Cool sidewalk breezes have officially replaced sweltering subway platforms in New York City, and that change in season means that most runners’ favorite time of year for lacing up has arrived.
Many will be logging miles in preparation for the big 26.2 in November, but if that’s not your style, there are tons of other races to sign up for that require way less of a commitment.
We surveyed the scene to bring you this list of seven awesome ways to cross a finish line this fall, whether you prefer to run a classic half while gazing at Central Park’s colorful foliage or you’d rather tackle muddy, strength-testing obstacles (or become a little more colorful, yourself). Ready, set, go! —Jennifer Hare
1. The Color Run
October 3, 2015, Aviator Sports, Brooklyn
You know this one by now, no? Runners start the 5K wearing all white, and are doused with colored paint at every kilometer, so they can dance like a Day-Glo-painted hippie at the Finish Festival. thecolorrun.com
2. Grete’s Great Gallop
October 6, 2015, Central Park
Is there anything better than Central Park laps as the leaves are changing? This half-marathon honors legendary marathoner Grete Waitz and supports cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. nyrr.org
3. Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn
October 10, 2015, Prospect Park, Brooklyn
This incredibly popular music-driven international race comes to Brooklyn for the first time, with live music every mile and a concert at the finish line, featuring Nate Ruess (of FUN) as the headliner. runrocknroll.com
4. Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research
Ocober 17, 2015, Central Park
New Yorkers love this annual non-competitive 5K fun run held in memory of Terry Fox, a Canadian who ran 26 miles per day for 143 straight days with an artificial leg (completing 3300 miles) to raise money and awareness for cancer research. terryfoxrunnyc.org
5. New York City 10k
October 25, 1015, Roosevelt Island.
Thousands of runners will be heading to the Roosevelt Island to run just over six miles, with awesome waterside views of both Queens and Manhattan. newyorkcity10k.com
6. NYCRUNS Haunted Island 5k and 10k
October 31, 2015, Roosevelt Island
Choose to run a 5 or 10K in your Halloween attire, with an after-party that includes prizes for the best costumes, a live band, and spooky treats. nycruns.com
7. Tough Mudder
November 7 & 8, 2015, Liberty State Park, Jersey City
Just across the river from Manhattan, this Tough Mudder course is hard to beat, with views of the skyline and Statue of Liberty (if you can see through the mud in your eyes as you tackle the obstacles). toughmudder.com
(Photo: The Color Run)
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