5 Fall-Themed Runs in Washington

Cemetery races, scavenger hunts, and other fun ways to stay in shape this season.
Grab your glowsticks for the second annual Monster Glow Dash 5K. Image via Shutterstock.

Now that bathing suit season has been replaced by candy corn and pumpkin spice season, you may need extra incentive to stick with your running routine. Luckily, the Washington area has no shortage of creative fall-themed fun runs. 

Whether it’s the promise of beer at the finish line or the adrenaline of sprinting through a spooky cemetery that keeps you moving, here are five races to check out—including one this weekend. 

5K Oktoberfest Run 

Saturday, September 27, 9 AM

Join the German School Washington DC and German Language Courses for a 5K race through Rockville. Get in the spirit the with a free rock concert the night before by German rock pop band Artig, and stick around after the race for a traditional Oktoberfest celebration, complete with sausages, pretzels, and beer. $25 to $40 to register. 

Dead Man’s Run 5K

Saturday, October 4, 6PM

Starting at dusk, this race weaves through the graves of representatives past. The 207-year-old Historic Congressional Cemetery makes the perfect setting for this spooky sprint, with promised appearances by the Grim Reaper and other haunting figures. Complete the race in costume to be eligible for the costume contest, and treat yourself to a brew at the beer tent after the race. $40 to register. 

Monster Glow Dash 5K

Friday, October 10, 7 PM

If you missed this sold-out event last year, here’s another chance to try this eerily lit run. Strap on your glow-in-the-dark necklaces, slather yourself with Glominex body paint (available at the race’s online Glow Gear Shop), and prepare to face creepy creatures on the trail through Mechanicsville’s haunted Summerseat Farm. End the night at the MGD After-Party with a deejay, dancing, food, and drinks. $46 to register. 

Urban Dare Run

Saturday, October 25, noon

While this is not a typical race, it’s still sure to help you get in your exercise for the day. Register with a team of two to four people to compete in this fast-paced, city-wide scavenger hunt. Your team’s starting location depends on your answer to an initial multiple-choice question; from there you’ll grab your clue sheets and be on your way. Make sure to bring a smartphone to document your completed tasks as you tackle challenges that range from climbing walls to throwing at targets to solving puzzles. $90 to $160 to register as a team. 

Rugged Maniac 5K

Saturday, November 1, 9 AM

With 25 obstacles scattered throughout a three-mile course, this race has plenty to keep you engaged and challenged. In fact, while you’re crawling through tunnels, clambering over shipping containers, skidding down a water slide, or leaping over flames, you’ll be lucky to get in any plain ol’ running at all. Finish the race with a beer from Boston’s Harpoon Brewery and the daylong after party featuring a foam pit, a mechanical bull, bounce houses, and games. $74 to $90 to register. 

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Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.