Night Runs, Costume Races & Mile Runs, Oh My!

Costume Races, Night Runs, Mile Races, Oh My!

NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Looking to change-up your racing calendar? Check out three of my recent stories at I picked 10 mile runs, 10 costume races and 10 night runs around the U.S. Many of them aren’t even single race weekends, but running series with multiple events all over the country and the world. So forget long runs, basic black tanks, and early morning alarms. Switch it up with a mile dash, costumed caper or run that finishes after twilight.

Costume Races, Night Runs, Mile Races, Oh My!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon (Courtesy of Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series

Who hates early race morning alarms? I do! So make like Darth Vader and give yourself to the dark side at these runs that go bump in the night. From Disney to the desert, Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Energizer Night Run to Electric Run, glow powder to illuminations, these races—from 5K to 75K, trail and road events, fun runs and more—will keep you up at night. And yes, Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon is on the list—one of my all-time favorite races!

Costume Races, Night Runs, Mile Races, Oh My!

The Chiditarod in Chicago (Photo: Kirstie Shanley)

I loves me a running costume. So I picked 10 top costume races—some of them are multi-race series around the year and the country—where runners get their get-up on. From dashing Disney characters, galloping gorillas and sprinting Santas to centipedes, shopping carts, and barely there underwear, I want to run every single one of these. So many costume ideas…

Costume Races, Night Runs, Mile Races, Oh My!

The Platinum Performance State Street Mile (Photo: Justine Diaz/State Street Mile)

The mile isn’t just for school day fitness tests anymore. The distance is staging a comeback with 700 events in the U.S. per year, thanks in part to Bring Back The Mile and a growing number of high-profile races. How fast can you run 5,280 feet? Find out at these runs across the country including Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and New York. There’s even one you can run with your dog.

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Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.

10 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. Pam #

    Love your lists Karla. I would like to do a Santa shuffle where everyone has a Santa costume. We have a Jingle Bell run here in NC that I do most every year, and some of the costumes are really creative. Last year there was a nativity and a group dressed up as all the Grinch characters.
    Pam recently posted..How to lose your running buddy during a night raceMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      That sounds awesome! I’ve never worn a Santa costume and feel like I need to check that off my list one year. I also LOVE the Gorilla run because not only do you get to wear a gorilla suit, you get to wear a costume ON TOP of your gorilla suit. Amazing. It’s a DOUBLE costume.

  2. 3

    Love the lists! So glad that Bay to Breakers and the 5th Ave Mile run made the lists.
    Elle recently posted..Laziest Halloween Costume EverMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      It would be a crime to do either a Costume Races list or Mile Races list and NOT include those! I LOVE the 5th Ave Mile and Bay to Breakers is still on my bucket list.

  3. 5

    So this comment is not at all about your great list, but I wanted to comment on your site…

    I just read your essay on Shape, Running Through Heartbreak: How Running Healed Me ( Can I just say, WOW! Seriously powerful. I’ve read your writing on a couple of those difficult experiences, as you know, but the way you brought those and other things together and tied it to your Heartbreak experience and running more generally…oh so beautiful and inspiring! (And I feel lucky that that’s where we finally met in person, albeit beforehand.)

    Thank you for sharing your experiences, I always admire when people open up in that way, it gives so much to other people.
    Diann recently posted..Fall Pumpkin Soup with Maple Coconut Cashew Cream (Vegan)My Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Thank you so much, Diann! It means the world to me. It’s always scary to share personal and vulnerable moments. I wrote about that experience in my race report here, but I wanted to really do it justice since it turned out to be an unusually emotional race for me. So glad I met you there too!

  4. 7

    Yeah Grand Blue Mile!
    Sadye recently posted..RetirementMy Profile

  5. 9

    Love the list of costumed runs. They look so fun!
    Jojo @ Run Fast Eat Lots recently posted..Catching Up Part 5: Search & RescueMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Don’t they?! I seriously want to go do all of them!


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