The Baltimore Marathon takes over Charm City this Saturday. The Marine Corps Marathon is scheduled for Oct. 30. And the New York City Marathon is coming up the week after that. At all of these races, the big deal is that participants will run 26.2 miles. Booooring. If you’re looking for more of a gimmick to get you going, you’d probably rather do one of these upcoming events that are shorter and stranger.
(Free; Oct. 22, 10 a.m., 3rd Street SW and Jefferson Drive SW) Bring your exercise buddy on a leash to the Reflecting Pool for this first-time 2K, which is bringing attention to pet — and human — obesity. There will also be dog yoga, a dog obstacle course and non-dog fitness demos. Register in advance to make sure you can score a doggie bag of goodies.
($30 in advance, $40 on race day; Nov. 5, 7:40 a.m., West Potomac Park) Instead of the typical T-shirt, this 5K race series organized by the Colon Cancer Alliance gives participants a pair of boxers. They’re welcome to don those or any underwear of their choice. (Maybe put them on over a pair of running tights if it’s chilly, however.)
($35; Nov. 6, 1:50 a.m., 10400 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, Md.) That start time isn’t a typo. It’s 10 minutes before the clock falls back an hour at the end of daylight saving time, which means that you’ll finish the race before it began. You’re guaranteed a personal record, along with the chance to run around in total darkness.
($45-$65; Dec. 3, 7:30 a.m., National Harbor) Bananas and bagels not doing it for you? Maybe Ghirardelli hot chocolate, fondue and other sweet treats at the end will make racing more enticing.