Six fun fitness events
There's a surge in popularity for fitness events where the emphasis is on experience rather than finishing times.
1. The Colour Run
Some people know it as ‘The Happiest 5km on the Planet’: it’s The Colour Run, a convivial fun run engineered to promote happiness just as much as being active, where individuality is the greatest prize of all.
Held in several locations across Australia, this is one race where amateurs are actively encouraged. Along the course, runners are ‘bombed’ with coloured powder (made from 100% natural food-grade corn starch), picking up different hues as they get closer and closer to the finishing line.
2. Neon Run
There are run, jog, walk, skate or cycle options and the money raised goes to charity.
3. Tough Mudder
Tough Mudder organisers take pains to say it’s not a race but rather about teamwork and facing up to and overcoming the imaginative challenges of the course. Challenges have included ‘Fire in your hole’ (a steep slide through fire into a mud pit) and ‘Funky monkey’ (negotiating up-and-down monkey bars, greased with a butter/mud mixture, above a tank of icy water).
4. Spartan Race
Obstacles include the usual suspects – barbed wire, mud, slippery walls and fire, all to test your mettle and drag you out of your comfort zone. Mercifully, there’s no hand-to-hand combat although there may be spear throwing and hoisting of ‘Herculean’ weights.
5. Simpson Desert Bike Challenge
Rocks, sand, flies, searing heat and salt lakes are just some of the challenges you might face. On the plus side, you’ll have a support crew, you’ll be raising money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the race finishes right outside the Birdsville Pub.
6. Coast to Coast
A reasonable fitness level is needed for the Coast to Coast but there are sections suitable for the average weekend warrior. The top athletes complete the race in 11 hours or so; the majority of competitors take two days with an overnight camp at the end of the mountain run section.