It’s that time of year in Miami when we say adios to the treadmill and hit the pavement. Summer is officially in the rearview mirror, and the weather will soon change from miserable to mild, making running outside almost tolerable. The fun runs and half-marathons around the city are beginning to look a lot more enticing now that there’s less of a risk of heatstroke and swamp ass. But with a different run taking place just about every weekend now through the spring, it’s difficult to know which of Miami’s many races to choose. From a mile jog in underwear to a willpower-testing 26.2-mile race through the heart of the city, here are our top ten races in Miami.
ZooRun5K. One way to stand out from Miami-Dade's many other races is by offering a course unlike any other. The ZooRun5K checks that box with its race through Zoo Miami, where runners will pass lions and tigers and, um, sloth bears. There’s something for the lil’ pups as well. Kids 2 to 9 years old can take part in the ZooKidsDash, which is 100 to 400 meters long depending upon age. Following the run and postrace shindig, participants can enjoy the zoo and its 500-plus species at a less frantic pace, because admission — which is typically $22.95 for adults — is included with every race entry. 7:30 a.m. Saturday, October 6, at Zoo Miami, 12400 SW 152nd St., Miami; zoomiami.org/run. Registration fee costs $20 to $45 for adults, $10 to $25 for children.
BK Beach Run. The home of the Whopper invites you to run along South Beach during its annual run fundraiser for local student scholarships. You can choose between the 5K or 10K courses, with both options conveniently passing by the BK Whopper Bar on Washington Avenue and culminating on the sand. The Miami-headquartered fast food franchise hosts a post-race beach party afterward, where you can enjoy the DJ while proudly wearing your finisher medal and souvenir shades. Complete the look with one of those snazzy Burger King cardboard crowns, which are also available at the race. You know you want to. 7:30 a.m. Saturday, October 6, at Lummus Park, 901 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; bkbeachrun.com. Registration fee costs $15 to $55 for adults, $10 for children.
Halloween Half Marathon and Freaky 4-Miler. There’s nothing spooky about this race along Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road unless you count the potential threat of blisters, stomach cramps and, if you’re a dude, bloody nipples. But the Halloween theme is still prevalent, as many participants dress up in costume to run the 13.1-miler or four-mile option. And then there’s the finisher’s medal, which features a new monster every year (The Mummy is this year’s creature) and is maybe the coolest in all of Miami. After the race, runners are invited to the post-race bash at Nikki Beach. Half Marathon starts at 6:30 a.m. and 4-Miler starts at 6:45 a.m. Saturday, October 27, at Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami; halloweenhalfmarathon.com. Registration fee costs $40 to $90.
Turkey Trot. There are Turkey Trot races all over the country, but runners typically have to brave the elements and bundle up for that frigid mid-fall morning runs. Not in Miami. We can expect warm weather during the Thanksgiving-themed 5K and 10K in Tropical Park. No need to worry about breathing in the painful cold air here. The air around Tropical Park’s horse stables? That’s a different story. Take advantage of the free massages at the post-race party, courtesy of Massage Envy, and snap a pic for the ‘gram with the 20-foot Perky Turkey. 7 a.m. Thursday, November 22, at Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40th St., Miami; turkeytrotmiami.com. Registration fee costs $20 to $45 for adults, $15 for children.
Jingle Bell Jog. Forget race t-shirts, this Christmas season run provides full-blown Santa costumes with its race packets. We’re talking hat, beard, belt, pants, and jacket. Also included: Bells that attach to your running shoes. That way you can jingle all the way to the finish line in Museum Park along with hundreds of other Santas. The course features fa-la-la-la-la-ing Christmas carolers and, for those running with bae, mistletoe. Dogs can run the course as well while kids can run the Elf Dash. Keeping with the holiday spirit, the post-race party will feature eggnog and holiday cookies. 5K starts at 7:30 a.m. and Elf Dash starts at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, December 16, at Museum Park, 10 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; jinglebelljog.net. Registration fee costs $20 to $35.
Miami Marathon and Half Marathon. Despite all of its flaws, Miami is a beautiful-looking city. And if you forgot about its pleasing aesthetics — maybe because you're too focused on our God-awful drivers or the migraine-inducing sun — let the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon serve as a reminder. The course features many of the 305’s greatest hits, including the beach and art-deco architecture on Ocean Drive and views of the ocean from the MacArthur Causeway bridge, as well as Bayfront Park, which is where the finish line is located. The scenic run attracted over 20,000 runners from all 50 states and over 80 countries this year. Oh, and one coif-haired bachata singer. Prince Royce tackled the half marathon. 6 a.m. Sunday, January 27, 2019, at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; themiamimarathon.com. Registration fee costs $115 to $130.
Run2Date. Millennials can add this 21-and-over race to the growing list of ways to find that special someone. Best of all, this alternative doesn’t involve misleading photos. Run2Date is a 5K specifically designed for singles to meet other singles. Their status is made clear by the green sticker on their race bibs. Those already in a relationship (yes, they’re invited too) are given a red sticker. It's complicated? That’s where the yellow sticker comes in. Because some people don’t like flirting while smelling like onions or sporting noticeable sweat stains, organizers provide new t-shirts after the run. There are also Refresh Stations courtesy of Glamsquad at the post-race party, which, we should add, is
Cupid's Undie Run. Shorts and pants are optional at this brisk Wynwood run, as the name implies. Cupid’s Undie Run invites participants to show off a little skin, all in the name of neurofibromatosis. Organizers say those who develop tumors from this genetic disease can’t cover up to feel more comfortable, so neither should runners. The 21-and-
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305 Half Marathon and 5K. This race isn’t kidding when it bills itself as “The Ultimate Miami Experience.” Formerly known as the 13.1 Miami Beach and 5K, the 305 Half Marathon and 5K offered post-run croquetas and pastelitos last year and finisher’s medals that had a gold chain-like design. Dale! Runners who topped their personal record didn’t ring a bell at the finish line to mark the achievement like at many other races. They instead banged away on pots and pans. Also unique to this run, which will provide pre-race cafecitos, is the 400-meter speed challenge at mile 3.05. Think of it as a race within a race. Half marathon starts at 6:15 a.m. and 5K starts at 6:30 a.m. March 3, 2019, at Ocean Drive and 12th Street, Miami Beach; 305halfmarathon.com. Registration fee costs $25 to $85.
Corporate Run. Think of this downtown Miami run as a healthier version of the office happy hour. Coworkers get together after work to run the 5K as a team (the run tends to draw over 25,000 participants each year, including over 200 CEOs in 2018) and socialize at the post-race party in Bayfront Park. Many companies provide race shirts and tents for employees taking part in the run, which will be celebrating its 35th year in 2019. The event is meant to encourage fitness and camaraderie in the workplace, but there’s nothing wrong with blowing off a little steam and beating the pants off your boss — that is unless they’re a poor sport. In that case, let them win. 6:45 p.m. April 25, 2019, at 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; mercedesbenzcorporaterun.com. Registration fee costs $42.