Technology with attitude

Summer Runnin’: 8 Awesome Seattle Running Events

0
Photo: Dan Morgan

Whether or not the sun decides to make an appearance in Seattle this summer, people are prepping, ready to take whatever summer we can get.  Barbecue and bonfire plans are already underway, camping trips are lined up and grills are ready to go.  But don’t forget to fit in some exercise when you can. Because even though our beach season is more like a beach weekend, you still want to look good.

Instead of running the typical Greenlake loop to stay in shape this summer, try signing up for one of the various running events around Seattle. There are a bunch of 5Ks, 10Ks and marathons going on these next few months, but a few runs stand out for their awesomeness.

The following 8 races add a little more to the typical run to the finish line. Some include mud crawls, some have mystery obstacles, one has foam, another has zombies and nearly all of them include a free beer. Each race is challenging and awesome in its own way and runners of all levels are encouraged to participate. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or someone who eats on the treadmill, sign up for a race (or two) this summer. The hardest part is choosing… probably.

1. Spartan Race — June 16

Distance: 5K/15+ Obstacles

Registration: $100, open through June 14

Why it’s awesome:
Voted ‘Best Obstacle Race Series 2012’ by Outside Magazine, Spartan Race was created by 8 ultra endurance athletes and a royal marine. It incorporates mud runs, obstacles, trail racing, physical and mental challenges and is part of a 4-level obstacle race challenge. Those who complete this first level (Spartan Sprint) may continue on to the next levels to become the Ultimate Spartan.

What you might face:
The Spartan Sprint includes barbed wire, fire, mud, water, and the unknown. There is no course map available, but be prepared to climb, crawl, jump, dive, slide, throw and more.

What you get:
Spartan Race t-shirt, Spartan Race finisher medal, one free beer (must be 21 or older), food vendors, music, awards ceremony, top 3 male/female finishers receive free entry into a Super Spartan of their choice, completion earns you Spartan Agility certification (Black Level).

2. Urban Dare — June 23

Distance: 5-7 miles, about 2-4 hours to complete

Registration: $90 for a 2-person team (3-person: $120, 4-person: $160), open through June 16

Why it’s awesome:
Urban Dare is “the race where smarts can beat speed.” It’s part trivia and part photo scavenger hunt mixed with physical and mental challenges. Teams of 2 (or more) will race through the city, solving clues and finding checkpoints at which they must perform dares or take photos in order to move on. This race also isn’t all about running — participants can run, walk or use public transportation to reach the checkpoints.

What you might face:
The dares may include physical challenges like climbing a wall or throwing a bulls-eye. You could also be asked to complete a puzzle, play a game of Operation or even eat something (a normal, non-gross something).

What you get:
All participants get an Urban Dare t-shirt. Race winners will get free entry in the Super Dare where they will be competing for $5,000. There’s also a $50 prize for best costume.

3. 5K Foam Fest – June 30

Distance: 5K/18 Obstacles

Registration: $45

Why it’s awesome:
This something-for-everyone race is like a traditional mud run plus foam—lots and lots of foam. It’s great for runners of all levels and even accommodates  younger children (kids ages 6-11 can run the Rugrat Race, a shorter, easier version of the 5K foam run).

What you might face:
The obstacles in this race should give everyone their fill of foam.  The Stumpy Jumper is essentially a game of hopscotch in a giant foam pit; the Slick Track is a slippery straightaway; the 30 and 50-foot Slip n’ Slides are inflatable tubes of foamy, watery fun.

What you get:
A 5K Foam Fest t-shirt and “swag bag” as well as access to the pre and post-race festivities (Minute to Win It games, foam pit, limbo and more).

4. Gladiator Rock’n Run – July 8

Distance: 6K/15+ Obstacles

Registration: $70 through June 29, $75 through July 6

Why it’s awesome:
The race that knows how to rock is brought to you by an actual gladiator. Dan Clark aka “Nitro” from American Gladiators brings you this ruthless run for rockstars.

