Fun Runs, Serious Runs and Obstacle Course Races To Participate In This Spring and Summer

Whether you prefer to run for the challenge of it, for the fun of it or for the fundraising element, there are plenty of races you can register for. Here are some of the running events from April through to August you should know about.

Rugged Maniac is in Calgary July 29.

Photograph courtesy of Rugged Maniac


Editor's note: This article was updated on April 6, 2017. 


Serious running races

Obstacle course races

Fun runs

Fundraising runs


If you race to compete (or to challenge yourself) 


Eyeball the Wall

Date: April 29, 2017

Distance: 15km; 30km

Cost: From $32 

Starting line: South Glenmore Reservoir

Something to consider: Even though this is marketed as a training race for the Calgary Marathon — you’ll get a feel for what it’s like to hit the wall before race day — there are awesome finisher medals and plenty of aid stations. And it usually sells out. 


MEC race series 

Date: May 6; June 10; July 22; September 16; October 14, 2017

Distance: 5km; 10km; 15km; 21.1km; 30km (depending on event)

Cost: $15

Starting line: Varies each event

Something to consider: The whole series runs January to October. (And you probably won’t find a cheaper entry fee for a race anywhere — it starts at $15.) You can challenge yourself to a new distance and race in a new venue almost every month. 


Scotiabank Calgary Marathon

Date: May 28, 2017

Distance: 5km; 10km; 21.1km; 42.2km; 50km; 150km

Cost: From $50 

Starting line: Stampede Park 

Something to consider: This is the biggest road race in Calgary. (And it was Western Canada’s first official marathon.) This year, an epic, 150km distance has been added to celebrate Canada 150. If you’re only going to do one race, choose this one. 


The Sporting Life 10km

Date: June 17, 2017

Distance: 10km

Cost: From $65

Starting line: 69 St. and 17 Ave. S.W. LRT Station

Something to consider: If you’re interested in running a fast 10-kilometre race for a good cause, register for Calgary’s inaugural Sporting Life 10K. It’s a downhill course, so you might just run your fastest time ever. 


Millarville Run to the Farmers Market

Date: June 17, 2017

Distance: 12.8km; 21.1km

Cost: From $70 

Starting line: Oilfields Arena, Black Diamond

Something to consider: Regardless of whether you’re running the half marathon or the Cobs Cinnamon Bun Run 8-Miler (that's 12.8km), you can stop for a cinnamon bun. Or get one at the end of the race. (It's estimated that 1,800 cinnamon buns will be needed for this year's event.) 


Banff Marathon

Date: June 18, 2017

Distance: 10km; 21.1km; 42.2km

Cost: From $65 

Starting line: Central Park, Banff  

Something to consider: Celebrate Canada 150 by racing in Canada's first National Park. This is probably one of the most picturesque races of the summer. 



Date: June 24, 2017

Distance: 100 miles

Cost: From $1,175 for a 10-person relay team

Starting line: Along highway 541 in Longview

Something to consider: This race is really, really far. It starts in Longview and finishes at Nakiska. But you’re not expected to run 100 miles through Kananaskis on your own. It’s a relay, so you’ll have team members to suffer with. 


Stampede Road Race

Date: July 9, 2017

Distance: 5km; 10km; 21.1km

Cost: From $50 

Starting line: Southbound on 19 St. S.W., West of Glenmore Track

Something to consider: There’s a Stampede breakfast as part of the post-race festivities at this race. Yahoo!

If you need monkey bars, mud and barbed wire to make things exciting


X Warrior Challenge

Date: May 13, 2017

Distance: 5km

Cost: From $55 

Starting line: Stampede Park 

Something to consider: There are a few stairs thrown into this race, as well as the running and the obstacles. You know, to make it even more difficult. 



Date: May 27, 2017

Distance: 4.5km

Cost: Fundraise a minimum of $300 (for the Easter Seals Alberta and the Children’s Hospital Aid Society)

Starting line: SAIT and Riley Park 

Something to consider: The event is untimed but you’ll still be lifting things, crawling under things, jumping over things and probably getting dirty. 


The 5km Foam Fest

Date: June 24, 2017

Distance: 5km

Cost: From $67

Starting line: Heritage Ranch, Red Deer

Something to consider: This race has obstacles that you won't find at any other race, like lily pads (you'll essentially be running across water), a chamber of foam, a foam zone, a foamy log roll and a foamy finish. Basically, this obstacle race is about the foam. 


Rugged Maniac

Date: July 29, 2017

Distance: 5km

Cost: From $59 

Starting line: Spruce Meadows

Something to consider: You may want to drop into Cor.Fit or InjaNation before this race to get a feel for some of the 25 obstacles that will be along this course. The race obstacles in this event include the Warped Wall, balance beams, fire jumps and more. 


