Friday, May 5, 2017

What makes a good Themed Race?

In every race there is a start line and a finish line. The same thing happens at every race (you start, you finish) regardless of what the race is called so why are we so drawn to races that have fancy names or themes?  There’s the Color run, the Pirate run, the Leprechaun run, the Super Hero run, etc. You get the idea. 
So many races claim to be a “theme” but what does that really mean anyway? What justifies a “theme” race?

To me, I think it’s the whole race ambiance that contributes to a good themed race, including but not limited to these 5 things…


1 1. Themed photo ops-  If it’s a super hero run, there better be an opportunity to get your photo with a super hero or at least a colorful backdrop that says as much. For a Leprechaun run or any other Holiday themed race, I would expect some sort of seasonal background. In my experience only larger races have had photo ops, but it wouldn’t be all that hard for all races to do even if we had to use our own cameras (which let’s face it, most of us take our own pics anyway). 

2 2.  Costumed Runners- I love a race where runner’s are encouraged to dress up. I may not always participate but seeing runners in their best Santa garb, Halloween outfit or just Rockin it out at a Rock n Roll series race is always fun!

3 3. Themed Swag – I love when the medals correspond with the theme of the event and are not just a generic race medal. Most races are pretty good about this one. Same with the race shirts.

4 4. On Course Entertainment-  Whether it’s Characters on course, bands, cheerleaders, or just inspirational signs along the course, I think this contributes to the overall ambiance and theme of the race.

5  5. What else is there to do?- I think this is a huge factor when theming a race. Is there a post race bash afterwards? Is the race associated with a festival or a parade? Is there access to a theme park, a concert, or a chocolate factory perhaps?

Here are my thoughts on a few “theme” races I’ve done in the past.

Of course Disney hands down has the theme race covered with ALL 5 of these points!

I did a 4th of July race last year and if HEAT was the theme, they had that covered. Other than that, runner’s wearing red, white, and blue, and some watermelon at the end was the extent of the theme there.

When I did the movie madness race, some runners dressed in costume and the AG awards were replicas of Emmy Awards.

When I ran Wicked (Halloween theme race) almost everyone dressed in costume,  the medals were spooky Halloween looking medals, and the hot soup in a bread bowl hit the spot on a cool fall day.

When I ran Running of the Elves many runner’s where in Christmas attire, the race director was dressed up, there were Christmas gifts along the course to pick up, and the AG awards were very cute Christmas ornaments.

Hershey- I guess the theme here is obviously chocolate.  The medal and shirt reflected that, there were chocolate candy characters on the course, you got chocolate treats at the end, and of course there is Chocolate World (and the Park and the Chocolate Spa both at an additional price) to visit after the race. Overall I think it was themed nicely.





28 comments:

  1. I never really do themed races, but I am always impressed by some of the costumes that runners come up with (that I see on social media). And I do think it would be fun to get race swag that is specific to that race.

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  2. I like themed races because they add something different to something that's expected (like you said, the start and finish). I like seeing the costumes and I like when the swag matches the theme. I think a post-race party is key for themed races! I could leave the themed photos on the course, but they're fun afterward!

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    1. I'm glad you like themed races! Even though I don't always stop, I do think it's fun to see the photo spots along the course. I think theme photos at the end is a must!

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  3. I love seeing all of the photo ops from themed races! While I have not done a Disney race yet, I do love a great themed race. Happy Friday

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  4. I guess I did just run a themed race, although I didn't think of that!

    Although I almost never dress up, I do enjoy seeing runners in costume (and often wondering how they can run in that). The fourth of july race here is one of my favorites -- I noticed when coming back from picking up Bandit the other day that the flags are on the lightpoles on the road near us (they go up for Memorial Day -- early, obviously).

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    1. Yea, some people are more about the costumes than about being able to run comfortably. I've got to be comfortable on the run!

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  5. I enjoy themed races! I always wonder about the real "serious" peeps who show up and act (and look) annoyed by all the stuff going on LOL

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  6. I'm not much into themed races but I do like traditional / annual races like the Shamrock Shuffle here in Chicago. I don't do costumes but I'm glad people enjoy getting decked out to run!

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  7. I'm not a "themed race" kind of runner--I actually like to just run!

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  8. I think themed races are fun once in a while. Doing the Disney Princess 10K was quite the experience and I loved getting photo opps through the park! I still need to find a July 4th race...I always seem to miss the major holidays!

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  9. I don't really run a lot of themed races, but I do like holiday themed races like Turkey trots.

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  10. Themed races really are fun! Love when there is swag and photo ops!

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  11. I love themed races! They are so much fun to participate in.

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  12. I've never really done a themed race. The Color Run is the most themed I've done & not even sure that counts. I want to do a super hero run so badly!

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  13. I really want to find a Christmas themed race this year!! I seem to have done all seasons, except for Christmas.

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  14. I like themed races. I've been dressed up like a pirate and Olaf - difference races though!

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  15. I did a Halloween race in 2012, and it was fun seeing what people dressed up as. I didn't run in costume, but I wore an orange shirt, black Under Armour, and I made sure to have festive black and orange striped socks.

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  16. I don't know if I have ever done a theme race but I would love to someday - It looks like so much fun! But it would definitely have to be a "for fun" mindset vs my normal "trying to run as fast as I can" race mentality.

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  17. I don't really get in to themed races. I pretty much pick them based on date, location and distance.

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  18. Okay, it's settled. I think you need to organize a themed race. You'd be great at it because you have so much experience running all different types of races!

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  19. I would love to run Wicked 10K one day, but usually same weekend as MCM. Have a great weekend!

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  20. I think it is fun to people show up for these runs and if dressing up in a costume gets them out so be it! I ran a jingle jam 10K a couple of years ago and placed in my age group and I could hang the medal on the tree- love it!

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  21. I like themes that encourage costumes because they are fun to look at. I try to participate but my creativity is usually lacking!

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  22. Themed races are certainly fun to run (ahem, Disney!), but I also enjoy running non-themed races too. Its nice to run at a variety of different races, and definitely helps with keeping my interest spiked.

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  23. I do like the holiday themed races... I think it's great to see families out getting active together.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.