The Best Halloween Races in America
If your belly's full of bite-sized Snickers and the trick-or-treaters don't show up at your door for another two weeks, it might be a good idea to go for a run. Or maybe you just want to sport your homemade PSY costume and "Gangnam Style" your way to the finish line. Check out these Halloween races that are more about the costume and party than that whole running thing.
Devil’s Chase 6.66 Miler
Saturday, October 27 ($40 in advance/$45 race day, musclemorphosis.com)
Price: $40 in advance and $45 race day
If you’re into superstitions, you can secure bib #666 for this 6.66 mile run—but you'll have to pony up for it. Last year, the winning bid on the beast-numbered bib was $366.66, so get ready to dig deep into your pockets if you fancy numerology. Competing in the costume contest? Remember to dress in a devil-themed costume to be eligible. And if pitchforks and horns aren't your thing, get creative: Deviled eggs and Devil's food cake are also acceptable costumes . . . but dude, good luck finding those at your local Party City. (Before you hit the pavement, lace up a pair of musclemorphosis.com.)
Sleepy Hollow Halloween 10K
Sleepy Hollow, New York
Saturday, October 20, 2012 ($35, musclemorphosis.com)
This small town along the Hudson River was made famous by Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” then served as the setting for Tim Burton's super-dark horror film of the same name. One of the more authentic Halloween-themed runs, this 10K course will wind you through Sleepy Hollow Manor and Cemetery, the Headless Horseman Bridge, and the Old Dutch Church. Say hi to Ichabod Crane for us.
The Graveyard Run 5K at Elmwood Cemetery
Kansas City, Missouri
Saturday, October 27, 2012 ($25 in advance, $30 race day, musclemorphosis.com)
Officially established in 1872, the 43-acre Elmwood Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the final resting place of James H. McGee, the first settler to Kansas City. The cemetery, maintained by local volunteers, is almost at capacity and only has a few new burials each year. Naturally, the race course cuts through this historic graveyard, but if that doesn't give give you your freaky fix, walking tours of the cemetery begin immediately after the race.
The Great Pumpkin Haul
Saturday, October 20 ($50, musclemorphosis.com)
Before you brush off this short distance race—just 2 miles total—you should know that the trail cuts through the woods and includes jumping over hay bales and fording creeks. Oh yeah, and you’ll be carrying a big ‘ole pumpkin the whole way. Don’t even think about getting a miniature-sized one to help keep your time down. Suck it up and go for a nice 20-pounder. Then we’ll be impressed when you cross the finish line.
Zombie Dash 5K
Saturday, October 27 ($35 for human runners and zombie hunters, $40 for zombie runners, musclemorphosis.com)
Break a sweat while moaning, "Braiiiiins!" If you’ve got your heart set on a zombie run, this is the one. Runners can register as humans, zombies, or zombie hunters. Humans start the race with a two-minute head start, followed by the zombies, with the zombie hunters on their tails. Unlike your run-of-the-mill races, simply crossing the finish line isn’t enough. Humans must protect a white flag—so if yours is removed, consider yourself bitten by zombies. But if you're hunting zombies, Walking Dead-style, you'll kill a zombie when you snatch his red flag. Method actors can even sign up for free "zombiefying" sessions with a professional makeup artist. Just remember: musclemorphosis.com (Sorry, we couldn't resist.)
Las Vegas Urban 5K Halloween Run & Festival
Las Vegas, Nevada
Saturday, October 27 ($59 for runners, $25 for monster zombies, musclemorphosis.com)
With a race time kicking off at 3 p.m., this Sin City-set 5K is more suited for the up-all-night vampire type. You’ll have to run through downtown Vegas trying to dodge zombies, zip past abandon cars, and scurry through cornfields. But that's not the only action: After the race, head over to Fremont Street at 8:30 to take part in Las Vegas’s attempt to break the world record for the most people dancing to “Thriller”. They’ll need 14,000 people to crush the record, so grab some buddies (or strippers).
San Antonio, Texas
Sunday, October 21 ($40 for 3K, $45 for 5K, and $5 for pets, musclemorphosis.com)
Dress up your four-legged furry friend and head over to McAllister Park, the largest in San Antonio, for a 3K or 5K loop. So many costume choices for your pet, so little time. With 100 percent of the race's proceeds going to dogs in need, you'd have to be a real jerk to sit at home. The organization has saved over 1,825 boxers, and if you’re in the market for a new companion, you can adopt on site.
Monster Mud Run
Lincoln, New Hampshire
Saturday, October 27 ($45 in advance, $55 race day, musclemorphosis.com)
Marketed as a “mud, muck, and glory obstacle course” at Loon Mountain Resort in New Hampshire, this race includes 16 scary obstacles. Chief among them: "Cliff Hanger" and "Trench Warfare." (Those with a fear of heights, mud, and freezing cold water need not apply.) After the race, head over to the nearby Bunyan Room for beers and a Halloween Monster Bash costume party.
Haunted Hill 5K and 10K
San Francisco, California
Saturday, October 27 ($20 before October 25, $25 race day, musclemorphosis.com)
If you’re like most grown men, the last time you went trick-or-treating was probably back in grade school. Here’s your chance to relive those days, with an adult twist. Join a team of up to five people and explore the festive St. Francis Woods area for 60 or 90 minutes. You’ll be issued a scavenger map, then navigate to designated checkpoints along your route, where you'll answer questions for points. Consider it the ultimate test of physical and mental strength. Our suggestion: Bring a flashlight—the action doesn't start until 5 p.m.
The Virtual Halloween Day Run
Any location, Florida (Seriously.)
Saturday, October 27 to Wednesday, October 31 ($16.99, musclemorphosis.com)
No, you’re not jogging on a treadmill with a pair of goggles strapped to your face and a virtual course flashing in front of you. You’re actually running along your favorite route, either solo or with a bunch of friends. The objective: to take a step toward healthy living along with others who have the same goal, and to compare your time to everyone else's as the nation gears up for World Run Day on November 11. As for that registration fee, the dough gets you a T-shirt, bib number, and your name listed on the event site. Perfect for the lazy runners who don't want to travel to races or wake up early.
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