By D.C. Lucchesi 


You’ve had your fill of run-of-the-mill 5k’s long ago. Marathons, mud runs, zombies. Been there and done all that, too. Now you’re stuck wondering how you’ll stay motivated to train this season. Think you’re ready for the next big thing in themed events? Race promoters are already plotting and planning on how they’ll lure you to the start line! Check out some of these ideas you may (or may not) see on the calendar coming soon!


The Coffee Run

Expect an early start time on this one, sponsored by a well-known roastery. Features include all the free coffee you can drink before the gun goes off.  The hitch? A very, very limited number of porta-johns strategically placed just past the finish. I’m predicting some incredibly quick times and unusual strides as participants aim to finish fast – and dry.  


The 401K

Also known as the Golden Parachute Run. This one is a very exclusive ultra-distance event featuring CEO and CFO types from Fortune 500 companies famous for “earning” those big stock options and bonuses. Online registration is being handled by an unnamed offshore company. Expect most of the actual running to be outsourced to India.


Paul Ryan Marathon

Their tagline, “Everyone PR’s Here,” is likely going to make for some interesting advertising. No clock, no time splits; just tell everyone how fast you ran. This course is not, however, a certified Boston qualifier. Expect your brother to give you grief if he doesn’t believe your finishing time. Must be prepared to explain “forgotten” actual finish time on national television. 


Election Cycle

A full on sprint around the new Giordana velodrome! This one’s for would-be elected officials only, but the real winners here are the voters. Those running, er, riding, for office must limit their campaign speeches to only what they can eek out in one complete breath immediately following the bell lap! Sponsored by the Short Attention Span Theatre. 


Date Night Dash

Must have child(ren) to enter. Participants are timed on how fast and far they can get away from the house once the sitter arrives. No mercy, no whining. If I want to hear that, I’ll stay here at home. “Because I Said So” logo tees sure to be an instant classic.


Commitment Crit

Shaping up to be THE event on the unmarried-but-still-dating cyclist’s calendar. A race against time, your girlfriend’s biological clock and her mother’s remarks about your unwillingness to commit. No winners here. This event will be officiated by her mother. Sponsored by her wannabe bridesmaids and the Elvis Gold Lame Wedding Chapel. Good luck with that.


Remote Control Run

Teams of roommates, couples or siblings are encouraged to go head to head as “Downton Abbey” takes on “Duck Dynasty” in this race to control the small screen! Command over the living room’s TV remote remains with the racer only as long as he or she can keep the treadmill turning. Relay teams welcome!  


iPod Playlist PR Time Trial

Parents and kids! Here’s your best PR opportunity on the race calendar! Participants must trade iPods before the start, in a test to determine who can endure the others’ music before they make it to the finish! Disclaimer: Kids who are lousy listeners have a distinct advantage here. Penalty points will be assessed for removing earbuds or skipping songs before the finish. 


The “Worrier” Dash

Coming this Mother’s Day, moms of grown children are staged in front of a mock evening newscast report containing alarming yet fictitious health risks found in common places. The clock starts immediately after the broadcast. Who will reach the phone first to warn their kids? This event will start in waves based on the entrant’s number of kids or grandkids. 


If you can’t find something here that suits your fancy or fetish, just wait! Researchers are busily tabulating results from exhaustive Facebook polls, monitoring your mobile phone usage, and conducting other market research with CIA drones to create an event you won’t want to miss.


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D.C. Lucchesi runs, rides, and writes from Charlotte. When D.C. isn’t planning or participating in his own “next adventure,” the award-winning writer and former television producer can be found freelancing and waxing poetic on subjects ranging from health and endurance to schools and politics. When he’s not volunteering or coaching in some capacity with school-aged kids, he still enjoys interacting with grown-ups. Find him at