The most fun races for non-runners

The most fun races for non-runners

The Boston Urban Iditarod.

Maybe you want to get your BFF hooked on running. Perhaps you’re planning a bachelor or bachelorette party weekend and you feel like kicking it off in a healthy way. Or maybe you yearn to start a new family tradition this holiday season.

People who are self-proclaimed “non-runners” are toeing the start lines of races fairly frequently these days for a host of reasons. Here are some fun events that are perfect for novices and groups:

  1. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas 5k, Las Vegas, Nev., November 15, 2014. “Run the Las Vegas strip at night” for a race experience unlike any other. The course is lined with bands and DJs to make the race even more entertaining. There is a half marathon and marathon option for experienced runners, too.
  2. Wicked Wine Run, various wineries across Texas and California, various dates. If you like drinking wine and running, this is the race for you. Held at wineries, runners can choose from a 5K run with celebratory wine at the finish line or a 1K Tasting Walk with four tasting stops along the course. For this laid back event, many runners dress in costumes and stay to enjoy the music and wine after the race.
  3. Ugly Sweater Run, various U.S. locations, various dates from late November through December. Leave your holiday best at home and don the ugliest Christmas sweater you can find. This 5K takes the holiday theme seriously – instead of sports beverages at aid stations, they serve hot chocolate. Rather than typical age group awards, prizes are awarded to the participants with the worst sweater, best sweater, best real mustache, best fake mustache, and best beard.
  4. Santa Hustle 5K (and half marathon in some cities), various U.S. cities, various days in December. The Santa Hustle sets itself apart from other holiday races because every participant dresses like Santa. Runners are given a Santa hat, beard, and red, dry fit hoodie with their entry fee. Candy and cookies are served at aid stations and holiday music blasts along the course.
  5. Boston Urban Idiotorama, Boston, Mass., March 7, 2015. This “urban shopping cart and adventure race and food drive in Boston” is a very unique experience. This event is a parody on the Iditarod trail sled dog race in Alaska. Except instead of a sled, competitors use a shopping cart and rather than dogs, they use other people. This is an urban race and the main goal is to have fun while pushing your friends around in a shopping cart through the city. From the races website: “This one-of-a-kind event incorporates an urban race, costume contest, games, a talent contest, bar crawl, and food drive to end up with a great time for everyone.”
  6. Thelma and Louise half marathon and relay, Moab, Utah, June 6, 2015. Grab your best girlfriends and head to where the 1991 Thelma and Louise movie was filmed. Runners camp at the start the night before, follow a convertible driven by Thelma and Louise along the course, and earn a finisher’s medal that doubles as a belt buckle. This race is ultra-flat, with only 20 feet of elevation gain, and incredibly scenic, offering views of the Colorado River. This is a women’s only event.

Written by Jen Matz.