Despite the frequent traffic lights, cars, and pedestrians, New York City is pretty runner-friendly, shutting down streets each March and November for the half and full marathons and playing host to dozens of weekend 5k’s. For the more casual runners, the Color Run has been a hugely popular option, with an event held in Queens this past spring and upcoming ones in Brooklyn. We rounded up ten other crazy themed races, from 0.05k to marathons. Many involve food and others raise money for charity, but most importantly, all are about having a good time on and off the course.
1. NYC Pizza Run
Anyone hoping to drop a few pounds during this race should reconsider, as the Pizza Run redefines “carbo-loading.” The three slices of pizza competitors must consume between each of this race’s four laps–and the post-race beer for those who can stomach it–cancel out any calories burned during the actual running portion. Competitors must complete a total of 2.25 miles around Tompkins Square Park, stopping after each lap to refuel with cheese slices from Pizza by Cer té. The 2013 edition saw 120 entrants, with a portion of the race proceeds go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. Riding the success of the eating and exercise combination, the same race organizers also held an NYC Cupcake Run last fall, during which competitors crammed in three cupcakes in a 5k run through Astoria Park.
2. Idiotarod NYC
A play on the famous Alaskan Iditarod, a 1,000-mile dog race, the “Idiotarod”–recently named the “Idiotarodoma” after the original race’s lawyers lodged a complaint–gathers NYC’s most daring idiots each January for a trek through the urban tundra. Teams of five “idiots” and creatively-decorated shopping carts replace dogs and sleds, as runners must stop at a series of checkpoints throughout the course to complete challenges. The race began in San Francisco as the Urban Iditarod in 1994 before spreading to around twenty cities nationwide, including Salt Lake City and Cincinnati. Unlike in the actual Iditarod, lighthearted sabotage and bribery are encouraged.