BY HAL O. WEIN
WITCHES COVE, MA – The race organizing committee of the 122nd annual Samhain Guiser and Mummer Family Fun Run are reporting another disappointing showing for the 122nd year in a row.
The event – which occurs every Halloween – is supposed to feature street performers and candy-makers on every corner, and costumed runners racing around the 18th century churches and inns of this quaint maritime village. But – as usual – nobody but really old men showed up. Continue reading
With everyone’s favorite season just around the corner, The Heel Strike has carefully curated a list of some of the best races to be found in the contiguous United States. Let’s just hope we’re not too full of Pumpkin Spice Lattes to hit the road!
The Everything Possible 5K (Seattle WA Oct. 5, Portland OR Oct. 12, Boise ID Oct. 19 www.everythingpossible5k.com): With a Rock ‘n Roll band at every mile, organizers spraying colored powder and confetti on racers, and an insane series of giant inflatable slides each with their own mud pit, what’s not to love? (Did we mention it’s at night and you get to run with neon glow sticks?!) Run with your dogs, push a baby stroller, and dress up in your favorite funny wig and superhero costume! Not convinced yet? Here are just some of the awesome additional features:
- BBQ and beer provided at the start, finish and every K along the way!
- Follow a map to hidden schwag along the route!
- Over 127 different divisions and categories – from Masters Mixed Doubles (Military), to First-5k Senior Boy-Girl Team of Twelve (Non-Military) – so it is literally impossible not to be one of the winners!
- All participants receive a plastic medal from China, a tech-t from Bangladesh, and a mug made in Malaysia!
- Best of all, $1 of your race fee goes toward environmental sustainability – even the Earth wins!
Be sure to sign up quick for this one – it’s sure to sell out!
The Child Health Day 50k Kids’ Ultramarathon (Multiple locations across contiguous US, Oct. 5 www.childhealthday50k.com): What better way to celebrate National Child Health Day (yes, it’s an actual day that exists) than by signing your kid up for the Child Health Day 50k?! Kids as young as 3 can test their mettle against a grueling 30+ mile course and will make some great memories during the 10+ hours it will take for them to DNF! For those who do manage to finish, race volunteers will help your child forever preserve their achievement at a make-your-own-medal craft station*! Worried your kid doesn’t have what it takes? Parents can join their tots for a modest $50 non-refundable fee! Prove your advocacy for children’s rights everywhere by signing junior up for the hottest kids’ ultramarathon around!
* Craft materials not included in race fee – parents, please bring materials from home for your child.
The HELL-o-ween Devilry 666k Relay (Salem MA to Baltimore MD, Oct 26-31 www.helloweendevilry666krelay.net): Is that a runner on your tail, or Freddy Krueger?! Grab five of your spookiest friends for this freaky tribute to Halloweens of old! Race begins in Salem, MA (where all the craziness began!) and finishes in an abandoned row house in Baltimore, MD. Be ready for some scares along the way, including:
- Witches that pop out from trees
- Running at night
- Ritual animal sacrifices over a bonfire every 100 miles (Are they real or staged? We’re not saying…)
- Chainsaw sounds (Might be a nearby logger minding his own business, might be a race organizer dressed as Jason!)
- Members of death metal band Muffled Scream dressed up as clowns
- Long, uninteresting stretches of pavement
Be one of the first ten teams to finish before the stroke of midnight on Halloween and receive one copy of the Poltergeist trilogy on DVD to scare – er, share – with your teammates! (Can you say ‘movie night’?!) Sounds like one “hell” of a good time to us!
And for you Type A folks out there who like to plan ahead, here’s a little Easter treat hot off the presses!
The 100k-rusade in the Desert (Las Vegas, Easter Sunday 2016 100krusade-in-the-Desert.org): Racers wear 50 pounds of armor as organizers hurl stones, drop hot tar, and lob fiery arrows at them! The course begins on the parched, unforgiving shores of Lake Mead, and ends inside the newly-built Holy Land Casino in Las Vegas! Aid tables provided every 10k by the Knights Hospitalers featuring era-appropriate snacks like fish and dates. And never fear – if you can’t make this one, Wikipedia says there will be a total of 7 k-rusades to the Holy Land, so check back at the website often! And you can bring the whole family, because there’s face painting, camel rides, and a Children’s 1k-rusade! Not sure if you’re ready for a 100k? There’s the Saladin 60 option: shorter, cheaper, and just as honorable*.
* Participants denied entry to the Holy Land Casino.
Hard not to “fall” for that lineup, eh? The only problem we’re having is which race to sign up for first! Readers, hit us up in the comments with your take on this amazing spread!