It's wild what people will pay to do to themselves.
This Saturday and Sunday, thousands of folks will descend on Somerset Amphitheater for the Tough Mudder, a 12-mile obstacle course designed by the British Special Forces. The event, which costs upwards of $150 to be a part of, includes something called the "Arctic Enema," where participants swim through a giant pool of ice cubes, along with an obstacle knows as "Electroshock Therapy" that features a field of live electrical wires carrying up to 10,000 volts of electricity.
While the Tough Mudder may not be everyone's thing (we'll be spending the day drinking and LOL-ing at your Facebook status updates instead), this summer there are a number of unique road races and fun runs happening all over the state that are perfect for any skill level or taste. To help you pick the one that's right for you, we gathered up three of the most fun, unusual races we could find to help you get your move-on.
(*Note: For realsies though, good luck to all the Tough Mudder-ers. You're a bunch of crazy assholes.)
Run for Your Lives 5K: June 2
Taking place out in Millville (where?), the Run for Your Lives 5K shares some basic characteristics of the Tough Mudder. There is mud. There are obstacles. And yes, we realize that we just got done being a bunch of asshats about this kind of race, but there's one thing that makes this way more awesome: zombies. This is the only race you'll find where zombies are straight-up chasing you the entire time with the intent to eat you. Awesome, right?
Each participant gets a bunch of flags that he or she wears during the race, sort of like what you would wear playing flag football in high school. These flags represent your health, and it's up to the zombies to try and snatch them away. There are obstacles throughout the course where you can earn "health bonuses," which also allow you to be eligible for prizes. At the end of the course, if you have at least one health flag then you are considered "alive." If you have no flags, the zombies won.
We can't speak for everyone, but for our money we would much rather die from zombies than from freezing or electrocution.
The Color Run: July 15
From zombies to rainbows, our next race is an event taking place in St. Paul for the very first time this summer. The Color Run is a three-mile run that is open to runners and walkers of all abilities. During the event, volunteers will shower participants with a colored concoction they call "elf-made magical color dust." At each kilometer folks will throw a different color of dust on you, leading up to the big finale "color extravaganza" at the finish line.
This event is blowing up all over the country, and the Minnesota date is actually already sold out. However, if you're really desperate to get your rainbow-on, you could still volunteer and spend the day dumping dust on yourself like a poorly behaved first-grader. Which sounds like a blast.
This race follows a very simple mathematical formula: Beer > Running.
Formerly known as the Blubber Run, the Mill City Suds Run is a longtime favorite among hardcore runners and non-runners alike. It combines fun costumes, a scenic course, and, of course, beer. Sure, other fun runs may offer beer at the finish line, but the Suds Run is the only one around that has a beer-break at the halfway point of the race. And after all, what's the point of exercising if you can't get drunk once you're done?
One of our photographers took a bunch of shots from last year's event, which you can check out here.
Whether you're into zombies, rainbows or booze, chances are there is a fun run or walk for you somewhere around town this summer. Or, you could always just spend your summer dissing people on Twitter and watching the TV edit of Bad Boys 2 on cable. That's pretty sweet too.
Looking for the right run or bike ride for you? Check out our online listings for sporting events happening this summer.