Top 10 Nashville Runs with a Twist | Unsung Nashville
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Top 10 Nashville Runs With a Twist

We all know those dedicated runners who are quick to explain how pounding out mile after mile has changed their entire life. They put those oval 26.2 stickers on their cars, and keep a collection of T-shirts and bibs from the many races they have completed, always trying to set a new personal record.

Well, bah, say the rest of us. We. Do. Not. Like. To. Run.

Still it would be nice to have some racing bona fides to point to when these athletic types discuss the benefits of carbo-loading. (Plus it gives us an excuse to order spaghetti without feeling sheepish in front of them).

Walk, stroll, jog, or actually train hard and race through these runs with a twist. The fun factor often goes quite a bit higher than the run factor.

Mustache Dache


Mustache Dache
Photo courtesy of Living Social.

Attendees care less about the finish line than they do about their lip line. Men, women and children arrive in their mustachioed finest. Yes, your lip hair will be judged, and at a very serious mustache contest no less. Women and children can go the store-bought route or Groucho-Marx it with some greasepaint. Men are encouraged to grow their own, starting Nov. 1 in connection with Movember. All that fuzz is designed to raise awareness of men’s health issues.

The Ugly Sweater Run


Ugly Sweater Run
Photo courtesy of The Ugly Sweater Run’s Facebook page.

No, “ugly sweater” doesn’t refer to the participants’ appearance at the finish line (though it might be an apt description). This is one more opportunity to drag out your tacky holiday pullovers and cardigans, and show them off by jogging around 3.1 miles of the city. Funds raised benefit Save the Children.

Nashville Zoo Run Run


Nashville Zoo Run Run
Photo courtesy of Nashville Zoo’s Facebook page.

Think you run like an elephant? Then you’re in the right place. The course through the Nashville Zoo takes you past real-life lumbering pachyderms. Lots of racers choose to blend in by donning ears, tails or other animal camouflage. Sure the January date often means you’ll run in bitter cold, but hey, you’re an animal!

Hot Chocolate 5K/15K


Hot Chocolate 5K
Photo courtesy of Hot Chocolate 15K & 5K’s Facebook page.

This Valentine’s Day run promises that braving the February chill will be worthwhile. At the end you get chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Decadently rich hot chocolate. Warm, melty chocolate fondue with marshmallows, pretzels and bananas for dipping. Sweet.

Color Run


Colon Run
Photo courtesy of The Color Run’s Facebook page.

They call it the happiest 5K on the planet. The one demand: runners are required to wear all white clothes. Then as you make your way to the finish line, you get doused over and over again with brightly colored paint. At the end, to paraphrase the Rolling Stones – you’re like a rainbow.

Tap ‘N’ Run


Tap 'N' Run
Photo courtesy of Tap ‘N’ Run 4K’s Facebook page.

How perfect that a week before the Country Music Marathon attracts the world’s elite runners, Nashville has its Tap ‘N’ Run 4K. While a lot of races reward runners with a beer at the finish line, this one doesn’t make you wait. Run a bit, then stop to guzzle some brews at a Chug Station. Run a little more. Guzzle more. No wonder they dropped that last 1K.

The Great Amazing Race


Great Amazing race
Photo courtesy of Great Amazing Race’s website.

Do you watch The Amazing Race every season and think, “I could do that!” Well take some baby steps while you wait for your acceptance letter to the show. This kid-friendly race is done in teams, so you and your race partner need to clear some challenges on the way to the finish line.

Hero 5K


Hero 5K
Photo courtesy of The Hero 5K Facebook page.

Grab a cape and practice your superpowers — you might need them to win the post-race Beer Pong Tournament. Prizes are awarded for best costumes as well as best times. And while superhero and supervillian dress is highly encouraged, battles between good and evil should be confined to the racecourse.

Glo Run


Glo Run
Photo courtesy of The Glo Run’s Facebook page.

This is more rave than race. Glow-sticks, lasers, glow-in-the-dark facepaint and, of course, black lights — all it needs is techno music blasting. Oh, right, it has that. DJs line the course, and dancing toward the finish line is encouraged.

Undy 5000


Undy 5000
Photo courtesy of Undy 5000 5K Run’s Facbook page.

Almost everything about this particular 5K is serious. It raises funds and awareness for colon cancer. It would be pretty much like any other 5K for a cause, except that the organizers request that you run in your underwear. They’ll even provide you with boxers if you don’t have any.



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