Krispy Kreme Challenge: For runners who like to carb-load midrun instead of beforehand, the Krispy Kreme Challenge is the ultimate caloric test. Take off on a 2.5-mile jog, eat a dozen—yes, 12—doughnuts, then run another 2.5 miles under the one-hour time limit. The 2,400-calorie contest, which benefits the North Carolina Children’s Hospital, was started as a dare among North Carolina State University graduates.
The New York Hot Dog Challenge: Not very many runners have stomached the New York Hot Dog Challenge, which involves 10 (!) midrace hot dogs from 10 different trucks along the 3.5-mile course. Last year, just 12 ran the somewhat rogue race. Entrants—who compete to earn a cash prize that’s generated from entry fees and donations—are kept under watch by refs who make sure no one cheats (or pukes, which is grounds for disqualification).
Twinkie Run: This is no April Fool’s Day joke—Twinkie Run participants ought to love Twinkies. Before runners take a single step, they can consume one shrink-wrapped puffy pastry. Halfway through the three-mile race, they can wolf down another. The sugar rush isn’t the only perk—while Twinkie consumption isn’t mandatory, each Twinkie consumed shaves a minute off your finishing time. Grilled Twinkies are provided at the finish.
The Chocolate Race: You’ve heard that chocolate actually has health benefits, right? Combine your two loves—running and chocolate—with this race. Devour chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate-covered marshmallows during this 5K or 10K. There’s also a free chocolate martini at the finish line for every of-age participant, along with other sweet treats like truffles, fudge, and chocolate-filled croissants.
The Beer Relay: Recruit your best beer-chugging buddies and form a team for this relay, which involves multiple loops of a roughly 5K trail. Deduct two minutes off your team’s time by drinking 12 ounces of an Oskar Blues microbrew before each lap. In Colorado, the race lasts for four hours, and the team with the most laps covered the quickest wins. In North Carolina, the race lasts four laps, and the fastest team wins.
Brain Freezer 5K: You’ll scream for ice cream—or because of the brain freeze said ice cream has given you—right in the middle of this 5K. Run 1.5 miles, down a pint of Ben and Jerry’s—or as much as you can take—and then hit the streets for the final leg. The 2015 flavors were Americone Dream, Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Runners who successfully complete the whole pint (and keep it down) are eligible for a separate class of prizes.
Dine & Dash Burgers and Trail Race: The good news is this race is only two miles long. The bad news is, before each mile, you must eat a burger (including the bun). Organizers provide water (for washing-down purposes) and condiments (if you want to ingest even more calories). You prove that you’ve run the whole course—a nontechnical, flat out-and-back—by collecting a string of beads after your second burger.
NYC Pizza Run: Down three slices of authentic New York-style pizza during this two-mile looped run around the East Village’s Tompkins Square Park. If pizza isn’t your thing, there’s a sweeter sister event in October, the NYC Cupcake Run, also organized by the NYC Pizza Run guy Jason Feirman, a New York-based marketer and entrepreneur.
Corn Dog Challenge 5K: There’s a whole lot going on during this 5K, which is part of the Tulsa State Fair. Runners must consume a mini-corndog, a lemonade or beer, and a mini-caramel apple along the race route. In addition to the food stops, the race added color stations in 2015. (The colored powder is cornstarch, so don’t fret if it gets on one of your comestibles.)
Other Great Outdoors in Allentown, PA, United States
Bacon 5K Challenge Run: Runners must pig out on a half-pound of crispy bacon at the halfway point of this race, which is held in the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs minor-league baseball stadium. If that’s not enough, more bacon-themed delights, like bacon on a stick and chocolate-covered bacon, await finishers. Perhaps the best part of this bonanza? The scratch and sniff T-shirt runners receive prior to the race, meaning the amazing aroma can stay with you for days, weeks, even months on end.