Washington area costume races to get you in the Halloween spirit

Handout art of a Zombie Run in Vermont from 2012. A similar event will be taking place locally.

Oliver Parini - Dead. Tired: A Zombie Run in Vermont last year. Its sister event is at National Harbor.

UPDATE: The federal government shutdown could affect some race locations (Boo! Run for Life and Monster Mask 5K), so check the event Web site before heading out. The Boo! Run for Life in particular has changed its location, distance and time (see below).

What is it about running races that drives people to pull out the tutus and tiaras? Whatever the reason, October just might be the most fun time of the year to be a runner. Every weekend is packed with costumed or Halloween-themed races, even more so with the recent zombie mania. Try one of these events to get into the Halloween spirit. Many are family-friendly, and all encourage but don’t require costumes. Did we miss your event? Add it in the comments.

Run for Your Lives

Make your way through a blood pit, smokehouse and maze (and lots of zombies trying to steal your flags), and you can relax at the “Apocalypse Party,” with music, food, drinks and games. Camping is allowed on-site ($20). www.runforyourlives.com

When: Oct. 5 at 8 a.m.

Distance: 5K obstacle race

Location: Wicomico Motorsports Park (Charlotte Hall, Md.)

Prizes: “Survivor” medal for finishers with a flag remaining, “Infected” medal for finishers without flags.

Deadline to register: Oct. 5

Cost: $100 on-site registration (zombie registration is sold out)

Charity: Kennedy Krieger Institute

Anthem Great Pumpkin 5K

This family-friendly event has a timed 5K for serious runners, an untimed party-like mile run for the less serious and a much shorter “dash” for kids, followed by an Oktoberfest party. Kids Dash participants receive a bib, ribbon and pumpkin. There will also be a pumpkin-decorating contest. www.thegreatpumpkin5k.com

When: Oct. 12 at 8:15 a.m.

Distance: 5K race, one-mile fun run, kids dash 100-400 yards depending on age group

Location: Reston Town Center

Prizes: Awards for the top three men and women in the 5K race, award for best costume

Deadline to register: Oct. 12

Cost: Great Pumpkin 5K $40 online through Oct. 8, or $45 in person Oct. 11-12; Pumpkin Smash Mile $20 through Oct. 8, then $25; kids dash $5

Charity: YMCA of Fairfax County Reston

Boo! Run for Life

All proceeds support a renal cell cancer research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. It will be timed. www.boorunforlife.com

When: Oct. 13 at 7:30 a.m.

Distance: 5K run, 2.5K Tidal Basin walk

Location: National Building Museum (Washington)

Prizes: Awards for age groups, top man and woman, top team

Deadline to register: Oct. 12

Cost: 10K $34, 3K $31

Charity: Dean R. O’Neill Renal Cell Cancer Research Fund at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

Monster Mask 5K

This out-and-back course on the C&O Canal towpath is a good choice for folks who’d prefer to avoid street crossings. And it’s completely flat. www.safetyandhealthfoundation.org/monster

When: Oct. 13 at 9 a.m.

Distance: 5K

Location: Fletcher’s Cove (Washington)

Prizes: Awards for top three males and females, top three in age groups, awards for best mask and best costume, best children’s costume

Deadline to register: Oct. 12

Cost: $40

Charity: None

Ghosts, Ghouls and Goblins 5K Run/1-Mile Walk

Run solo, run as a family or run with your dog, in matching costumes, even. The 5K race is timed. ftmeademwr.com/events/RunSeries/ RunSeries.php

When: Oct. 26 at 8 a.m.

Distance: 5K run, one-mile walk

Location: Ford Meade Pavilion (Fort Meade)

Prizes: Top male and female overall, top male and female in several age groups; awards for top three dog costumes in four categories: most creative/original, scariest, best pet pair, best pet and owner pair

Deadline to register: Oct. 26

Cost: Online through Oct. 17, $15, on-site $25 per individual (group and family rates available); contestants in pet costume contest can participate in the one-mile walk for free.

Charity: None

Ghost, Goblins & Ghouls Spooktacular 5K & Scarecrow Sprint Fun Run

This race coincides with “Shocktoberfest,” which includes food, drinks, funhouse tours and a haunted house, on the Paxton Campus, home of an organization that serves special-needs children. A costume contest follows the race. www.ghost5k.com

When: Oct. 26 at 4 p.m.

Distance: 5K, children’s sprint varies by age (25 yards to 400 yards. depending on age)

Location: Paxton Campus (Leesburg)

Prizes: First and second place, male and female, first and second place in age groups; awards for best individual costume, best partner costume, best team costume

Deadline to register: Oct. 26 (Oct. 22 online)

Cost: 5K $30 by Oct. 22, $35 at packet pickup or on race day; Scarecrow Sprint $10 online through Oct. 22, $12 at packet pickup or on race day; Shocktoberfest party $5

Charity: Road Runners Club of America’s Kids Run the Nation program

Halloween Hustle 5K/1-Mile Fun Run

This new race allows runners to push smaller kids in strollers in a timed 5K, or bigger kids can participate in their own one-mile Fun Run. After the race, stay for trick-or-treating at vendor tables, a moon bounce, music and more. www.runsignup.com/Race/MD/Gaithersburg/2013HalloweenHustle

When: Oct. 26 at 8:30 a.m.

