Thursday, November 8, 2012

Themed Runs for Everyone

Arielle Parker, Marketing Intern
Whether you’re getting splashed with color, running through the mud, or eating a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts, these aren’t exactly your traditional 5k runs. Themed runs have become a growing phenomenon across the nation, ranging from New York City’s Underwear Run to Walt Disney’s “Goofy” 5K, to Lexington’s very own Rock n’ Roll run at their Keeneland race track on March 30th of 2013. Themed runs are sweeping the nation with its creativity and clever obstacles, leaving competitors with smiles on their faces and in some cases full stomachs.

There is a run for just about every competitor too, which makes these runs extremely popular. Take for instance the Zombie run where flesh-starved zombies are spread throughout a muddy 5k course trying to steal competitor’s flags. Or what about the Twinkie Run held on April Fools day? This run has competitors eating Twinkies before, during and after the race. Want to find a run that suits the holiday season? The Turkey Trot is a prefect run for families to get that pre-workout before the big meal. Runners can dress like a turkey, pilgrim, or wear their favorite pajamas while gobbling their way to the finish line. Even on New Year’s Eve there is Midnight Run to ring in the New Year. Competitors run 4-miles through Central Park where there will be live entertainment, nonalcoholic champagne stations and a great view for the firework show at midnight. To gather more information on these themed runs visit:

There are even runs that will test competitor’s strength, stamina and mentality. The Warrior Dash, the Spartan Run, and the Tough Mudder are great runs, which consist of multiple obstacles such as fire, mud, barbed wire and some curve balls to get competitors out of their comfort zone.

The Tough Mudder is arguably the toughest event on the planet that has competitors complete a hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle course. These obstacles are used to test strength, stamina, mentality, and camaraderie. “Our events are three times as long, take place in hostile environments, often at altitude, and are a significant physical and mental challenge. Completing a Tough Mudder requires camaraderie and a degree of toughness that other mud-runs will not even begin to test”. For more information about the Tough Mudder visit

To see how tough the Tough Mudder really is, I interviewed some of AE’s bravest staff members about their experience with the Tough Mudder. Our members include Blake Dickens a Student Program Coordinator, Brad Hagan a Desk Worker, and Collin Whitehouse a Desk Worker.

AP: What is your experience with the Tough Mudder?
CW:  It was extremely awesome!  The physical aspect of it wasn’t nearly as demanding as I thought going in to the event.  I thought overall it was more of a mental challenge more than anything.  I constantly had to remind myself to just make it through one obstacle at a time and the miles seemed to fly by.  I would definitely do it again.

AP: What was the most challenging part?
BD:  It definitely had to be the cold. When you are weighed down with 10 lbs of mud and water on a fifty degree day with high winds, there is really no way to stay warm. This was something that we just couldn’t train for.

AP: How did you prepare yourself for this type of activity?
CW:  Personally I ran, swam, and worked out each about 4-5 times a week.  In regards to the Tough Mudder though, I would say that both running and working out, just a few times a week, would be completely suffice in training.  As long as a person has a no quit mentality, a Tough Mudder is definitely a reachable goal.

AP: How did you feel after you finished?
BH: Exhausted, hungry, and relieved to have completed it.

AP: What were your thoughts during the obstacles?
CW:  In a weird way I kind of enjoy being miserable and pushing myself far beyond the comfort level.  I would see the pain on others’ faces and use it as motivation to keep me going. 

AP: What did you learn the most out of doing the Tough Mudder?
CW: Almost everyone was out there for the same reason: pushing themselves and others around them to finish the race.  I loved it that it wasn’t thought of as a race, more of a team oriented goal to finish.  Helping people over obstacles and giving words of encouragement created a great atmosphere and friendly camaraderie. 

AP: Is the Tough Mudder for everyone?
BH:  Not everyone can do the Tough Mudder. It covers a lot of distance and requires a lot of effort before and during the event. Obstacles can be skipped however if one is uncomfortable with doing anything in particular.

AP: Did you find at one point you wanted to quit?
Each of the staff members were able to preserver through the obstacles and found quitting to not be an option.

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