What you might face:
Runners must conquer obstacles such as the Polar Bear Plunge—a waist-deep, icy pool of water—and the Buddha’s Burden, where participants must carry 40-pound bags of rice for 40 yards. There are also 2 mystery obstacles to add to the melee.

What you get:
Rock’n Runners get access to a post race party with food, one free beer (for those 21 and up) and music from 3 live bands. Participants will also leave with a finishers medal, a limited edition Gladiator Rock’n Run t-shirt by Affliction and a commemorative “Rock-Wild Red” mohawk (limited to the first 500).

5. Warrior Dash – July 21 and 22

Distance: 3.55 miles/14 Obstacles

Registration: $75 for Saturday, $65 for Sunday, open through July 9

Why it’s awesome:
The world’s largest running series is a mad dash through mud and fire. Warriors must also crawl, jump, climb and hurdle extreme obstacles. Limits will be pushed and fun will be had.

What you might face:
Plenty of mud and sweat will be present, as will the Barricade Breakdown (a combination of hurdles and barbed wire), Road Rage (a rusty scrap yard that must be stampeded through) and the Warrior Roast (a fiery trail to the finish line).

What you get:
Conquerors will take home a commemorative Warrior Dash t-shirt, a custom finisher medal, a fuzzy warrior helmet and a race bib. Celebrate victory at the post race party complete with live music, free beer (if you’re 21 and up) and hearty, warrior-style food for purchase (turkey legs, corn on the cob, etc.).

6. Run For Your Lives – August 4

Distance: 5K/12 Obstacles

Registration: $77 through June 13, $87 through July 13

Why it’s awesome:
There will be obstacles. There will be mud, water and filth. But all you’ll really care about is the undead horde at your back. Those who don’t run for their lives will find themselves crossing the finish line as a flesh-starved zombie.

What you might face:
The 12 obstacles in the race are a mystery, but the zombies are certain. Runners are given a flag belt, each flag representing your health. As you run and make your way through the obstacles, hired zombies will be coming after your flags. Cross the finish line with at least one flag intact and you will have survived the zombie infestation.

What you’ll get:
Survivors and transformed zombies will be given a racing bib, a Warwear performance t-shirt, a medal, a free beer if you can legally have one and admittance to the Apocalypse Party after the race.

7. Hell Run – September 15

Distance: 3.15 miles/12 obstacles

Registration: $50 before July 15, $60 before August 15, $70 until September 9

Why it’s awesome:
Experience hell on earth at one of the muddier mud runs, Hell Run. Climb, jump and crawl your way through the muddy obstacles and emerge sludgy and victorious.

What you might face:
Be sure to bring a change of clothes because Mud Mayhem, Mount Mud and Mud Madness are all obstacles designed to make you get down and dirty.

What you’ll get:
Mud-caked competitors will be given a Hell Run shirt, a superhero finisher cape, a finisher medal and a racing bib customized with your Hell Run nickname.  No mud run would be complete without a party; Hell Run’s celebration includes ice cold beer and a performance by Tone Loc.

8. Tough Mudder – September 29 and 30

Distance: 11 miles/25 obstacles, approximately 3 hours to complete

Registration: $125 through June 30, $135 through July 31, $145 through August 31, $155 through September 22

Why it’s awesome:
Though it’s in the fall, you’ll need to train all summer for the Tough Mudder. Designed by British Special Forces, this race will challenge your strength and test your determination. Over half a million people around the world have given their all and have been inspired by this event.

What you might face:
You’ll need to look at the course map to truly get a feel of the Tough Mudder, but obstacles like Walk the Plank (a 15-foot jump into the water) and Electroshock Therapy (a sprint through a field of live wires) should help you get the picture.

What you’ll get:
Course conquerors will get a Tough Mudder sweatband and commemorative Under Armour shirt as well as beer and music at the post party. If you would really like to commemorate your accomplishment, Tough Mudder will be offering tattoos of their logo for $70.