Eat & Run: The 10 Best Foodie Races Across the U.S.
For those who love to eat, here is a list of the 10 Best Foodie Races Across the United States! We have broken this list up into the “Main Course” Races and the Dessert-Themed Races depending on which culinary races you prefer.
“Main Course” Races
Location: New York
The NYC Pizza Run a.k.a. “New York’s Sauciest Run” is a run and eat combination. This race encourages participants to complete 3.1 miles while making time to chow down on two slices at designated checkpoints. Admission includes a race t-shirt, 2 slices of pizza, a goodie bag, and a free drink at the after-party.
2. Mac N’ Cheese 5k
Location: Palm Harbor, FL
Date: Labor Day weekend
Is there a better way to celebrate a 3-day weekend than with a run and bowl of mac ‘n cheese in sunny Florida?! This is a flat course that offers awards to the top 25 male and top 25 female racers. Race admission includes a free Michelob Ultra for those 21 and up, a free sampler of mac n’ cheese, a timed 5k course, a themed medal, and a commemorative t-shirt.
Location: San Antonio, TX
This chip-timed race features a fabulous taco finisher’s medal and of course, delicious tacos. This is a relatively new race (2018 was the second annual event), but has definite potential to grow. The course is along the San Antonio River Walk and Brackenridge Park. Also available is a Virtual Race for those that can’t make it to the fiesta in person.
Location: Orlando, FL and Miami, FL
Date: Spring, typically March or April
For those early morning runners, this breakfast-based 5k race may just be the greatest news you’ve heard in a while. This is even a chip-timed race so you know this race means business. Eating bacon is not a necessary requirement of the race; it is simply a perk. In fact, the bacon is unlimited and all finishers get a free medal and t-shirt. Pair that with the Florida sunshine and this race is definitely a foodie top 10!
Location: Tulsa, OK
This race is a celebration of fair foods! The Corndog Challenge requires its participants to finish a mini chicken & waffle, OJ (or mimosa for those 21+) and mini caramel apple during the race. Post-race there are additional fair foods offered. In addition to food and beverage, finishers receive a race t-shirt, gate admission to the Tulsa State Fair, a visitor’s guide, and a souvenir cup.
Location: Raleigh, NC
The Krispy Kreme Challenge is “2400 calories, 12 doughnuts, 5 miles, 1 hour”. There is also a Casual category where a runner can choose to eat as many or as few doughnuts as they like. However, only Challengers are eligible to win. This race attracts thousands of participants and is a sight to behold. Participants often don costumes and the the amount of sugar-high runners adds to the party atmosphere. To date, this race has raised more than $1 million for the UNC Children’s Hospital.
Location: Liberal, KS
Date: Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday a.k.a. International Pancake Day
In New Orleans locals may race after beads or floats on Fat Tuesday. In Liberal, Kansas, residents race down the street with a skillet and pancake. And did we mention that participants attempt to flip the pancakes as they run? Choose from a 415-yards or 5k race. This tradition began in Olney, England and was adopted in the 1950’s by Liberal. Other celebrations on International Pancake Day include a parade, eating and flipping contests, and a talent show.
Location: Centreville, VA
Date: Summer, typically May-June
This 5k ice cream-themed obstacle race is an outrageously good time! Obstacles include a Waffle Cone Cargo Net, Chocolate Syrup Water Slide, and a Sticky Steeple Chase, to name a few. And if whipped cream foam and running wasn’t enough, there is a costume contest, food trucks, the chance to pie a pal, and a dance party. Oh, and of course there is free ice cream.
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Date: Traditionally, April 1 (April Fool’s Day) but in 2018 the race will be held April 22 due to Easter weekend
There are two categories at this race: Twinkie Eaters and Twinkie Skippers (for those just interested in running). For those brave souls attempted to eat Twinkies and run, there are two mats where one is expected to grab and finish a Twinkie mid-course. There are also Twinkies and grilled Twinkies at the post-race celebration. And if you haven’t had quite enough sugar by then, there is a homemade Twinkie contest. Past entry flavors include potato Twinkies, Jamaican rum-raisin-coca Twinkies, vegan Twinkies, and so much more. A neat feature of this race is that all proceeds from this event go towards research and projects seeking a cure for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
Location: Various cities in the U.S.
Date: Winter, typically November – April
Ok, so this one is not a food. But nicknamed “America’s Sweetest Race” this decadent race does not disappoint! You will of course receive a beverage of piping hot, delicious hot chocolate. But there is also fondue in which you can indulge. Bananas, marshmallows, pretzels or Rice Krispie Treats are all provided for your dipping enjoyment. Not to mention, there are also “sweet stations” along the course ranging in everything from chocolate chips, marshmallows, and M&Ms. Because simple carbs are great for runners, right?
Held in colder months (typically, November – March), this clever race is a great way to break up winter. Currently racing in 17 cities across America, this race celebrating melted gooeyness is a win.
- Twinkie Run 5k, Website ,
- New York City Pizza Run, Website ,
- Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k, Website ,
- Sweat Your Way to Sweetness, Website ,
- Take the Challenge, Website ,
- International Pancake Day, Website ,
- Corndog Classic, Website ,
- America's Best Tasting 5k, Website ,
- The 3rd Annual Mac n' Cheese Labor Day Weekend 5K, Website ,
- El Taco Run 5k, Website ,