Running Trends

Is normal running out of fashion?

Color Me Rad 5k My husband posed this question to me as we were driving out-of-town for our Thanksgiving holiday. It was prompted by the fact that I received a training book for obstacle course races in the mail, as well as the fact that I participated in the Color Me Rad 5K here in Las Vegas the weekend before.

It’s a pretty valid question. For example, just here in Las Vegas (where I live) there are several races in the next couple weeks with special themes:

Even the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon have a little bit of a “theme” since they’re run at night. Granted, I live in Las Vegas… it’s a little over-the-top here anyway. But many of these runs are part of series that take place all around the country, so the trend is not limited to Sin City.

There are several color themed runs scheduled in Vegas for the next 12 months, all with slightly different names, but they seem to have the same overall concept.

Like I said, I participated in the Color Me Rad run recently and I am registered for the Poker Run. So obviously I’m not against an event having a theme. They bring out crowds and get more people moving and active.

The flip side is they usually cost more to orchestrate, thus the participants have higher registration fees. For those who are looking for PRs and serious competition, that’s harder to come by at these races due to the extra congestion. And there are some people who just complain that it ruins the “integrity” of running. However, I have a hard time believing that because, like I said, it encourages people to MOVE more. Doesn’t that seem like running integrity to you?

What are your thoughts? Are you into this kind of racing or do you think it’s a blight on the running community?


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Jill Whitaker

Jill is a full-time web geek, runner, mother (to a little girl and a boxer pup) and also maintains the site She has been blogging since 2001 and is one of the founding editors of

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I look at it a lot like cycling. For years, road was all there was. And it was (is) a very disciplined sport, with very specific rules and etiquette. It appealed to a certain type of person, but to the masses it didn’t seem fun at all.

    Then mountain biking came along. Wow – riding in the dirt, just for the fun of it. Just like when we were kids. And at its start, mountain biking was a pretty casual affair. Show up, sweat, get dirty, have fun. And as a result there was an explosion of interest and a lot of people took up the sport.

    I think the current stream of “fun races” is very similar. Rather than the somewhat intimidating laser focus of a marathon runner going for a PR, these races put the fun in running, just like when we were kids. And as the author stated, it gets more people out, active, and moving. And that’s a good thing.