Distance: 5K race, one-mile fun run (10 and younger)

Location: Montgomery Village Shopping Center (Montgomery Village)

Prizes: Awards for top three males and females, awards for best adult costume, best child’s costume, best family/group costume

Deadline to register: Oct. 26

Cost: 5K $30 through Oct. 25 at 5 p.m., $35 day of event; fun run $10 through Oct. 25 at 5 p.m., $15 day of event

Charity: Family Services

Headless Horseman 5K Run/Walk & 1K Fun Run

This fifth annual race raises money for the Frederick High School girls’ cross country team. It starts and ends at Frederick High and winds through Baker Park’s bike paths. www.steeplechasers.org

When: Oct. 26 at 1:30 p.m.

Distance: 5K race, 1K fun run

Location: Frederick High School

Prizes: Awards for top three men and women, top three in age groups; 5K awards for scariest costume, most creative costume, best group costume; 1K awards for cutest costume, most creative costume, best parent/child combo costume

Deadline to register: Oct. 26

Cost: 5K $20 through Oct. 20, then $25; 1K $10

Charity: Frederick High School girls’ cross country team

Run From the Killer Zombies

This multi-terrain event takes racers through a zombie-infested old prison complex. It is a straight running race, not an ad­ven­ture race with zombie “attacks.” The 1K race is designed for younger runners but is open to anyone. www.runfromkillerzombies.com

When: Oct. 26 at 2 p.m.

Distance: 5K, 1K, 8K

Location: Old Lorton prison (Lorton)

Prizes: Age category awards in the 5K race; awards for top three finishers in the 1K and 8K races; prize for best costume

Deadline to register: Online registration closes Oct. 25. Check the event Web site the night before the race to see whether day-of registrations will be allowed.

Cost: 5K $40, 1K $20, 8k $50

Charity: West Springfield High School crew team, Hylton High School crew team and Cub Scout Pack 365

Run Like the Wind 5K

This timed race through historic Old Town Warrenton is followed by a Halloween party at Molly’s Irish Pub. www.5krunforhaiti.org

What: Oct. 26 at 6 p.m.

Distance: 5K, 300-yard Kids Dash

Location: Old Town Warrenton

Prizes: Age-group awards, awards for best kid’s costume, best adult costume and best group costume

Deadline to register: Oct. 26

Cost: 5K $30 online through Oct. 24, $35 in person on race day; Kids Dash $10 online through Oct. 24, $15 in person on race day

Charity: Northern Haiti Hope Foundation

Spartan Spooktacular 5K

The second annual race brings together more than 40 years of Broad Run wrestling alumni and their families, plus other members of the community.

www.bitly.com/15EZkGf

What: Oct. 26 at 9 a.m.

Distance: 5K

Location: Broad Run High School (Ashburn)

Prizes: Awards for top three males and females in age groups; awards for best adult costume, best child costume and runner-up

Deadline to register: Oct. 26

Cost: Adults $25 through Oct. 12, then $30; students 18 and younger $20 through Oct. 12, then $25; discounts for groups (e-mail james.totaro@lcps.org)

Charity: Broad Run High School wrestling team

Zombie Run by Sports Zone Elite

Make it to the finish with one of your three flags to win a survivor medal. Hint: Only one member of a team needs to make it to the end, so a slower runner could make a good zombie sacrifice. You can also run solo, but then you’re on your own. Price includes a beverage at the after-party. www.zombierun.com

When: Oct. 26 at 10 a.m.

Distance: 5K

Location: National Harbor

Prizes: Medals for all finishers

Deadline to register: Oct. 26

Cost: non-zombies $64 through Oct. 19, then $74; $35 for zombies (extra $20 if you want to run the course before or after your “Zombie Shift”)

Charity: Smile Train

Trick or Treat 5K Run/Walk

This race, which starts not far from the Rosslyn Metro station, allows strollers, children and dogs, as well as headphone use. www.active.com/running/washington-dc/trick-or-treat-5k-run-walk-2013

When: Oct. 26 at 5 p.m.

Distance: 5K

Location: Riverside Gateway Park (Arlington)

Prizes: Awards for top male and female in each age category; award for “crowd favorite” costume and other categories

Deadline to register: Oct. 26

Cost: $30 through Oct. 4, $35 through Oct. 25, $40 on race day

Charity: D.C. Special Olympics

Goblin Gallop

This competitive 5K is on a USA Track & Field-certified course. Swag includes a glow-in-the-dark T-shirt. Stick around after the race for food and drinks.

www.goblingallop.org

When: Oct. 27 at 8:30 a.m.

Distance: 5K run, 5K walk, 1K run

Location: Fairfax Corner Shopping Center (Fairfax)

Prizes: 5K awards for top three females and males, top three masters, top three in age groups; awards for best team costume, fastest team, largest team

Deadline to register: Oct. 27

Cost: 5K run $28-$33 through Oct. 24, then $30-$35; 5K walk $20-$25 through Oct. 24, then $25-$30; 1K run $15-$20 through Oct. 24, then $20-$25

Charity: John Quadrino Foundation to Benefit Children With Cancer

 
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