Missouri Fun Runs

Cupcakes…running…beer. “One of these things is not like the others.  One of these things just doesn’t belong.”

If you think you know which one, you’re wrong.  All of these things are exactly the same.

Confused?  So was I when I found out some friends were running in a 5K Cupcake Run in St. Louis. I get that some people love running, or at least do it willingly for fitness.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t run. If I’m running, something really bad is chasing me.)  But combining cupcakes or beer with activity meant to burn calories and increase fitness seems counter-intuitive, if not downright crazy. This I had to see.

Cookie Monster getting stretched for the big race.
Cookie Monster getting stretched for the big race.

I wasn’t sure my perception was wrong when I arrived at the event.  The first thing I saw was Cookie Monster getting stretched prior to the race.  I saw people of all ages dressed in cupcake-themed clothing and headgear; all of them wearing shirts labeled “Eater” and “Non-eater.”

Best. People. Watching. Ever. But I digress.


Here’s how the cupcake run works:  some people run the course for time without stopping.  These are the serious “non-eaters.”

For the rest of the participants (“eaters”), there are five cupcake stations along the course.  As they enter each station, they can choose to eat a small or large cupcake.  (By the way, these are really amazing cupcakes from Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Cafe.  They took the grand prize on “Cupcake Wars” on The Food Network.)  Experienced racers call out “small” or “large” and “chocolate!” or “vanilla!” as they enter the station.  They’re required to stay in the station corral until they’ve finished their treat.

At the end of the race, three minutes is deducted from a runner’s time for each small cupcake, and five minutes for each large cupcake consumed.  The catch is: you have to keep them down.

Enjoy a few cupcakes while you run a 5k...?
Enjoy a few cupcakes while you… run a 5k?

Now, if cupcakes aren’t your thing – this event also offered a Bottle Cap Dash, where participants had to negotiate a series of obstacle courses.  Each obstacle overcome earns the runner his or her choice of bottle caps.  At the end of the race, runners were awarded the variety of beers (or soft drinks) matching the caps they had selected.

Many runs are fundraisers. Some are strictly races for time. But today, many are quirky, ranging in theme from chocolate to paint, zombie runs to bad proms.  The choices are endless.  They really put the “fun” in “fun run.”  You don’t even have to run; you can walk.

It’s a great way to help a worthy cause, stay in shape (assuming you don’t consume more calories than you burn at every event!) and have a really fun time doing it. In fact, it looks like so much fun, even I might get out there some day:  Will Run Walk for Cupcake.


Some of Missouri’s 2014 fun runs include:

Some of Missouri’s 2014 fun runs include:

Feb.: Cupid’s Undie Run in the Power and Light District in Kansas City, and starting at Syberg’s in St. Louis

Feb.:  Run for the Chocolate  in St. Louis

Feb.:  Sandmine Challenge in Crystal City, listed by CNN as one of “10 Ultimate U.S. Adventures.”

March: Zombie Run in Springfield, Columbia, Kansas City and St. Louis

April: Color Me Cape in Cape Girardeau

May: Cajun Color in Reeds Spring

May: Bad Prom in Kansas City and Finish on the 50 Chiefs 5K in Kansas City

June: Superhero Dash in St. Charles

July: Glow in the Park in St. Louis

Aug.: Foam Fest in St. Louis

Aug: KT82 82-mile Katie Trail relay, starting at Creve Coeur Park

Sep.: Jefferson City Outdoors Prison Break

Nov. 8: The Gateway Cup Cake and Bottle Cap Dash in St. Louis.

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