Missouri on the
Jefferson City, Mo.
– New Year’s
Resolution: get fit. New Year’s suggestion: take up fun
Any resolution is hard to keep: 75 percent
make it through the first week in January. Only 46
percent make it past the first of June. But with fun
runs, you can keep your resolution and break it at the
Fun runs incorporate a little
imagination, a little creativity and the proper
“I think it’s the cupcakes,” said
Deanna Kakouris, regional manager of Big Shark Bicycle
Yes. Big Shark and Lift for Life Academy in St. Louis
co-sponsored the Gateway
Cup Cake and Bottle Cap Dash as a benefit for the
alternative middle and high school. An informal survey
of seven women waiting to begin the race confirmed
Kakouris’ statement: five of them admitted they came for
the cupcakes from Jilly’s
Cupcake Bar and Café, a popular St. Louis eatery.
“We’ve had people come from out of state:
Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan; and a lot of them
had heard about it from friends of theirs that have
shared that the event was so much fun that they came
only for this reason,” said Kakouris.
wouldn’t? Jilly’s won “Cupcake Wars” on the Food
The 5K racecourse in St. Louis’ Forest
Park is interspersed with five cupcake stations.
“Eaters” (those running for the cupcakes, as opposed to
serious runners/”Non-Eaters”) stop at each station and
choose a small or large cupcake. They are required to
remain in the corral at the station until the treat is
finished. At the end of the race, five minutes are
deducted from a participant’s race time for each large
cupcake and three minutes for each small one consumed.
The catch is, runners have to keep them down.
The second event, the Bottle Cap Dash, throws a
little twist into the race: obstacles, some physical,
some mental. As racers overcome obstacles, they select a
bottle cap. At the end of the race, they are rewarded
with the varieties of beer – or soft drinks – they
Approximately 1,000 runners
from throughout the Midwest – many of them in theme
clothing or costumes – participated in the races. So
using a little creativity works for race organizers and
is a huge success for the charities the races support.
There is no end to the inventiveness. Just a short dash
into the events ahead proves both amusing and
Relive high school at Bad
Prom in Kansas City in May, where the race course
takes you through the kitschiest prom themes ever.
Racers are dressed for a big night out and there’s as
much dancing as running.
Fulfill a favorite
athletic fantasy at Finish
on the 50 Chiefs 5K, also in May. The course takes
runners through the tunnel onto the field at Arrowhead
Stadium and ends at the 50-yard-line. Reverberating
public address system announcing your name not
Also in Kansas City, celebrate
Valentine’s Day by getting down to the basics – if you
dare – at Cupid’s
Undie Run in the Power and Light District. St.
Louis has a similar run on Feb. 15, starting at
They may not be faster than a speeding
bullet, but runners honor everyday heroes, and certainly
look the part while doing it, at June’s Superhero
Dash in St. Charles.
St. Louis really knows
how to celebrate Valentine’s Day the old-fashioned way:
lots of chocolate. This year they’re combining the
for the Chocolate with the 2-mile Truffle Shuffle.
Race categories include Bachelor/Bachelorette, Off the
Market, Cougar Women, Serial Dater Men and “It’s
Complicated.” Dessert date prizes, goodie bag treats and
edible medals are provided by Bissinger’s
Celebrate the holidays by running with
bells on – literally – at the Jingle
Bell Run/Walk in Columbia and Cape Girardeau to
raise donations to fight arthritis. In fact, this is a
favorite race theme in towns across the state in
Another great holiday-themed race is
Sweater Run in Joplin. A side benefit is that
(unlike the Undie Runs), you’ll stay toasty in
Missouri’s brisk winter weather.
A very popular
theme for racing events is the Color Run. Check out Cape
Me Cape in April and Cajun
Color in Reeds Spring in May.
The 2014 Gateway Cup Cake and Bottle
Cap Dash is already scheduled for Nov. 8.
If these races don't get your
blood pumping, up the stakes with a Zombie Run. Springfield,
City and St.
Louis all have the walking dead running around town
For some, these quirky fun
runs are just not enough of a challenge. If you like
your races hardcore, there are more demanding yet still
creative adventure runs. Spartan Races, Warrior Dashes,
Fugitive Runs, Tough Mudders, marathons and
half-marathons dot the Show-Me State racing events
If a tougher run is appealing, be sure
to check out the Sandmine
Challenge in Crystal City in February. The event
combines running with spelunking. It’s held underground
in an old sand mine, with a 4-mile course that winds
over sand dunes, under an air shaft and around
underground lakes. It’s listed by CNN as one of “10
Ultimate U.S. Adventures.”
challenging and quirky with August’s Foam
Fest in St. Louis, featuring mud pits, army crawls,
cargo net climbs and a 3-story inflatable side with
obstacles that are filled with fluffy white
New for 2014, KT82 presents a serious challenge to
serious runners: an 82-mile trail relay from Creve Coeur
Park in St. Louis County to Hermann. Most of the course
is on the scenic Katy Trail, with the run scheduled for
August 30. The relay is open to six- and three-person
teams and is divided into male, female and mixed
divisions. Due to the popularity of the race, a special
lottery registration will be held February
Whether you’re dodging
zombies, inhaling cupcakes or getting dusted in paint,
running has gotten fun. No more excuses. It’s time to
get in the race ... in Missouri.
Missouri Division of Tourism
Missouri Division of Tourism (MDT) is the official
tourism office for the state of Missouri dedicated to
marketing Missouri as a premier travel destination.
Established in 1967, the Missouri Division of Tourism
has worked hard to develop the tourism industry in
Missouri to what it is today, an $11 billion industry
supporting more than 281,000 jobs. For more information
on Missouri tourism, go to http://www.VisitMO.com.
# # #
Stephen Foutes, Communications Manager
Division of Tourism
Stephanie Lynch, PR and Social Media Manager
Tourism News Bureau