Our Friday Five

By Scott McMahon

After participating in too many traditional races to count, outdoor athletes often yearn for something a little different. Many events already include costume contests, raffles, or after-parties to supplement their race, but some choose to completely separate themselves from the pack. Below, you’ll find a list of five of the most unique upcoming events across four disciplines for those of you who want a brand new experience.

1. Ann Arbor Color Run (July 22, 2012)

http://thecolorrun.com/annarbor/

A part of the Color Run series across the country, the Ann Arbor Color Run promises to be a running experience you will never forget. As you reach each kilometer marking in the 5K race, volunteers blitz you with a different color, creating a bright mixture of color on participants’ once-white T-shirts. Registration is currently sold out for Ann Arbor, but the Color Run series has events all over the country.

2. 130th Royal Canadian Henley Regatta (August 5-12, 2012)

http://www.henleyregatta.ca/en/homepage.php

Hop across to Canada to St. Catherines, Ontario for one of the largest regattas in North America. Registration is available for junior, open, and masters-level rowers and coxswains, and participants can enter in as many events as they wish. If you have never witnessed a competitive rowing championship, the Henley is a great place to start.

3. Swim to the Moon (August 12, 2012)

http://www.epicraces.com/sttm.html

Part of the Swim Michigan, the only Michigan Open Water Series, Swim to the Moon features four different events of four different distances: 10K, 5K, 1.2-mile, and half-mile. What sets this apart from other swim races this year is that Swim to the Moon takes place in open water, stretching from North Star Reach Camp in Pinckney to Halfmoon Lake in Gregory.

4. Fall Colors Bridge Race (October 6, 2012)

http://www.mackinawcity.com/fall-colors-bridge-race-2012-107/

If you’re looking farther down the calendar, mark the Fall Colors Bridge Race in Mackinaw City. Runners have just two chances all year to span the “Mighty Mac,” with the other occurring on Memorial Day. Take in the fall colors from atop the Mackinac Bridge, enjoy the spectacular views of the Straits of Mackinac, and stay for the fireworks show that evening.

5. The Big Bad Wolf CX Race (December 9, 2012)

http://bikeracingintricities.blogspot.com/2012/07/2012-cyclocross-race-in-tri-cities.html?spref=bl

For those of you wanting to challenge Mother Nature, try the Big Bad Wolf Cyclocross Race—part of the Stomach of Anger race series running throughout the state of Michigan. The race takes place on December 9 this year, so riders must be able to adapt to any weather conditions. After you have completed your race across the sand and trails in Midland, enjoy free beer and popcorn from the host, Midland Brewing Company.

For more events, and to make your own list of fun and unique events around the area, check out our calendar.

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