Tough Mudder, tough scmudder. Extreme races might be all the rage, but what about those of us who aren’t looking to get electrocuted or drown in a cess pool during our Saturday morning run? If you’d rather dress up like a superhero than try to actually be one, these are the craziest, zaniest, most fun races to hit the Philly area this season. – Chelsea Karnash
The Original Bad Prom 5K
Philadelphia – TBA
Whether you were Prom Queen or skipped the teenage milestone entirely, the chance to scour your local thrift store for the most hideous dress in stock is just too amazing to pass up. Find it, don it and then run an obstacle-laden 5K in it at this race, which also includes a post-run dance party. Here’s hoping All 4 One’s “I Swear” is on the playlist!
Running of the Santas
Finnigan’s Wake, Philadelphia
Saturday, Dec. 7; $15
A Philly tradition, the annual Running of the Santas for charity will truly put you in the holiday spirit. The all-day drinking event – with a run on the side – involves a party at Finnigan’s Wake, followed by a run from Finnigan’s to the Electric Factory, followed by more partying at the finish line. While this one won’t help you keep off the holiday pounds, there’s no need to hide your gut when you’re dressed like Santa!
The Ugly Sweater Run
Fairmount Park, Philadelphia
Saturday, Dec. 7; $44
Channel your inner Clark Griswold and rock that hideous thrift store sweater for this 5K run, which also encourages participants to don a mustache (whether real or fake, it’s up to you). Following a 3.1 mile course full of inflatables, photo booths and all your favorite holiday tunes, guzzle a cup of warm hot chocolate and your choice of a Sam Adam’s Winter Lager, Boston Lager or Angry Orchard Hard Cider. Bonus: There will be contests for best real mustache, best fake mustache, best beard, worst sweater and best sweater, too!
Rocky 50K Fat A*s Run
Wolf St & S Lambert St, Philadelphia
Saturday, Dec. 7; FREE
Don’t let that incredibly terrifying “50K” part, um, terrify you — you don’t have to do the full 30+ miles. This “fat a*s” style race (“No Fees, No Awards, No Aid, No Wimps”) mimics faux Philadelphia hero Rocky’s epic training trek through the City of Brotherly Love, beginning in South Philly and ending at the Art Museum steps. Set your iPod to “Eye of the Tiger” and start training, people.
The Chili Run
Carolina Blue; Pitman, NJ
Sunday, Jan. 26; $29 (price increases to $34 after Dec. 1)
A race that rewards you with beer, a cup of chili and an after party complete with an “Ugliest Sweater” contests? Count us in! This two-mile race for “serious runners” (because only serious runners race in January!) starts and ends at Carolina Blue restaurant and benefits Top Sports of Harrison Township, which works to provide sports programs for kids with disabilities. Oh, and you’ll even get a special event beanie, so you can stay warm on all your cold-weather runs.
Cupid’s Undie Run
Xfinity Live; Philadelphia
Saturday, Feb. 15; $30-50 (depending how far in advance you register)
Single and ready to mingle? What better way to do it than by working up a sweat in frigid winter temps — in your underwear — with a bunch of strangers? Well, we can think of a few, but at least it shows you’ve got a sense of humor…To get in on this “novelty race,” simply pay up, strip down and prepare to laugh your — well, you know — off.