Fun Runs, Serious Runs and Obstacle Course Races Coming Up

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 takes place in Calgary on July 28, 2018. Photograph by Gameface Media.

Mostly classic runs

For the most part, these runs are all about putting sneakers to pavement to get across the finish line as fast as you can. A few have some added fun features, like cinnamon buns or feather boas along the way.


MEC Calgary Road Race Series

Date: April 27, June 15, September 14 and October 19, 2019

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

Cost: $20 each

Starting line: Varies at each event

Something to consider: The whole series runs from January to October and you probably won’t find a cheaper entry fee for a race anywhere. You can challenge yourself to a new distance and race in a new venue almost every month. Each race also has a 1 or 2 kilometre route for kids.


Calgary Police Half Marathon

Date: April 28, 2019

Distance: 5 km, 10 km and 21.1 km

Cost: From $45

Starting line: Mount Royal University

Something to consider: The Calgary Police Foundation has held this annual half marathon in Calgary for 39 years. Seniors and children may want to participate in the 1 km Rookies & Legends course.

Eyeball the Wall

Date: May 4, 2019

Distance: 15 km and 30 km

Cost: From $35

Starting line: South Glenmore Reservoir

Something to consider: This race is marketed as a sort of training race for the Calgary Marathon, though you can still participate even if you aren’t going on to participate in the Calgary Marathon. There are finisher medals and plenty of aid stations throughout the course.

Sport Chek Mother’s Day Run, Walk & Ride

Date: May 12, 2019

Distance: 5 km 10 km

Cost: From $40

Starting line: Chinook Centre

Something to consider: Technically serious runner types register for this race too. 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.


Scotiabank Calgary Marathon

Date: May 26, 2019

Distance: 5 km, 10 km, 21.1 km, 42.2 km and 50 km

Cost: From $40

Starting line: Stampede Park

Something to consider: This was Western Canada’s first official marathon. It’s a Boston Marathon qualifier. For 2019, you can run any distance in the morning (50 km, 42.2 km or 10 km) and then do the 5 km run or walk at noon and you’ll get two medals that fit together.


Millarville Run to the Farmers’ Market

Date: June 15, 2019

Distance: 3 km, 12.8 km and 21.1 km

Cost: Prices vary depending on race

Starting line: Black Diamond

Something to consider: The half marathon, half marathon relay and Cobs Cinnamon Bun Run 8-Miler all end at the Millarville Farmers’ Market on its opening. You can also stop for cinnamon buns during the Cobs Cinnamon Bun Run 8-Miler (that’s 12.8 km). You can also do the half marathon as a relay with a team of two.


Banff Marathon

Date: June 16, 2018

Distance: 10 km, 21.1 km and 42.2 km

Cost: From $65

Starting line: In Banff

Something to consider: This race in Canada’s first National Park is probably one of the most picturesque races of the summer.



Date: June 22, 2019

Distance: 100 miles

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

Starting line: 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 Country on your own. It’s a relay, so you’ll have team members to suffer with. Runners have to carry bear spray for a portion of the race.

Divas Half Marathon and 5K Calgary

Date: June 23, 2019

Distance: 5 km and 21.1 km

Cost: From $75

Starting line: Eau Claire Festival Market

Something to consider: It’s a female-focused event and participants receive pink t-shirts and tutus to wear while they run and pick up boas and tiaras along the course.


Stampede Road Race

Date: July 7, 2019

Distance: 5 km, 10 km and 21.1 km

Cost: From $55

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

Something to consider: There’s a Stampede breakfast after the race. Yahoo!


Ultra Night Run

Date: September 6, 2019

Distance: 5 km and 10 km

Cost: From $55 for individuals

Starting line: South Glenmore Park, 8415 24 St. S.W.

Something to consider: This race starts in the evening and features runners wearing bright costumes, glow-in-the-dark accessories and neon face paint. It ends with a party in the beer gardens.


Beat Beethoven

Date: September 12

Distance: 4 km walk or 8 km run

Cost: From $75

Starting line: Fort Calgary

Something to consider: This race is a 4 kilometre loop that you do twice. The challenge is to run the 8 kilometres before the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra completes 50 minutes of Beethoven’s music. It ends with complimentary champagne and a concert.


More than running

These events are for those who want running to take a backseat to mud, obstacles, bouncy castles and beer. They’re all meant to be “fun” but some are also very competitive. (We’re looking at you Spartan Race.)

X Warrior Challenge

Date: June 8, 2019

Distance: 5 km

Cost: Prices vary

Starting line: Winsport Canada Olympic Park

Something to consider: There are some stairs thrown into this race, as well as the running and the 20 obstacles. You know, to make it even more difficult.


