10 Races You MUST Experience in Boise
If you like to run, walk or jump in the mud you can get your fill of local 5Ks, 10Ks and Half Marathons any given weekend in Boise. It's hard to choose our favorite Treasure Valley, so here's our top 10 list of runs you've just gotta try!
Click the name of the race to learn more or register!
Mud Runs have grown in popularity in the last couple years, but did you know Dirty Dash was actually born at Bogus Basin in Boise? That's right! The OG of mud runs started at Bogus in 2010 and brings out the inner five year old in everyone who runs it. You'll see the most outrageous outfits in town at the start line: Where's Waldo to Ninja Turtles, Super Mario Brothers, Dirty Housewives and everything in between. Those outfits don't stay clean long as racers throw themselves over hogbales, crawl through mud tunnels, get shot by exploding mud cannons, chug a few Natty Lights half way through the course and take a big belly flop into the giant filthy finish mud pit. It's no wonder why they call this one the best mud/run obstacle course in the West!
Let's face it, you've watched kids have the best time of their lives in Birthday Party bounce houses and thought to ourselves “man, why can't it be socially acceptable for adults to do this too?!” The creators of the Insane Inflatable 5K read your mind! They've supersized the inflatables and laid them out over 3.1 miles of the most fun obstacle race to hit dry land. You'll bounce your way through the 70 feet of crazy fun on the Jump Around, fight your way through a giant game of dodgeball in Big Balls and channel your inner Miley on the inflatable wrecking balls. The best part? Every finisher gets a medal to show they conquered the most insane 5K ever!
Ready to join the unstoppable mob of 1,000,000+ color runners across the USA? Then Boise’s Color Run is a must. Billed the “Happiest 5K on the planet” this August race takes over Parkcenter Boulevard in August. It’s only got two rules: wear white at the starting line and finish plastered in color! As you weave your way through the course you get doused in color at each kilometer making for some of the best Instagram photos you’ll take all year. The party doesn’t stop there! The Finish Festival turns down with music, dancing and MASSIVE color throws. This year it’s all about “shine” which means your sweat isn’t the only thing that’ll be glistening! They’ve added a new Sparkle Zone and confetti cannons to the course and each color runner scores a gold finisher’s medal for being part of one of the most unforgettable races in the Treasure Valley!
There are a few dates we circle on our calendars every year. Christmas, Halloween and the Idaho Wine run! Held in the heart of the Snake River wine region, this 5K/10K/Half Marathon takes you challenges you then rewards you with over fifty wines to sample from host winery Ste. Chapelle and other local Indian Creek, Koenig, Sawtooth and HAT Ranch. The sampling stations are split up by red, white and dessert wines so you can find your new favorite. The best part? Your wine sampling and custom Idaho Wine Run wine glass are included in your registration! Just want to taste? They have an option to buy your sampling glass without having to run a step!
Komen Idaho’s Race for the Cure is no doubt one of the most uplifting, inspirational days you’ll spend on a 5K course. Race for the Cure unites thousands of women (and men) in a sea of pink to achieve one goal, to find a cure for breast cancer. 75% of the money raised through Race for the Cure Boise stays here in Idaho not only to fund a cure, but to support women who might not have access to mammograms in rural areas of the state, need help with gas money to get to mammograms/treatment or need a helping hand with their children while undergoing treatment. The other 25% goes to national research grants which Boise State has been the recipient of in the past! The outfits make it fun, but seeing the smiles and hope on the breast cancer survivors’ faces as they receive their medals crossing the finish line make the day really worth it!
It might be called the “toughest race in the Northwest” but that doesn’t stop Idahoans from flocking to this uphill challenge! And when we say flock, we mean this race sells out within less than an hour of registration opening every year. For most the half marathon with its hellish 8.5 mile, 2072 foot climb and brutal 1732 foot descent is a right of passage. Doesn’t sound hard core enough for you yet? How being tempted by beer, Ho-Hos, Twinkies and cigars at the Table of Temptation sitting at the top of the Summit. That is the ultimate test of your will power. Skip the beer there and there will be plenty, along with iconic Boise foods waiting for you at the finish line!
This might be one of the best kept secrets when it comes to themed road races in the Treasure Valley. While the scenery along the Boise Greenbelt is already beautiful, you’ve never seen it look like it does this Friday night in April. Race directors team up with Sound Wave Music & Lighting Design and line the course with strobe lights, LED uplights, a forest of changing colors, haze and lasers! Racers are encouraged to wear white or bright glow colors to shine under black lights. It’s hands down the most visual 5K to ever start from Julia Davis Park. All you need to do is hit the Dollar Tree and get as many glow sticks as you can possibly carry during the race!
We’re not going to lie. February in Boise is cold, which makes seeing hundreds of half-naked people running through the streets of Downtown Boise even more of a spectacle! Just ask the couple whos wedding photos we crashed the first year of the run! This short, mile run is where a little crazy meets a lot of people with big hearts. Leading up to the race, participants fundraise for the Children’s Tumor Foundation and to make a scene in their undies on race day. Of course, it helps to have a little liquid courage in you before getting out there in your drawers. One of the fundraising incentives is open bar during the pre and post race parties at Tom Grainey’s!
We challenge you to find a race with more gorgeous views than the Freakin’ Fast Half Marathon. The race begins two miles down the hill from the lodge at ski resort, Bogus Basin and plunges runners down 3,000 feet of elevation drop. It’s like the Race to Robie Creek without the agonizing hill climb! (Be prepared for a little hill around mile 11!) With that amount of downhill you're almost guaranteed a personal best! This is one to GoPro or bring your smart phone too because the view of the Treasure Valley and city blanketing the bottom is absolutely breathtaking!
This race has a lot of heritage. For 20 years it was known as the Women’s Fitness celebration, one of the biggest female only 5Ks in the country. But Boise loves its fitness and its families, so the event evolved into FitOne benefitting St. Luke’s Children’s hospital. FitOne’s only goal? To build healthier communities through fun, active living and they give them an opportunity to do that by encouraging the entire family to stand on the same starting line each September. This 5K/10K/Half Marathon provides incredible views of Ann Morrison Park and downtown Boise that make getting up early on a Saturday totally worth it. Pro-tip? Register for the even on National Running Day where each race distance is only $15!