As the colder weather begins to set in, we are rounding out a close to the the marathon/5k/charity walk season. If you have been cleared by your pain management physician to participate in an event, whether you run to win, to beat your own record, for fun, or just want to check something off of your bucket list, there are a litany of events to choose from. But whichever you choose, it is important to prepare your body for the event (or events if you are especially committed), to stay safe and healthy.

Although calmly running through city streets, getting the occasional water in a paper cup doled out by an onlooker, or running through the occasional garden hose may be the ideal situation for some, there has been a movement as of late to make distance running a little more…interesting, shall we say.

Tough Mudder 

Take Tough Mudder. It tags itself as the “Premier Obstacle Course Series in the World.” This isn’t your grandma’s marathon. This is a ten to twelve mile obstacle course in which participants will get…well, muddy. The course was designed by British Special Forces and you must use a combination of physical strength and stamina, mental wherewithal, and camaraderie to make it through.

Tough Mudder is more of a challenge than a race, especially since you need to help other mudders get through the course. This stress on teamwork coincides with the charity associated with this run, The Wounded Warrior Project. To date, mudders have raised over $3 million for this organization.

Warrior Dash 

The Warrior Dash is a lot like Tough Mudder, with an obstacle course and a don’t take yourself so seriously attitude. But at the end of the Warrior Dash, participants, of age of course, will be handed free beer and a fuzzy viking helmet to enjoy while listening to a free concert. Money raised will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Color Me Rad 

Color Me Rad is a 5K in which participants begin the race in a crisp clean white running getup which is quickly improved with “color bombs” (also known as a mixture of cornstarch and colored-dye) along the way. Not only will you be feeling a runner’s high, you’ll be laughing as finally get to see yourself and your friends after the race, as colorful as a bag of skittles. The proceeds from this race will be given to a local charity in the area.

If your pain treatment from Pain Physician NY has been a success and you need to keep exercising for maintenance, all three of these novelty races pop up in cities across the country. So if the hometown 5K just isn’t cutting it anymore, just check out one of these alternatives! But remember to contact Pain Free NYC first, then always stretch, stay hydrated, and pace yourself!