Chances are at least one of your friends has tried to get you to sign up for a dirty girl race-and it's no coincidence. These quirky races are gaining popularity thanks to their messy challenges and low-pressure environment. We've rounded up the best ones from across the U.S. that are so enjoyable, you'll practically forget you're exercising. By Paige Carlotti, REDBOOK.
Kiss Me DirtyKiss Me Dirty
Extend your girls night out to the next morning, and sign up for this maze of mud, foam, and rough terrain. Organize a team of your quirkiest, wildest, and naughtiest pals, and laugh your way through the 5K obstacle course while dressed in your craziest homemade costumes-past hits have included fairy princesses, farmers, superheroes, and there's even a special race designed exclusively for men dressed in drag. Forget athleticism-this race is all about attitude. Denver, Salt Lake City, and others at kissmedirty.com.
Krispy Kreme Challenge
Test your strength and your sweet tooth in a race that challenges both the healthiest and the hungriest athletes. Participants run two-and-a-half miles to a designated Krispy Kreme location, consume one dozen original glazed donuts, then push through the bellyache and run another two-and-a-half miles back. February 2014 in Raleigh, NC. Learn more at krispykremechallenge.com.
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The Color Run
Also known as the "happiest 5K on the planet" this untimed run isn't a race at all. Designed to celebrate health, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community, it encourages participants to run, jog, walk, or dance through its trail. There are five color-blasting stations at each kilometer mark, meaning you'll show up in white clothes and finish splashed in a rainbow. Rochester, NY, Des Moines, IA and others at thecolorrun.com.
This race takes Movember to a whole new level, demanding that every single participant rock a 'stache-women and children included. Show the guys in your life some love by signing up for the event, as it was created to raise awareness and funds for men's health. Detroit, Portland, OR and others at mustachedache.com.
Are you afraid of the dark? Don't be! This fun run is not only a chance to test your speed and stamina, but also an opportunity to bond with family and friends, and show off your creative flair. Arrive in your zaniest glow-in-the dark gear, and you could win the costume contest at the post-race celebration and light show. Kansas City, KS, Brooklyn, NY and others at fireflyrun.com.
Neon Splash Dash
Rather than getting drenched in mud and dirt like in some of today's popular races, this 5K fun run adds extra color to your world. You'll be doused in a rainbow of Super Intense U.V. Glow Water while running-or dancing-through different high-energy Glow Zones. Arrive wearing a white tee paired with your favorite glow-in-the-dark LED or fluorescent accessories and you're guaranteed to have the most fun a girl can experience in the dark. Pomona, CA, Atlanta, and others at neonsplashdash.com.
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Too old for Cinderella? Get down and dirty on this five- to seven-mile run that requires jumping, diving, leaping, climbing, and soaring through 12 to 15 barriers. But it's not about winning-this race was designed to test not just stamina, but also sisterhood. Gather a group of your closest girlfriends and work together to overcome cargo nets, an ice plunge, a series of stability balls, floating platforms, hay bale mountains, and a few other surprises along the way. Virginia Beach, VA, Chicago, and others at mudderella.com.
This one was clearly designed with the whole family in mind. Enter the kids in a one-mile race, then choose a four-, eight-, or 13-mile trail for yourself. Whatever distance you run, you're sure to encounter thick glops of mud, steep climbing walls, fire pits, truck tires, and barbed wire obstacles that will test even the toughest of athletes. Still not satisfied? Participants have the option of completing the race again under the moonlight for an even trickier challenge. Phoenix, Dallas, and others at superheroscramble.com.
Run For Your Lives
Your worst nightmare comes to life during this bloodthirsty, zombie-infested 5K. Challenges include navigating your way through a blood pit, a smokehouse, and a mystifying maze, all while being hunted by the living dead. Runners who complete the competition without having all three of their flags snatched by zombies are invited to an after-dark apocalypse party with music, games, and booze. Seattle, Minneapolis, and others at runforyourlives.com.
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Warning: You'll be looking over your shoulder during this extreme mud run. The messy and chaotic track is mentally and physically challenging thanks to numerous unforeseen attacks-such as unexpected color blasts between obstacles and surprises intended to mimic "end-of-the-world circumstances"-along the way. No one can predict what the apocalypse will look like, so why should runners know what to anticipate during this series of unfortunate events? Clermont, FL, Winnsboro, SC, and others at armageddonambush.com.
Reebok Spartan Race
Get in touch with your inner warrior as you regress to ancient times, where you'll be forced to brave elements shaped by the muddy, jagged, and natural terrain. Choose from three courses-the Spartan Sprint, the Super Spartan, and the Spartan Beast-each containing more physically demanding obstacles than the last, and all designed by ultra-endurance athletes and a royal marine. Amesbury, MA, Lincoln, NE and others at spartanrace.com.
The Death Race
This 48-hour-plus endurance and adventure race definitely isn't for everyone. Designed for ultra outdoor athletes, it requires participants to complete unpredictable psychological puzzles under insanely strenuous physical conditions, such as climbing steep hills while towing tree stumps, or assembling a LEGO structure with pieces found at the bottom of a pond. To join, you must sign a fatality waiver, and attending a Death Race Camp before attempting this extreme obstacle course is highly recommend. Friday, June 27, 2014, 2 p.m., Pittsfield, VT. Register at youmaydie.com.
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