The 5km Foam Fest

Date: June 22, 2019

Distance: 5 km

Cost: From $60

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, a tube crawl, a mud pit and a foamy finish. Basically, this obstacle race is largely about the foam.


Vulcan Mega Bounce Run

Date: July 13, 2019

Distance: 5 km

Cost: From $49

Starting line: Vulcan

Something to consider: Remember how much fun you used to have on bouncy castles? Re-live that experience during this race where there are nine inflatable obstacles for you to cross to get to the finish line. All levels of runners and walkers are welcome, including kids taller than 42 inches.


Rugged Maniac

Date: July 27, 2019

Distance: 5 km

Cost: From $59

Starting line: Spruce Meadows

Something to consider: The 25 race obstacles in this event include a 3-storey water slide, shipping container towers, fire jumps and more. There’s also a huge party in the middle with mechanical bulls and pie-eating contests.


Mud Hero

Date: August 10 and 11, 2019

Distance: 6 km and 10 km

Cost: From $59

Starting line: Canyon Ski Resort, Red Deer

Something to consider:  Expect running, obstacles and lots and lots of mud.

Spartan Race

Date: August 10 and 11

Distance: 5 km or 13 km

Cost: From $69

Starting line: Wild Rose MX Park

Something to consider: This is a competitive obstacle course that you will get through with teamwork. If it’s your first time, start with the Sprint or 5 kilometre distance that includes 20 obstacles. For the serious and the brave, there is the HH12HR course which is a 12-hour endurance challenge.


Run to the Taps

Date: August 17 and August 25

Distance: 6 km, 8 km or 10 km

Cost: $30 per run or $50 for both

Starting line: Various breweries

Something to consider: Each of these runs (or walks) include running to three breweries with a 45 minute stop at each to rest and drink. The August 17 runs are at night. The August 25 runs are in the afternoon in the Barley Belt. AGLC rules won’t allow the cost of beer to be included in the cost of registration so bring cash for beer.

Running for a good cause

While a lot of the runs and obstacle courses already listed also have a fundraising element, for these runs, raising funds and awareness around a cause is one of its primary goals.

Climb for Wilderness

Date: April 27, 2019

Distance: Climb 1,204 stairs

Cost: Minimum $75 raised

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

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


Walk So Kids Can Talk

Date: May 5, 2019

Distance: 5 km

Cost: $100 fundraising minimum suggested

Starting line: Eau Claire Plaza

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


Darkness Into Light

Date: May 11, 2019

Cost: From $30

Starting line: Prince’s Island Park

The charity or cause you’re supporting: Pieta House


Amazing Step Up 4 Calgary Kids Race

Date: June 1, 2019

Cost: $25 per family or $10 per child

Starting line: Hull’s Wood, Fish Creek Provincial Park

The charity or cause you’re supporting: Nutrition Students Teachers Exercising with Parents (NSTEP) and the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society


Calgary Brain Tumour Walk

Date: June 1, 2019

Distance: 2.5 km and 5 km

Cost: Fundraising

Starting line: Edworthy Park

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


Dog Jog

Date: June 1

Distance: 2.5 km and 5 km

Cost: Fundraising

Starting line: South Glenmore Park

The charity or cause you’re supporting: Calgary Humane Society


WWF-Canada Kids’ Run for Nature

Date: June 2, 2019

Distance: 1 km, 3 km and 5 km

Cost: $15 to register with additional fundraising encouraged

Starting line:  Confederation Park

The charity or cause you’re supporting: WWF Canada


Run for Water

Date: June 8, 2019

Distance: 5 km, 10 km and 61 km urban ultra and relay

Cost: From $40

Starting line: Confluence Plaza on St. Patrick’s Island

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


MS Walk Calgary

Date: June 9, 2019

Distance: 3 km and 5 km

Cost: Fundraising

Starting line: Prince’s Island Park

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


Betty’s Run for ALS

Date: June 9, 2019

Distance: 5 km and 8 km

Cost: Fundraising

Starting line: North Glenmore Park

The charity or cause you’re supporting: The ALS Society of Alberta


Sporting Life 10km

Date: June 15, 2019

Distance: 10 km

Cost: From $65

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

The charity or cause you’re supporting: Starlight Children’s Foundation


Do it for Dads

Date: June 17, 2019

Distance: 5 km

Cost: $35 registration fee. If you fundraise $125, the fee is waived.

Starting line: Eau Claire Market

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


Life Without Limits Challenge

Date: September 14, 2019

Distance: 5 km

Cost: $50 (adults); $25 (children, seniors and clients)

Starting line: Calgary Rotary Challenger Park

The charity or cause you’re supporting: Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta


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