The 10 Most Unique Fun Runs Across America (Get Active and Have Fun)

Are you tired of the same old 5k races? Looking for a unique and fun way to get active? Well, check out these one-of-a-kind fun running events across the United States!  

Countless fun runs offer something different from your typical 5K or marathon. 

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just looking for a fun day out with family and friends, these unique fun runs will surely be an unforgettable experience.

1. The Bubble Run

The Bubble Run is a one-of-a-kind 5k race that’s perfect for those who want to run and have fun at the same time. This event takes place in various cities across the USA.

It’s known for its colorful bubbles that make participants feel like they’re running through a giant bubble bath.

You run or walk through a 3-mile course. At each kilometer, you will go through the Foam Bogs where you are covered with colored foam from head to toe.

There’s no race clock, no timing chips, it is pure fun.

  • Distance: 5k (3.1 miles)
  • Timed Race: No
  • Family friendly: Yes
  • Location: Multiple locations (around 45 cities)
  • Date: From April (Atlanta, GA) to November (Fresno, CA)
  • Website:

2. Foam Glow

After experiencing the Bubble Run, runners might be curious about trying out another unique fun run event. The Foam Glow is popular for those who enjoy exciting and colorful running events.

Similar to the Bubble Run, the Foam Glow features stations throughout the course where runners are sprayed with non-toxic colored foam.

Instead of bubbles, this event employs UV glow powder that glows brightly under black lights at night. This creates a vibrant and visually stunning experience for participants.

Foam Glow vs. Color Run: Which is Better? Both events feature bright colors and lively music, but the Foam Glow takes place in the evening when it’s dark outside. That adds extra excitement, and UV glow powder makes it eye-catching when viewed under black lights.

Which you prefer comes down to personal preference. If you’re after a nighttime adventure filled with glowing powder, go for Foam Glow; but if daytime festivals with color powder sound more appealing, try out Color Run or Color Vibe 5k!

  • Distance: 5k (3.1 miles)
  • Timed Race: No
  • Family friendly: Yes
  • Location: Multiple locations (around 20 cities)
  • Date: From April (San Diego, CA) to December (Tampa, FL)
  • Website:


  • Unique costumes are an important part of fun runs.
  • The creativity of the runners always surprises, from tutus and capes to superhero costumes and animal clothes.
  • The running community is known for its inclusiveness and acceptance, so it’s no surprise that runners express themselves through what they wear.

3. Color Vibe 5k

If you’re looking for an exciting and colorful way to get active, the Color Vibe 5K is worth checking out. This fun run takes place all across the United States, with events happening in cities big and small.

So what makes the Color Vibe so special? Instead of just running, participants are doused in vibrant color powder at various points along the course.

By the end of the race, everyone looks like they’ve been through a rainbow tornado!

But don’t let that fool you – this is still a legitimate athletic event.

And if it’s your first time participating in a color run, check out some tips beforehand.

  • Distance: 5k (3.1 miles)
  • Timed Race: No
  • Family friendly: Yes
  • Location: Multiple locations nationwide (+ international events)
  • Date: Almost all year round
  • Website:

4. Bay To Breakers, San Francisco

As the sun rises over San Francisco Bay, thousands of runners gather at the starting line for one of the most iconic races in America: Bay to Breakers.

The race traditions are as rich and diverse as the city itself, with costumes ranging from superheroes to giant bananas. But beyond the spectacle lies a deeper meaning that draws people back year after year.

Bay to Breakers is a celebration of freedom – freedom to run, freedom to be yourself, and freedom to let loose. It’s a reminder that life is meant to be lived boldly and joyfully, without fear or inhibition. 

Some may see it as just another road race. But those who have experienced the Bay to Breakers route know there’s nothing like running through the streets of San Francisco with 50,000 other free spirits.

  • Distance: 12k (12.01 km / 7.46 miles)
  • Timed Race: Yes
  • Family friendly: Yes, but maybe not the best, as this is a massive event with a 12k distance.
  • Location: Multiple locations nationwide (+ international events)
  • Date: Third Sunday in May
  • Website:

5. Proud To Run Chicago

After experiencing the wild and wacky Bay to Breakers in San Francisco, it’s time to head over to Chicago for another unique running event.

Proud to Run is not only a 5K and 10K race but also an opportunity to celebrate diversity and raise awareness for LGBTQ+ issues.

The course takes runners through Chicago’s beautiful lakefront path, with stunning views of Lake Michigan.

But what sets this race apart is its emphasis on race nutrition. With vendors offering healthy snacks and hydration stations strategically placed throughout the course, participants can fuel up properly while enjoying their run.

And after crossing the finish line, there are  even more food options available at the post-race party!

