First there were mud runs, then color runs, underwear runs and rave runs, and now, foam runs, all likely modeled to appeal to and capitalize on a generation that must be entertained at all times and in which everyone is a winner.
The latest version, or should I say diversion, of what I call "running-tainment" arrives to Charleston on Saturday night with the Electric Foam 5K (actually, it's "3-mile-ish") at Legare Farms on Johns Island.
The event runs 7-10 p.m. and features neon lights and bracelets, electric music and dancing, and foam, yes, foam. Oh, a little running, too. Un-timed, of course.
Efforts to reach the organizers about the event failed before the Memorial Day weekend, but Legare Farms' Helen Legare-Floyd assured me that what happened earlier this month won't happen again.
Organizers of another foam run at Legare Farms, one that was scheduled for May 3, decided that not enough people had registered for the event and told those who did register to drive to East Charlotte, N.C.
"Dear Charleston Foamsters," an announcement from the 5K Foam Fest organizers read, "We have some big news! Due to low participant numbers in your area, and the sheer fact that Foam is funner with friends, we are combining the Charleston and Charlotte Foam Fests!"
Legare doesn't think this switch-up will happen again and that if it does, the farm will still hold a run and planned post-race cookout, featuring hamburgers, barbecue and hot dogs.
According to a release, the event as planned calls for the 3-mile-ish run and walk through a course where waves of participants, who are encouraged to wear "your craziest, most wildly bright outfit," run or walk through a course with foam stations, heart-pounding music, light murals and "radiant tree installations."
"You and your friends will be moving to the beat as you make your way to the final dazzling DJ show and countdown Foam Festival. Once the run is done, let the Foam begin," the release says.
The party includes "the hottest electronic dance hits" from Calvin Harris, Deadmau5, David Guetta and more
Late registration is $59 and includes an official Electric Foam T-shirt, a pair of neon glasses and LED bracelet.
While you might suspect I won't be at Saturday's Foam Run, I do plan to run the tried-and-tested ninth annual Green and Lean 5K, a fund-raiser for the litter prevention efforts of Keep Charleston Beautiful.
Race Manager Karen Hauck says organizers have worked hard to make the race suitable both for competitive runners and families.
"There are many aspects of this race that make it special," says Hauck. "From the course design to the kid's tot trot and quarter-mile run, to the unique prize categories, this is truly a race for everyone."
The USA Track and Field-certified 5K begins 8 a.m. at Brittlebank Park, and follows a scenic route around Hampton Park, past the Citadel and ends back at Brittlebank Park. Immediately following the 5K, Clara's 50-yard Tot Trot, which is free, will be held for children ages 2-5.
Last year's 5K drew 220 finishers. Hauck hopes to break the 300 mark this year. The fee is $25.
The city of Charleston Recreation Department is holding the MLK Water Safety Day 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Martin Luther King Jr. swimming pool, at 155 Jackson Street, to teach children some basic water safety skills prior to the start of summer vacation.
Water safety stations will provide lessons on pool runs, safe jumps and entries, other skills and games. Participants will get a free pass for a recreation swimming on the day of the event and be entered in a drawing for a family summer pass.
For nearly a decade, the Daniel Island Twilight Fun Run Series was a summer classic, simple 5K runs on usually hot Thursday evenings on Daniel Island, until race organizers Mike and Patt Loggins decided to stop holding the races in 2013.
The Loggins cited the addition of the Race the Landing series, also held on Thursday evening, among the reasons for stopping.
But it left a void for many who loved the casual, affordable nature of the Thursday night races. OnShore Racing, a new race organizer, eyed the opportunity, according to OnShore's Virginia Wininger.
"OnShore Racing began making plans for the Daniel Island Happy Hour 5K Series after hearing that The Extra Mile would no longer be holding the Twilight Series on the Island. We wanted to keep the Thursday evenings, but re-invigorate it and spread it out over the entire summer," says Wininger.
The races, individually called Thirsty Thursdays, start from Family Circle Stadium on Daniel Island and take place on adjacent trails. The first race is at 6:30 p.m. today. Subsequent races are June 26, July 24, and Aug. 28. The cost is $15 for one race or $50 for the entire series.
Proceeds from the series go to The South Carolina Chapters of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
The races coincide with the Daniel Island Farmer's Market and runners are encouraged to arrive early to buy local produce and enjoy live music. The camaraderie follows each race at a nearby bar.
"We choose to name the series the Happy Hour series and to call each race Thirsty Thursdays, because at OnShore racing, we like to keep things quixotic. Each race will have its own post-race party at a local Daniel Island Bar and awards will be given for age group and overall winners," says Wininger.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516.