As a runner living in NYC close to Central Park in the mid-90’s, running was accessible and most of my weekends were spent lacing up my shoes for races. And as a West Coast transplant, I usually stayed put for Thanksgiving, so a highlight of the day was always the Turkey Classic 5-Miler, a popular holiday race.
Over the years, themed races have gained in popularity—and they’re not just centered around holidays anymore—there’s races focused on food, wine, mud, music, and of course, Disney (more themed races here). And so in the spirt of the day, I thought I’d take a quick peer into the haunting world of Halloween races.
According to Running USA, Halloween-themed races have grown nearly 60% since 2011 and sit at a close second in popularity behind Thanksgiving Day races. In 2014, 722,237 goblins, ghouls, and zombies crossed finish lines at over 1,800 Halloween-themed races. Here’s just a few races where you may have unwanted encounters along the course:
- Devil’s Chase 6.66-Miler (Salem, MA)
- Run Scared 5K (Seattle, WA)
- Haunted Hill (Cumberland, RI)
- The Monster Dash (Chicago; St. Paul; Forth Worth)
- Panic in the Dark (Lowell, MA)
- Zombie Run (throughout Florida & similar races nationwide)
- The Haunted Half & 5K (Salt Lake, Provo, and Phoenix)
As I look out my window, it’s mildly dark, raining, and windy—not particularly encouraging running weather for most, but I’m determined to brave the conditions and any creatures I may run into on the trail. If I’m not back in one hour, come look for me.
Have you participated in a themed race—if so, why?