You may associate 5Ks with getting up way too early and digging out that activewear you use, well, not as often as you should. No more. The growing popularity of themed runs such as The Flavor Run, The Blacklight Run, Color Blast, Singles Run, and Insane Inflatables are coming to Tampa and are changing the face of fun runs.


Each of these races puts fun first and running second by offering plenty of distractions and attractions throughout the race course.  The atmosphere at these events is electric and fast paced but you don’t necessarily need to bring your Nike’s to keep up.  Few of the races are timed and most revolve around a larger theme or activity like the afterparty, the obstacles, or even meeting someone.  These events may not be a serious runner’s cup of tea, but that’s kind of the point.  Getting active is no longer reserved for athletes and these Tampa races guarantee a good time for all ages and abilities.


The Flavor Run, September 10th


The Flavor Run puts a new twist on the very popular Color Run by making the colored powder edible.  Each color is associated with a fruit, flavor, and sometimes local vendor.  Each 1K checkpoint features a new flavor and partners with local vendors to feature that fruit.  Runners at the Tampa race can, of course, expect to see some delicious oranges at the orange checkpoint and additional flavors include banana, blueberry, strawberry, watermelon, and grape.


The race kicks off at 9am at the Florida State Fairgrounds.  Registration prices range from $25 to $60 depending on when you register.  The Tampa race is already 59% sold out.  This is the 4th year for The Flavor Run to come to Tampa and this year's charitable partner is Girls on the Run of Greater Tampa Bay.  


The Blacklight Run, October 15th


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The Blacklight Run Tampa takes place at the Florida State Fairground October 15th at 7:30 and has two tiers of registration, standard race entry and VIP entry.  Aside from the time frame, there are several points of differentiation between night races and your traditional daytime fun run.  One look around the starting line of a The Blacklight Run will have you thinking, what’s going on here? Is it a dance party? A paint fight? A brightly colored parade of weirdos who reject traditional exercise? Yes, it’s all of those, and participants take it to the extreme with their outfits and dance and “glow” one another late into the night at the after party.


This summer they are also offering a “Girls Night Out” package to cater to small or large groups of parties wanting to register as a team.  Included in every type of entry is a blacklight run T-shirt, a glow in the dark tattoo, race bib, glow pack and admission to the after party.  The VIP registration is $45 and throws in extra glowing goodies like LED shutter shades, extra glow packs, a VIP shirt and access to the front lines via the VIP chute.  Girls Night Out has similar perks to the VIP with a curated set of goodies to fit the theme.


The Singles Run, October 29th



It finally happened.  Someone made a 5K into a matchmaking event and it’s coming to Tampa.  Held at Amalie Arena on Saturday October 29th at 9am, participants are headed out for more

than just exercise.  Each single runners race bib also serves as their dating profile, which increases in information at each 1K checkpoint.  Each station has a topic that is geared towards establishing compatibility.  This year's stations include topics like timeliness, money, and religion.  By the end of the race each participant has completed their bib or their “profile” and is ready to mingle with other single runners.


“The Flirtiest 5K in the Universe” packs the finish line with adult beverages, music, and matchmaking.  The idea of combining the activities is that both running and falling in love produce a natural chemical high and that chemistry and compatibility should both be considered in a first meeting.  Runners have a chance to get cleaned up for the “after, after party” if there is still someone they want to talk to and racers can pull their contact info tabs off their bibs as they wish to hand them out.  The Singles Run isn’t sure how many love connections it has produced to date, but if nothing else, at least you’ll get a workout.


The 5K Color Blast, November 19th



Similar to the Flavor Run and The Color Run, this race is focused on color zones at each 1K checkpoint.  So, if you aren’t able to make it to the September and October color fun runs, you will get another chance in November.  This event takes place at Northwest Equestrian Park on Saturday November 19th, midday.  Packet pickup starts at 11:30 and race waves start at 12:30.  This event is produced locally and is seeking volunteers.  This is a great opportunity for clubs, groups, and schools to get involved.


Insane Inflatables, December 3rd


Partnered with The American Cancer Society,  Relay for Life and the Paint Your World Purple campaign, this event is bringing the fun for a good cause.  However, it’s a little tricky because a donation to the Tampa Relay for Life event is not built into the price of your registration.  If you want to support the local Tampa event or are running in honor or in memory of someone at the Tampa Relay for Life, add the amount you wish to donate to your checkout when you register for Insane Inflatables online.  


Racing gets started at the Florida State Fairgrounds at 8:00am.  There are 13 Waves, starting every 15 minutes from 8:30 - 11;30.  Prices range from $49 to $100 depending on when you register.  All access passes include $20 in merchandise credit and open entry to any wave you choose.  The race will bring about 10 inflatable obstacles like The Wrecking Balls and The Waverunner.  See a full list of Tampa obstacles here.  The race is not timed and it is not necessary for participants to run between obstacles although they may choose to do so.