Themed Runs with Staying Power!
By Clare Varga

From Mud to Color Runs, Stylesight shines a light at the variety of themed running events across the United States.

Oct 07, 2013
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Here at Stylesight we are all team players, striving to build and create the best of the best in support of one another and our platform. So, when we heard that our Trend Advisor, Ali Lind, had been participating in various Color and Mud Runs in and around New York City, we here on the Active Team asked her to write a first hand guest post. Since we’ve been seeing and following the progression of these acute subcultures within the running community over the past few seasons, it seemed only natural to have one of our own share first person experiences due to the factor that this new world truly has massive staying power. In her own words….

Around this time last year, my husband Jim and I ran with friends in the New York City Color Run — where volunteers threw eco-friendly pigments in various colors at you while you ran, walked, scooted, jumped, the 3.2 miles to the finish line. The emphasis during this 5k wasn’t to rush as fast as possible to the end, it was to enjoy your team members, and celebrate exercise with people all shapes and sizes. The Color Run sprouted all sorts of similar races (Color Me Rad, Color Vibe) in cities all over the country and social media helped these amazing runs gain popularity.

We started hearing about other themed runs coming to NYC and signed up for the Electric run, a 5k night run with glow in the dark lights, the ROC (Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge) where you slide through tubes, slides and other wacky obstacles, and most recently the Merrell Down & Dirty Obstacle Race. 

The Merrell Down & Dirty is a version of the popular “Mud Run” that involves crawling through a huge mud pit and other obstacles with teammates. Combining agility and exercise with a goofy team name (ours was Dumbledore’s Kittens), hand drawn team shirts, and mud, allows you to let your guard town, taking away the fear and competitive nature some 10k’s have. However, this was no easy-going 6.2 mile run. With 20 obstacles through water, tubes, nets, and of course mud, I was left sputtering and out of breath, but still laughing and cheering on my team as we went through each challenge together. The importance was to complete the challenges as a unit, and again not to rush through solo.

Teams went all out with their matching team shirts, many had screen printed the name on colored tees, with matching head bands or bandanas. Girls running in tutu’s were also very popular. (Not after being coated in mud though.) One team of all young men ran in speedo’s and bow-ties. We even saw super hero’s crawling through, masked and caped. It was important to show a  silly side in costumes, while challenging your body and mind completing the race.

I personally think theme runs have longevity. It creates a wonderful sense of community and support for individuals who aren’t the fastest, most able runners all the way through to seasoned runners. Everyone is having an incredible time with friends and family. I am excited to see what other types of runs start up — wouldn’t it be fun to have a halloween run? They all  provide excellent Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pictures and and who doesn’t miss the chance to partake?! (Nor will I!)

-Ali Lind


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