By Katie Dillman
MRG Guest Blogger

Who says running can’t be fun? I’ve been slipping my feet into running shoes for 10 years and during that time, I’ve explored Michigan in all kinds of unconventional ways — there are always new trails to take on. 5Ks are a great, low-stress way to get out there and enjoy the scenery, so here’s my pick of the 10 best 5Ks to try this fall:

1. Glow in the Night 5K 

Milford, Aug. 28 (this weekend!)

GlowintheNight-FAQWith color throws and a dance party, Glow in the Night 5K feels like one big celebration from start to finish.  At the starting line you can expect to see runners in white t-shirts, bandanas, neon sunglasses, socks–and of course tutus. A new color of glow powder is introduced at each 1K checkpoint. The course is lit with blacklights and volunteers go out of their way to make sure your shirt doesn’t stay white long. If you often do 5Ks, you’ve likely done a color run by now, but doing the color throws at night adds a new element and has been one of the most memorable fun run experiences I’ve had to date. 

2. Night Nation Detroit

Detroit, Sept. 17

red_bull_nnr_icon2This after-hours run is the world’s first running music festival. With lights, lasers and a bright neon course, you can run to the rhythms of your favorite DJs. The registration includes bibs and entry passes to the after-party. With some of the best EDM DJs playing their music, this party is a fitting celebration of your run. Enjoy the party while you are still on a runner’s high and expect to be sore the next day from all the dancing.

3. Detroit Goddess 5K on Belle Isle 

Belle Isle Park, Sept. 18

RunnersPaceThis Belle Isle run — there is also a half marathon and 10K offered at this event — is close to my heart since I recorded one of my fastest times there. While this run allows race-day registrations, early birds get a cool, super soft t-shirt. This run is a great opportunity to run for a good cause too, as proceeds from the event go towards supporting Go Red for Women and honors women who have been affected by heart disease with free registration sponsored by the Detroit Medical Center Epic Heart Hero program. {Read a preview of this year’s Goddess races in Detroit here »}

4. The Brooksie Way

Rochester, Sept. 25

Brooksie1The HAP Brooksie Way has options for every level of runner. From the relatively flat 5K around the golf course, to the elevation half marathon course, it’s a full day of sweating it out for a good cause. With a full list of charity partners, runners can choose a cause close to their heart to give that extra push of motivation to get you across the finish line. Runners can also participate in the Team Challenge, which is capped at 60 teams, so hurry and get your gang registered in either the Corporate or Open divisions. 

5. Hot Cocoa Classic 5K

Brighton, Nov. 5

BoyMomMountain-1000x300Held in the more scenic environs of the Mt. Brighton Golf Course, this race has a downhill finish. It’s my favorite stretch because I can finish with a flourish! If you feel more competitive, make the most of the pacers provided to clock better times. Pamper yourself with hot chocolate at the end of the race as the experts from Tri-Covery help you work off your fatigue.

 6. Great Beerd Run 

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Acme (near Traverse City) Nov. 12

MG_4215-copyThe Great Beerd Run is what you get when you mix beer, beard and running. This relatively new run is only in its third edition, but it draws a sizable crowd of runners and beer lovers. The good people organizing this run know that a finisher’s medal alone hardly does justice to your efforts, so you’ll also be awarded a beer. You’re also able to sample some ale throughout the course.

True to its name, this run also features a Best Beard competition. Pro tip: your beard doesn’t have to be real, they have a separate category for assisted beards. So, get inventive! {Read the MRG race recap of this event here »)

 7. Kona Chocolate Run

Kellogg Park, Plymouth, Nov. 20

maxresdefaultWith a flat track and a separate category for first-time 5K runners, this is a fun, low-pressure race for newbies. The best part of this run, for me, is the chocolate buffet at the end of it! While the registration cost for this run is higher, I feel it’s well worth the experience. (Incredible swag is given to each runner!) The organizers – Kona Running Company – pull out all the stops when it comes to the giving runners a premier experience—oh and chocolates!) {Coming soon: a podcast interview with Kona Running Co. owner, runner and race director Alan Whitehead…stay tuned to MRG for details on this show’s release date!}

Sounding irresistible? Pick your 5K run and start preparing for it. Lace up your shoes and come pound the streets with me this fall!

image00Katie Dillman, who started running after college, is a communications coordinator with Premier Glow, an online retailer of glow products. She enjoys working with businesses through copywriting to share ideas that connect with their audience.


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