Novelty runs have become so popular in recent years! There’s everything from fun races that aren’t timed, like the Color Run, to hard-core obstacle races like the Savage Race. I’ve even heard of a bacon run, Krispy Kreme run and Chardonnay 5k (if you’re reading this, please come to ATL). You name it- the racing world has it!
The popularity of novelty runs has come with both applaude and criticism. Many new runners are drawn to these races to test the waters per say. One of my dear friends started running small novelty runs, then 10k road races and now runs multiple day Run Disney challenges! Novelty races are definitely awesome because they make racing seem less intimidating.
On the other hand, it seems like novelty runs get a lot of heat from old-school runners. Some runners feel like it down plays their sport. The press seems to jump at the opportunity to report when a novelty race is a huge debacle. Recently, a mud run in France caused thousands of runners to get GI issues. Can you imagine?
That was the only proof I needed to know mud runs aren’t for me!
Some may say my beloved Run Disney races are novelty as well. I DO get dressed in costume and run from character to character. I can let my Disney nerd shine bright while I attempt to run long distance in a ridiculous costume. I picked the WDW Marathon as my first full marathon because of the novelty Run Disney races have to offer.
Even though I’m a party pooper and don’t participate in many of these novelty runs, I think they are overall fantastic for the running community. The themed runs bring in newbie runners, the obstacle races bring in athletes from other sports and there is something for everyone. Every runner can find their place in the world of novelty runs, you just need to find that (beer, paint, bacon, donut, etc.) race that applies to you!