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The top 10 fun races to sign up to in the UK

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Does the idea of signing up for a 10k terrify you? You're not alone. If you're umm-ing and aah-ing over committing to a run, why not take some pressure off by signing up to one of these fun races instead? The majority are still the standard 5k, 10k or half marathon distances, but with a intresting/distracting element such as being covered in coloured dye, or wine tasting to egg you on. You'll just have to put the same dedication into training...

The Electric Run

Nationwide, various dates

You won't want to keep the headphones in during this one. The Electric Run 5k race takes place at night, and guides you through different 'lands' as you progress through the route, each with pumping music and glowing patterns projected onto the wall, the floor and even the trees. 2014 races are being planned for Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle and Southhampton, and each electric 'world' is different, so you're guaranteed a unique experience.

Find out more and sign up at electricrun.co.uk

Run or Dye

Various dates, nationwide

Runs where you are covered in coloured dye at each kilometer are becoming surprisingly popular - clearly resembling a Jackson Pollock painting, rather than a sweaty mess, is a great look. Run or Dye is a 5k race which was originally an American franchise, but it's come to the UK and is setting up camp in all the major cities, visit the website for info on runs in London, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Dublin, Glasgow and many many more.

Find out more and sign up at runordye.com

The Sumo Run

Sunday 27 July, Battersea Park, London

What could be better than running in summer? How about running in summer in a sumo suit? This 5k race is organised by Link Community Development, who help to raise money for education in sub-Saharan Africa, so running in the middle of July in a sumo suit should give you an idea of conditions over there. But it's also set to be great fun, both for participants and spectators.

Find out more and sign up at sumorun.com

Race for Life/Mo Running

Various dates, nationwide

Just as important as one another - Race for Life is a women-only event, raising money for Cancer Research UK, and Mo Running takes place in November alongside all the Movember events drawing awareness to prostate cancer. The Race for Life options are endless, whether you want to walk, jog or run, get muddy or stay clean, and there are regular options of 5k, 10k and half marathons all over the country. For Mo Running, there's a 5k or 10k option, and they're not just for the guys - girls can grab a stick on moustache. There's really no excuse not to...

Find out more and sign up at raceforlife.cancerresearch.org and mo-running.com

The Spooky Sprint

November, Nottingham and Kent

Fancy dress runs are all the rage, so it's not surprising the ultimate fancy dress day - Halloween - has inspired a fun run. These 5k and 10k events, raising money for Parkinson's disease, take place at night, with all participants given a head torch to run with, and Halloween costumes are mandatory. This is a kid-friendly event, so bring your trick or treating sweets along too.

Find out more and sign up at parkinsons.org.uk

Run to the Beat

Saturday 27 September, Wembley Park, London

A run and a festival combined - this 10k run takes place with top DJs playing out motivational tunes as you complete the course, and at the end, you are greeted by a headline act. Past participants have included Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Calvin Harris. This year's event is taking place at Wembley Park, finishing in the legendary Wembley Stadium. Just make sure you've got a change of clothes at the end.

Find out more and sign up at runtothebeat.co.uk

Bacchus Half Marathon

Sunday 14 September, Dorking, Surrey

What we've all been crying out for - rewarding a long run with a glass of wine. This event, taking place around Denbie's Wine Estate in Surrey, offers wine tastings during the course, and a post-race glass of wine, as well as a hog roast barbeque. What more could you ask for? It's not a walk in the park though, sadly, as the half marathon course includes a hill and some bumpy terrain - but when the reward at the end is this good, there's a lot more motivation.

Find out more and sign up at eventstolive.co.uk

Glow in the Park

November, various locations

Running at night is a lot cooler. Literally - lower temperatures mean you'll build up less of a sweat (and your red face will be more difficult to spot in the dark). The Glow in the Park 5k and 10k events take advantage of this, with each participant given a glowing headband to create a ethereal look to the racecourse. Events take place at various locations in the south of England, beginning in November, so if getting all sweaty is what's putting you off signing up for a race, this is for you.

Find out more and sign up at votwo.co.uk

Gorilla Run

Saturday 20 September, City of London

Fancy dress never gets old, and the Gorilla Organisation have picked up on that with gusto. Raising money for gorilla conservation in Central Africa, they have lured fancy dress enthusiasts into a sweltering 8k event dressed as gorillas through Central London, which should make quite the spectator event. A gorilla suit is included in the sign up fee - which participants are allowed to keep!

Find out more and sign up at greatgorillarun.org

Mudderella

Saturday August 30, Northamptonshire

If you truly want a challenge, but aren't quite up to the Iron Man, Mudderella, organised by the creators of Tough Mudder, might be a more realistic option. The women-only event involves a 5-7 mile long obstacle course, and of course, a lot of mud. You'll be climbing over walls, sliding down a chute and even scaling a hay bale mountain. There are showers and massages, as well as a free pint of cider to reward you at the end.

Find out more and sign up at mudderella.com

Images courtesy of race organisers

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