Best Fun Races In NYC

A race doesn’t have to be a full blown marathon that requires you to train for months at the exclusion of your social life and sleep. You don’t have to get up at crack-o-dawn AM just to run laps in Central Park until you drop to have a good time on a 5 kilometer (5K) run. Fun races in NYC are a great way to do some light training with a roommate, grab some mutual friends, and just have a goofy good time doing a beginner event.

Events like these can often be walked if you don’t want to run. Still, these events are 5K long, so you still need to know your fitness level and do an appropriate amount of training. And consult an expert to figure out how much training that is.

The Color Run

Pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The Color Run rules are pretty simple. At the start, wear white. At the finish, look like you were practicing gymnastics in an art supply store. People in the race and on the sidelines are just throwing colored powders left and right. It’s a rainbow, prismatic free-for-all. Also called “The Happiest 5K On The Planet,” there is a very strong unicorn theme at this event. You can get your pictures taken with giant unicorns, which makes for a fun shareable memory. Over 6 million people have done this race, so it’s tried and tested as one of the best fun fitness races in NYC.

Cupids Undie Run

Yup! Run in your underwear. A great choice when NYC is really hot. While some people literally prance about in their skivvies, other people get into costumes, and it gets to be a lot of fun. The proceeds benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation to help neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. So have a blast and take heart knowing your racing fees went to a good cause.

Jingle Bell Walk/Run

Support the Arthritis Foundation in this cheerful, laid back race. Deck yourself out in a holiday-inspired costume. Think elves, reindeer, Santa, and presents. Tie jingle bells to your running shoes, and you’re off. A super fun event with a festive atmosphere, this is a must-have on the list for any group looking for an event that checks the competitive attitude at the starting line.

New York Hot Dog Challenge

No need to double-back, you read that right. New York City combines a friendly race with a hot dog eating contest. At the same time. People even dress as their favorite sack of mystery meat as they cruise down the road. A 2.5 mile run through New York’s Central Park, Midtown, and Times Square is accompanied by 10 eagerly awaiting hot dog carts. Contestants have to eat and run their way to fame, glory, and possibly one seriously upset stomach. Even if this one isn’t for you, you might be able to encourage your roommate to do it and enjoy the show. Or, uh . . . be supportive on race day. Yeah, that’s it.

Races don’t have to be super competitive events that require months of training. You can have a perfectly good time at one of these events. Grab your roommate, recruit some pals, and enjoy the best fun fitness races in NYC.

Have you done a fun or themed fitness race? How was it? Post your comments below.