  • Distance: 5k and 10k (3.1 and 6.2 miles)
  • Timed Race: Yes
  • Family friendly: Baby joggers or strollers are not allowed.
  • Location: Chicago. IL
  • Date: June
  • Website:

6. Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k

Located in Richmond, Virginia, the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k is not just any ordinary race. In fact, it is one of the largest and most popular races on the East Coast, with over 25,000 participants each year.

This event has become a staple for runners all around the country due to its unique blend of athleticism and community spirit.

The course runs along historic Monument Avenue, passing through some of Richmond’s most iconic neighborhoods. And you cannot beat the local community that comes out and cheers everyone on.

With so much excitement surrounding this event, it’s no surprise that many people consider it an experience of a lifetime. 

So whether you’re looking for a personal challenge or simply want to have some fun with friends and family, mark your calendars for the next Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k!

7. Airport Runway Run At San Carlos Airport

Speaking of runway fashion, have you heard about the Airport Runway Run at San Carlos Airport? This annual event takes place on an actual runway, offering participants a rare opportunity to run where planes typically land and take off.

Not only does this add excitement to the race experience, but it also presents a challenge as runners must navigate around obstacles such as parked aircrafts. 

And don’t forget about the unique photo opportunities – imagine capturing yourself in action with airplanes soaring overhead!

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind race experience, check out the Airport Runway Run at San Carlos Airport and visit Hiller Aviation Museum after a run.

  • Distance: 2k fun run, 5k and 10k (1.2, 3.1, 6.2 miles)
  • Timed Race: Yes (for 5K and 10K)
  • Family friendly: Yes
  • Location: San Carlos, CA
  • Date: April
  • Website:

8. The Hot Chocolate 5k/10k/15k

The Hot Chocolate 15K/5K is a unique and delicious race combining running and chocolate. The event occurs in various cities across the United States, attracting thousands of runners annually. 

In fact, over 200,000 people have participated in the Hot Chocolate series since it began in 2008 in Chicago!

Runners can enjoy treats such as hot cocoa, marshmallows, and chocolate fondue at the finish line while basking in their hard-earned accomplishments.

Looking for the sweetest run series in America? It must be the Hot Chocolate Run!

So whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, grab your friends and sign up for this delicious event!

  • Distance: 5k, 10k, and 15k (3.1, 6.2 and, 9.3 miles)
  • Timed Race: Yes
  • Family friendly: no strollers, minimum age 8, minimum pace 15 minutes per mile 
  • Location: Multiple locations (around 20 cities)
  • Date: All year round
  • Website:

9. The Beer Mile

If you’re looking for a unique and exhilarating way to experience running, look no further than the Beer Mile. This quirky event has gained popularity across the US in recent years, offering runners an opportunity to test their speed and chug skills.

But before you grab your favorite brew and hit the starting line, it’s essential to understand the etiquette of the Beer Mile. Unlike traditional races, this event requires participants to consume beer at specific intervals throughout the race.

It’s important to remember that while drinking is a part of the fun, safety should always come first. Ensure you stay hydrated with water and pace accordingly to avoid overdoing it.

And don’t forget to cheer on your fellow competitors – after all, camaraderie makes this event special!

So if you’re ready for a one-of-a-kind running experience that combines athleticism with good old-fashioned revelry, consider signing up for a Beer Mile near you. Brush up on your chugging technique, and enjoy every moment of this unforgettable event!

  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Timed Race: Yes
  • Family friendly: No 
  • Location: Main event 2023 Chicago (new location each year, it has taken place, for example, in San Francisco, London, Vancouver, and Berlin)
  • Date: July
  • Website:

10. State Street Mile & Dog Mile Championships

The State Street Mile is a fun running event in Santa Barbara, California. With over 1,000 participants every year, this race draws runners from all over the country looking for the “fastest Mile in the West” challenge.

This is also a dog-friendly race; you can participate in the unofficial World Championship Dog Mile with your dog.

Initially, a few local runners organized the race for the thrill of running downhill through Santa Barbara’s scenic downtown corridor.

The State Street Mile has evolved into a unique community and running event. Everyone who runs, jogs, or walks, is welcome (plus dogs).

  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Timed Race: Yes (except Family Fun Mile)
  • Family friendly: Yes (Family Fun Mile) 
  • Location: Santa Barbara, CA
  • Date: June
  • Website:

The Bottom Line

From foam parties to the chocolate fest, these races are far from your typical 5K.

Yet while each event may have its own distinct flair, they all share one thing: an infectious sense of joy and community. 

Whether sprinting through bubbles or jogging with your dog, these runs offer a chance to connect with fellow runners and revel in racing fun.

So if you’re looking for something new and exciting to add to your race calendar, don’t miss out on these unforgettable experiences!

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