As the weather starts warming back up in the good ol' Midwest, Hoosiers are shedding their winter coats for lighter jackets and some much needed Vitamin D. One of my favorite ways to enjoy the fresh air after a dreary winter is to go on a run or long walk throughout the city's parks and hiking trails. I've outlined a few upcoming 5K's and races below that are suitable for all levels of fitness... and likely include either drinking or indulging in sweets at the start and finish lines. It's all about balance anyway, right?
SHAMROCK BEER RUN INDY
Get off on the right foot this St. Paddy's Day with the boozy Shamrock Beer Run! Toast a craft brew at the starting line, drink some more around each following kilometer, and enjoy a pint at the finish along with a magnetic bottle-opening finishers medal! You can also run for a cause and donate to any of the event's five charities it is supporting.
500 FESTIVAL MILER SERIES- 6-MILE and 10-MILE RUNS
Leading up to the traditional Indy Mini Marathon (May 5) that kicks off race weekend, the Miler Series 6-miler and 10-miler's are aimed to be a guide in your half-marathon training program. For those not participating in the Indy Mini, these races are still an awesome way to reach your fitness goals and meet likeminded people!
HOT CHOCOLATE 5K AND 15K
The Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K is known as "America's Sweetest Race," can you tell why? Along the course there are "sweet stations" equipped with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and M&Ms, but once you cross the finish line you will be greeted with a finisher mug to enjoy the event's famous gluten and nut-free hot chocolate!
EASTER EGG 5K
The day before Easter, head out to Tow Yard Brewing for the Easter Egg 5K & Adult Egg Hunt benefitting St. Vincent de Paul! After running the downtown course and participating in the optional Adult Egg Hunt, enjoy a refreshing pint as you relax with your finishers medal.
DINO Trailer Run Series-5k and 15k
Do Indiana Off-road (DINO) offers a trail running series that takes you to some of Indiana's most scenic and challenging trails. Here (**add link: http://www.dinoseries.com/trail-running/) you will find the full trail series, but below are the details for the nearest race to Indianapolis, located at Eagle Creek Park!
EARTH DAY INDIANA RECYCLE RUN
If you enjoy going outdoors, or even just driving down scenic roads, then you've likely seen litter and unnecessary waste sprinkled throughout our parks and highways. This Earth Day (Apr 21), help preserve the land you live on by running in the Earth Day Indiana Recycle 5K and 1-Miler! After running along the White River and Urban Wilderness trail, you will receive a recycled (unused) medal from a previous 5K along with a lanyard made of recycled plastic bottles.
Brunch Run 5k
Chances are you're already spending your weekends brunching your way through Indianapolis, so why don't you engage in a friendly 5K beforehand (and earn yourself a free bloody Mary afterwards)? This race starts and ends at The Rathskeller and includes a full Sunday brunch spread that you can enjoy all while listening to live music in the Biergarten and basking in that post-run glory!
THE KETEL ONE RUN, WALK, CRAWL PRESENTED BY INDYFITNESSMAG
Do you live by the motto "Work Hard, Play Hard"? If yes, then this is the 5K for you! Starting with a race throughout buzzing Broad Ripple and ending by getting buzzed yourself, this race will have you feeling fit AND lit thanks to IndyFitnessMag and Ketel One.
500 FESTIVAL MINI MARATHON
Culminating our list of spring races and fun runs is none other than the 500 Festival Mini Marathon. Their website says it best, "On the first Saturday of May, 35,000+ runners, joggers, walkers, and wheelchair racers will take over the streets of downtown Indianapolis for The Greatest Spectacle in Running - the Indy Mini"! Whether you're running 13.1 or 3.1, the Mini is a great way to kick off arguable the best month in Indiana and get in that racing mindset for the Indianapolis 500 on May 26.