Hawaii's Wacky Races

It’s not enough anymore to simply run a marathon. No, these days, races are getting zany. Check out this passel of chases happening in the next year, each with their own gimmick.

The Color Vibe 5K race promises explosive fun.

photo: J. Scott Matsumoto


The Spartan Race

Date: August 17, 2013
Venue: Kualoa Ranch
Synopsis: More than three miles of barbed wire, burning coals and gladiators wielding batons await those who want a Survivor-esque experience on their way to the finish line. Don’t be intimidated, though; race organizer Matt Kievlan believes anyone can complete this course, as long as they don’t mind being “ripped off the couch and into the outdoors.”
Who should go: Warriors in training

Glow Hawaii Glow 5K

Date: August 23, 2013
Venue: Aloha Stadium
Synopsis: Don white or neon colors and a few fluorescent bracelets as you face a winding night course carved out of the stadium and its parking lot. Expect some (harmless) surprises stationed every kilometer, and an exceptionally luminous after party. Ideal if you enjoy glow sticks and evenings out, but raves aren’t your thing.
Who should go: Families

Color Vibe 5K

Date: November 11, 2013
Venue: Aloha Stadium
Synopsis: A typical 5K footrace, but with spectators hurling fistfuls of colored cornstarch as you pass by. The goal is to come home colorful by running through a course reminiscent of an Indian holi festival. Come as a blank canvas and wear white to make the hues really pop! Becoming a human work of art has never been easier.
Who should go: People who love doing laundry

The Marine Corps Base Hawaii Swamp Romp

Date: February 2014
Venue: Nuupia Ponds
Synopsis: You’ll need a dip in the historic fish ponds after slipping through the mud on this course! “We try to incorporate a lot of typical Marine Corps obstacles,” says Megan Early, athletic director for Marine Corps Community Services, adding that one of the highlights at last February’s race was a huge slide that sent teams foot-first into the waters of the nature preserve.
Who should go: Anyone in need of a good exfoliation

Ultimate Urban Scavenger Race

Date: May 31, 2014
Venue: Aloha Tower/Downtown Honolulu
Synopsis: Think you know the city? Enjoy being bamboozled? You’ll be challenged with clues leading you and your team to points around Honolulu, with little more than your collective wits to guide you. Brains almost always beat brawn, but speed is also a key factor.
Who should go: Brainiacs

Think twice before bringing your DSLR camera to the Color Vibe: the colored powder can get everywhere, including inside your expensive lenses.