According to a Running USA survey, Halloween is now the second most popular running holiday, trailing only Thanksgiving. Participation grew 60 percent since 2011, with over 700,000 runners finishing a Halloween race in 2015.
Here’s a rundown of some fantastic Halloween races. Start planning your race day outfit, because costumes are definitely encouraged.
Halloween Half Marathon Series
October 21, Petersburg, VA; Oct. 28, Miami, FL; Oct. 29, Atlanta, GA and Fayettesville, NC
This race series began in Miami, but has since spread to other cities in the south. Every year they change the design of their intricate and festive Halloween medals. If the half is too much, you can always run the Freaky 4-miler.
United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles
October 29, Los Angles, CA
This year, Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Halloween weekend race is teaming up with Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con. If runners attend Comic Con on Friday or Saturday and complete either the 5K or half marathon on Sunday, they will earn a Super Hero Challenge medal. Obviously, you should race dressed as your favorite super hero.
October 21, Chicago, IL
Participants have the option of running a half marathon, 10K, 5K or Mount Doom Challenge—10K, 5K, and a 1-miler all in one morning. All runners get a performance jacket and a medal, as well as a chance to take to the streets of Chicago in your best costume.
Halloween Half Marathon
October 21, Morristown, NJ
Have a little fun at this scenic fall race that features candy at every water stop and jack-o-lantern medals. There are great prizes for the overall winners, but don’t forget about dressing up. Awards are also given to the best costumes.
The Great Pumpkin Haul
October 28, Denver, CO
This two-mile race has a catch—you’ll have to cover the entire distance holding a pumpkin. If that sounds like a lot of work to do by yourself, runners can register as part of a two or four person team. Kids under 5 can even race with a mini pumpkin.
Brew Haha Halloween 5K
October 28, Fishers, Indiana
This Halloween race begins and ends at Four Day Ray Brewing. Runners can choose between a tank, short sleeve and long sleeve participant shirt when they register. There is also a costume contest, of course. But the biggest draw is the medal, which is a cooper beer mug. You’ll need it because the first two post-race beers are free.
Zombie Mud Run
October 14, Reading PA; October 28, East Windsor, NJ
Mud runs are tough enough without worrying about being chased by the undead. But it makes it a lot more fun. Runners wear a belt with three flags, which zombies will try to steal throughout the course. If participants finish with at least one flag, they “survived.” But if not, then they turn into one of the zombies.
October 28, Las Vegas NV
This race offers runners a course filled with scenic views. They can stare off into the mountains on the way out and enjoy a downhill finish towards the Strip on the return. Participants choose between the 10K, 5K and one mile races. After the race, stick around the PKWY Tavern, where the course begins and ends, for a celebration beer.
Midnight Monster Dash
October 28, Steven Point, WI
This Halloween 5K is quite spookier because of a midnight start time. Despite the late hour, the flat course brings in speedy runners, as well as those looking to win the costume contest. Before the 5K, there is a one-miler kid’s dash, as well as pumpkin and face painting.
Halloween Terrifying 10
October 29, Dana Point, CA
This race has a distance for every runner and activities for the entire family. Choose between the 10-miler, 10K or 5K. Meanwhile kids can run the half mile super hero race after they play in the pumpkin patch. Watch out for goblins and ghosts along the course.
October 28, Austin, TX
This Halloween event is about more than just races. After the 5K and 10K, head to the after party, where there will be a flag football tournament and Pugil Stick fights. Refuel from all that activity with a free barbecue lunch.