Pay homage to Hollywood with these blockbuster-themed 5K runs, 10K runs, and marathons
Instead of simply watching the Oscars this weekend, celebrate the award show in Shape style—with blockbuster-themed races! Ahead, 10 of our favorite Hollywood homage runs. (Not that into movies? The 10 Best Costume Races in the U.S. may be more up your alley.)
Run with the Rat Pack at the Red Carpet Run in Palm Springs, CA. Coinciding with the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the race tours runners past the homes of iconic Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Liberace, Ronald Reagan, Debbie Reynolds, and more—with signs outside each property. Runners are encouraged to impersonate celebrities, wear red-carpet ready looks or the tuxedo tee, tutu, or tiara that are included with registration. Dogs can run and dress up too. After the 5K and 10K race through quiet, manicured streets and stately hideaways, runners earn a mini Oscar and champagne glass of recovery drink at the red carpet finish. Stick around for popcorn, karaoke, costume contests, and photos with Frank Sinatra, Elvis, and Marilyn cut-outs.
A long time ago (or January), in a galaxy far, far away (or Disneyland in Anaheim, CA), the force was with 23,000 runners for the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation. The 5K, 10K, half-marathon, kids races, and two-day Rebel Challenge are an intergalactic battle where runners in “Star Wars” costumes—including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Darth Vader, R2-D2, C-3PO, Chewbacca, Yoda, storm troopers, death stars, and a wide array of spacecraft—pause for pics with characters from the Academy Award-winning series. Runners earn Star Wars-themed medals, shirts, and can opt into special events like the Star Wars Wookiee Welcome Party with character meet and greets and rides like Star Tours.
If you associate Christmas with Red Ryder BB guns and triple dog dares, head to A Christmas Story Run 5K and 10K in Cleveland, OH where fans of the 1983 film run from the former Higbee’s department store to the A Christmas Story House & Museum. A Jumbotron plays A Christmas Story at the start and finish, while 24 facts about the movie line the course. Registration includes admission to the A Christmas Story House and Museum, where fans can view original props, costumes, photos, and memorabilia from the film. The post-race party includes movie-inspired Ovaltine, and the top finishers earn Leg Lamps as their “major award.” Plus, runners dressed as Ralphie, Randy, Black Bart, Santa Claus, pink bunnies, and fragile boxes keep the theme alive.
The Shawshank Hustle at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, OH is a running ode to the 1994 Academy Award nominee The Shawshank Redemption. The 4-mile race tours runners through six of 14 local sites where the adaptation of Stephen King’s Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption was filmed, including the grounds that doubled as Shawshank State Prison. Registration includes a tour of the reformatory, where you’ll see many of the film’s settings, including cell blocks, the prison yard, the warden’s office, Andy Dufresne’s escape tunnel, the parole board room, and the Brewer Hotel room where “Brooks was here” is carved. A Shawshank-themed costume contest at the inaugural July race will reward runners who dress as their favorite character.
Follow the yellow brick road to the finish line at the Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz in Olathe, KS. Don’t worry, you don’t have to run a marathon to the Emerald City. A Wickedly Fast Half Marathon, Dorothy Dash 10K, kids’ Munchkin Marathon, and team relay are available too. Race medals depict scenes from the 1939 Academy Award winner The Wizard of Oz and the finish chute is paved with yellow “bricks.” You’ll see runners dressed as Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and other characters from the movie and books as they race to escape a Kansas twister. If only finishing were as easy as clicking the heels of your ruby sneakers three times.
The hills are alive with the sound of footsteps at the Trapp Family Lodge Summer Trail Series in Stowe, VT. The 2,500 acre property in the Green Mountains is owned by the Trapps of The Sound of Music fame. The Tyrolean style resort is thick with Trapp family lore, including history tours, movie showings, sing alongs, and the Captain and Maria von Trapp’s gravesite. The weekly 5Ks in the summer series travel the lodge’s 60 kilometers of groomed trails, complete with panoramic mountain views reminiscent of the film, which won the 1965 Academy Award for Best Picture. The property is still overseen by Johannes, the youngest of the Trapp Family Singers.
Put on your grey sweatsuit and cue up “Gonna Fly Now,” the theme from Rocky. The Rocky Run 5K & 10K in Philadelphia, PA celebrates the 1976 Academy Award Best Picture winner. With a start and finish in front of the famous Rocky steps at the the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rocky Run takes participants on and out-and-back jaunt along the Schuylkill River. Runners earn a “championship” finisher’s medal and the satisfaction of knowing they can “go the distance.” Individual and group costume contests ensure an array of runners disguised as Apollo Creed, Adrian, and Rocky Balboa himself.
Runners assemble for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland in California. The Marvel-themed race centered around The Avengers franchise sees runners dressed as Captain America, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Black Widow, Iron Man, and a wide array of other caped crusaders. Participants smash the half-marathon, 5K, and kids races, where flat courses and fair weather make for fast times—that is, if they don’t stop for snaps with The Avengers characters along the way. Other weekend events like a Pasta in the Park Party give runners more photo opps with the super agents of S.H.I.E.L.D from the Academy Award-nominated film.
Run, walk, or fly on a broom at the Potter Run 5K in West Jordan, UT. The homage to Harry Potter coincides with the fictional boy wizard’s birthday. The running party includes birthday cake, finisher medals, and muggle runners dressed as characters like Harry, Hermione, Ron, Death Eaters, and other Hogwarts denizens—from the books and Academy Award-nominated films. After the race, snap selfies with the Hogwarts crew, compete in a Quidditch match or costume contest, and nosh on nibbles from food trucks. Top finishers earn a witch or wizard wand, naturally.
Run, Forrest, run at the Forrest Gump Challenge in Reeds Spring, MO. Choose from a 5K, half-marathon, marathon, or go the distance in a 50K at this run in honor of the movie that puts running front and center. Appropriately, tykes run too at the Kids Mile and runners earn dog tag medals. Participants and spectators can don $5 beards, play ping pong, and watch the 1994 Academy Award Best Picture winner. You don’t have to run across the cross country, but you will run some hills on the multi-looped courses.