Mud Hero

Date: August 12 and 13, 2017

Distance: 6km; 10km

Cost: From $64

Starting line: Canyon Ski Resort, Red Deer

Something to consider: There's running and there are obstacles and there's lots and lots of mud. 


Spartan Sprint and Spartan Super Calgary

Date: August 12 and 13, 2017

Distance: Sprint 5-8km; Super 13-16km

Cost: Sprint from $69; Super from $79

Starting line: Wild Rose MX Park, 5608 Burbank Cres. S.E. 

Something to consider: If you’re registering for this one, don’t be afraid to get a little muddy, a little tired from hoisting tires and buckets full of gravel, or a little scratched by barbed wire. 


Zombie Survivor

Date: August 26, 2017

Distance: 3km; 5km

Cost: From $35 for runners and from $17.50 for zombies

Starting line: Cochrane Agricultural Society

Something to consider: This isn’t like The Walking Dead. It’s more like flag football (but with mud pits and "blood" pools and climbing) so you’re okay to participate if blood makes you queasy. 

If you’re all about the fun when you run 


St. Patrick’s Island Fun Run

Date: May 6, 2017

Distance: 5km

Cost: $35

Starting line: St. Patrick's Island

Something to consider: Don’t worry if you’ve had to skip that vacation to Hawaii this year. This event is Hawaii themed, with a luau and custom pineapple buffs and finisher leis and everything. 


Sport Chek Mother’s Day Run and Walk

Date: May 14, 2017

Distance: 5km; 10km

Cost: From $40 

Starting line: Chinook Centre

Something to consider: Technically serious runner types register for this race too. But there's also the option to bring the strollers, so this year, gather the various moms in your life and vow to complete the race together. 


The Dog Jog

Date: June 3, 2017

Distance: 2.5km; 5km

Cost: From $25

Starting line: South Glenmore Park

Something to consider: Your pooch is of course invited. 


City Chase

Date: June 3, 2017

Distance: It all depends on how well you can solve clues and whether you go way off course. 

Cost: From $135 

Starting line: TBD

Something to consider: This is a lot like The Amazing Race. So pick a teammate you really like and maybe watch a few episodes of the show to get inspired before race day. 


Color Me Rad

Date: June 24, 2017

Distance: 5km

Cost: From $35

Starting line: SAIT

Something to consider: For this race, you’re going to want to wear white. 


Night Race Calgary

Date: August 19, 2017

Distance: 5km; 10km 

Cost: From $45

Starting line: South Glenmore Park 

Something to consider: Bright costumes, lights and neon body paint are encouraged.


Mega Bounce Run

Date: August 26, 2017

Distance: 5km

Cost: From $55

Starting line: Cochrane and District Agricultural Society

Something to consider: Remember how much fun you used to have on bouncy castles? This race is like that, except there are 10 inflatable obstacles for you to cross to get to the finish line.  

If you prefer to run if there’s a good cause to raise funds for


Climb and Run for Wilderness

Date: April 22, 2017

Distance: Climb 1,188 stairs

Cost: $75

Starting line: The Bow Building, 500 Centre St. S.E. 

The charity or cause you’re supporting: Alberta Wilderness Association


Darkness Into Light

Date: May 6, 2017

Distance: 5km

Cost: From $21

Starting line: Prince's Island Park 

The charity or cause you’re supporting: Pieta House and Distress Centre Calgary 


Walk so Kids Can Talk 

Date: May 7, 2017

Distance: 5km

Cost: Suggested fundraising minimum of $100 

Starting line: Eau Claire Plaza

The charity or cause you’re supporting: Kids Help Phone


Transplant Trot

Date: May 27, 2017

Distance: 3km; 5km; 10km

Cost: $40

Starting line: Confederation Park 55+ Activity Centre

The charity or cause you’re supporting: Canadian Transplant Association


Calgary Brain Tumour Walk 2017

Date: June 3, 2017

Distance: 2.5km; 5km

Cost: Fundraising

Starting line: Edworthy Park 

The charity or cause you’re supporting: Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada


Run for Water

Date: June 10, 2017

Distance: 5km; 10km

Cost: From $40

Starting line: Confluence Plaza at St. Patrick’s Island Park

The charity or cause you’re supporting: Run for Water Foundation 


MS Walk Calgary

Date: June 11, 2017

Distance: 2km; 5km; 8km

Cost: Fundraising 

Starting line: Prince’s Island Park 

The charity or cause you’re supporting: Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada


Do it for Dads Walk/Run

Date: June 18, 2017

Distance: 5km

Cost: $35 or fundraise $125 to waive the registration fee

Starting line: Eau Claire Market

The charity or cause you're supporting: Prostate Cancer Canada


Multiple Smiles for Multiple Miles

Date: July 22, 2017

Distance: 5km; 10km

Cost: From $30

Starting line: North Glenmore Park

The charity or cause you’re supporting: Southern Alberta Myeloma Patient Society


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