Best 5k and 10k Races California Has to Offer

From Spartans, to Zombies, and Froyo

Written By: Olivia Otsuki 5k and 10k Races

Who says running has to be just running? You can be a Spartan overcoming obstacle courses, or a surviving citizen running to the CDC away from infected zombies. You can dance the night away, get a frozen treat at the end of a race, or be covered in paint or neon as you run to music. Here are some of the most creative, challenging, fun 5k and 10k races.

Spartan Race

Are you ready to get down like the Spartans? To paint your face, jump over walls, swim through pools of mud, drag tractor tires, swing across bars and hoops, climb vertical ropes, and crawl under wire? This race will push you and hundreds of your fellow Spartans to your physical limits. It has been called the “World’s Toughest Race” and that is no joke! While this race is definitely epic and tons of fun, make sure to train beforehand. On their Spartan marathon bibs, it states a warning, “There is a real possibility that you may die or be catastrophically injured.” Also, wear clothing you will be willing to throw away because you will be covered in mud. Spartan Races happen all over the country, and several are in California. Go to their website and type in your zipcode, and you will find maps, dates and distances of the races nearest you.


Froyo Run

Their motto is Run + Chill. You can sign up for the 5k or 10k race; either way, both races end with runner’s high, bragging rights, and a treat! What could be better, than a mist tunnel and a big, ice cold bowl of frozen yogurt and gummy bears waiting for you at the finish line? The race comes with free race photos and finish videos, as well as 2016 finisher medals which are silver spoons. Dress up in costume, or cute outfits for this race that is perfect for friends and family. Most of these races occur in major cities in California; visit their website to find locations nearest you.


Electric Run – LA/SD/SF

Who says dancing and racing don’t go together? EDM to Disco, neon paint, glow sticks – everything you love about concerts, but in a 5k race. Dance your way to the finish line where there is a big after party with a live DJ and light show. The electric run also provides each runner with an ELECTROBAND, which is “an illuminating LED bracelet that automatically syncs with the music and other runners throughout the entire event, ” says Electric Run. Be creative with your outfit—be as bright, neon, and colorful as you can. Not only will you have a great night meeting new people, and hearing great music—but Electric Run benefits local charities around the community.


Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder is a 10k run about learning what you are physically capable of doing and learning how to get through intense obstacles as a team with everyone participating in the race. Tough Mudder is known for their badass obstacles and coming out with new ones each year. Can you make it through mud, fire, and ice? 2016 races will feature their new obstacles: The Blockness Monster, Backstabber, Rain Man, and Frequent Flyers Club. Also, wear clothing you will be willing to throw away because you will be covered in mud.


Color Run

This might be the only time you wear white with the intention of getting stained. Run this 5k with fun as your main goal, and you and your friends will be painted as paint is thrown on you. Everything will be tropical themed—island music, tropical colors, palm trees and arches. The race ends at Rainbow Beach, where there is music, dancing, and more color throwing! Here’s your chance to be part painting, a painter, and runner, all at the same time. This year, they are also hosting a Color Run Night, which is an untimed run with glowing t-shirts, headlamps, and glow color packets. Color Run also gives back to the community and helps charities fundraise. Color Run is all over the country all throughout the year; visit their website to find races and dates nearest you.


Zombie Run

Do you think you’d fare well in the Walking Dead? Run or be infected. The Zombie Run in Temecula takes the most terrifying parts of zombies—the eerie fog, the decaying faces, the fences in your way as 20 zombies pile up behind you—and makes you a part of the experience.  Will you make it to the end without getting “bitten?” (No physical contact will actually be made). If you are infected, you receive a medal that says “infected.” If you make it to the finish line, you are rewarded with medal that says “survivor, ” and “recovery fluids, ” which is beer. At the end there is an after party with music, food trucks, zombie makeovers, photo ops, beer, and merchandise. Zombie run says, “Let’s party like it’s the end of the world!”


Neon Run – SD

Run through glow zones to upbeat music as blacklights lead your way to the finish line. Every racer is given glow powder and glow accessories to brighten up the night. Feel free to be creative with your outfits, or wear all white, to see how many colors you are covered with by the end of the night. The 5k Neon run helps fundraise to local communities. Visit their website to find locations nearest you in 2016 and 2017.

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