Ever Done a "Party Race?"

January's over—forget the all-fit, no-fun fitness goals and lighten up. Here's five raucous, party races in Charleston this spring... We're talking beer at the finish and glow-in-the-dark courses

We’re well past January 1 now and if you’re still hitting it hard at the gym and out there on the running trails, congratulations! But let’s be honest, taking these fitness goals seriously day in and day out can be a lot of work. Sometimes I have to remind myself to lighten up.


I started running because I simply love to run. It helps me destress, unwind, and clear my head after a long day. Running has always been my favorite me-time. But then last fall I started training for my first half marathon and things started getting serious. I followed a training plan that had me scheduling each run (sometimes weeks in advance), I got a Garmin to analyze my pace and mile splits, and somewhere on the way to reaching my goal, running became more like work and less like having fun.


So this spring, I’m planning to reward myself with for all the hard work I put in this fall and winter. No, not with a bucket full of leftover Valentine’s chocolates and every season of Downton Abbey on DVD (though that’s tempting.) In the next few months, I’m going to remind myself what makes running enjoyable by signing up for a slew of races with friends and running them… just for fun. No training plan, no goal time, just fun.


It won’t be hard with all the party-like races in Charleston this spring. Tell me you wouldn’t be smiling ear to ear while running one of these upcoming 5ks:


CF Cupcake Run, March 2: Who cares about a race medal when every finisher gets a cupcake? Plus there will be a free lunch afterward for all participants and a Zumba warmup and post-race workout.


Rugged Maniac 5K, March 9There are plenty of mud runs happening in the Lowcountry this spring, but to really take it to the next level, try taking on the tire jungles, barbed wire, and fire (yes, fire!) in this obstacle race coming to Boone Hall.


Catch the Leprechaun 5K, March 14: Not only is this the perfect chance to wear all my green running gear, there’s also beer (and a full-on St. Patrick’s Day party) at the finish! A pot of gold will be given out to the winners and every runner that passes the racing leprechaun wins a souvenir mug.


Color Me Rad, March 23: Wear all white and prepare to be doused with exploding clouds of rainbow powder when the color bombs start flying at this 5K. You’ll look like a tie-dyed mess when you finish, but that’s the point. Run it for fun or for charity, like the two Charleston bloggers who will race in their wedding gowns for Special Olympics.


Go Glow 5K, May 25: Everything glows in this nighttime race—the runners, the course, the finish line chute, etc. Each runner gets a glow-in-the-dark shirt as part of their entry fee along with glowing accessories and access to the glow-in-the-dark self-painting area before the race.


Find a list of more area races—fun and serious—on the Charleston Running Club’s website. See you on the course!