Local Fun Runs

Posted by Jenni Barnett on Friday, February 21st, 2020 at 12:14pm.

Tennessee residents, are you looking for an opportunity to join a local run? Have you seen those exuberant IG posts from your friends who experienced their first Nashville 5k last year? Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner looking for a new challenge, or someone who wants to seize 2020 as your year to leap off your couch and hit the streets running, we have the perfect race for you.

Please note: every run has different rules, requirements, and cutoff dates to enroll. Please visit the website links we’ve included for each run for detailed instructions.


March 15th: Nashville’s St. Paddy’s Day Run (Nashville)

Don the Irish green and begin your 2020 marathon conditioning by walking or running along the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville! Choose from the 7k, 5k, or Kids Dash. Every participant will receive a full-zip themed hoodie, and the first thousand participants to register will also receive a branded pint glass. When you complete this half marathon, you’ll receive a finisher medal. 

This year, participants will be tracked electronically to ensure accurate race time reports. This race does not allow pets, but jogging strollers are permitted provided participants sign a waiver and begin at the back; racer safety is the main priority.  The race will proceed rain or shine but may be canceled in the event of extreme weather conditions. All proceeds will benefit the ALS Association right here in Tennessee. 

Register here.


April 4th: Rhythm Run + Lub Dub Dash (Nashville)

Nashville’s 2nd annual Rhythm Run is a challenging but beautiful champion-level course. It is not intended for beginners or those just getting back into running. The paths are divided into full- and half-marathon options, covering steep hills at many points as the path courses through the Richland Creek Greenway. 

The few participants who are fit and brave enough to experience the full marathon will take in scenic nature views as they run through the golf course at Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Park and around the lake before they head back to the stadium after mile 24.

The Rhythm Run benefits Friends of Heart, a local organization whose goal is expanding cardiac care options for residents of TN. 

Register here.


May 2nd: Mud Run (Franklin)

Because this expansive venue has recently been sold, The Original Mud Run is back for one final year! If you’ve ever wanted to run what is reportedly the most challenging Mud Run course ever designed, this is an opportunity not to be missed. Choose from either a 5k, 18-obstacle course or a 10k, 30+ fully military-style obstacle course.

Choose from the fun-run style DGAP course, or get serious, don your fatigues and boots, and enter the Trophy/Competitive Division. While the obstacles will be surmountable only by those who have trained to achieve a commendable level of fitness, any obstacle can be bypassed by runners who just want to experience the race.

This means that the race should be manageable by anyone who can tackle the muddy distance, but racers are encouraged to consult their physicians before they enroll for the race. Swimming, stamina, and substantial upper body strength are keys to succeed against the course obstacles. 

Register here—if you dare! 


Saturday May 16th: Race for the Fallen Glow Run (Murfreesboro)

The Race for the Fallen is a non-profit race that benefits the families of peace officers slain in the line of duty. Sadly, more than 100 officers lose their lives each year, leaving heartbroken families in their wake. The Race for the Fallen gives any willing participant a way to help loved ones find a sense of normalcy again through the Police Benevolent Foundation.

This year, for the first time, the race will be held at Gateway Island in Murfreesboro. Racers will begin at the fountain, pass around the lake, and experience the peaceful scenery at night as they head to the finish line.

Racers of all ages and abilities are welcome at this family-friendly nighttime run! Choose from the 5k, 1-mile, or Phantom Runner courses. Can’t make the run? Register as a Phantom Runner to make a difference anyway. 

Runners will receive a race shirt, Glow gear, race bag, and a finisher medal. Champion medals will be awarded to those who finish 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a variety of categories.

Register here.


June 13th: 5k at Fontanel (Whites Creek)

If you’re in search of a natural, wooded trail race that accepts walkers and runners, the 5k at Fontanel is your scene. Winding through the untouched beauty of the scenic rolling hills of Whites Creek Valley just north of Nashville, this morning race includes snacks, plenty of ice-cold bottled water, a Chick-Fil-A continental breakfast, and FREE hot air balloon rides.

Held on the Saturday morning before Father’s Day, this event makes a great gift or family outing to complete your celebration. Each runner receives a race t-shirt, and everyone is invited to stay after the race and enjoy the Family Games at Fontanel after the awards ceremony. Though it is a separate event, it’s held in the same spot on the same morning, and kids six and under play for free.

Running strollers are not permitted in the 5k trail race; the rough terrain and steep hills don’t play well with strollers. However, stroller-pushers can wander the Fontanel grounds and enjoy all Family Games.

This event is sponsored by the Family Foundation Fund, a non-profit organization based out of Nashville, TN whose mission for 27 years has been to nurture at-risk young men from father-absent homes. By providing them with mentoring programs and private education, they are equipped to become productive citizens who reinvest in their communities and become loving fathers who will impact the destiny of future generations.

Register here, or in town at The Cookery.


July 4th: Music City July 4th 5K (Nashville)

Celebrate your personal independence this July 4th by running through downtown Nashville! Runners and walkers of all ages and ability are welcome, and jogging strollers are permitted. Want to run with your dog? No problem! Just start at the back with the strollers, and make sure their sensitive paws are protected from the searing pavement surfaces.

See the city’s landmarks as you’ve never seen them before as you tear through town in your commemorative tank top and then claim your participant medal. 

This race benefits Wear Blue, a nonprofit that honors military members and the families who love and support them. 

Register here.


September 26th: Tough Mudder (Lebanon)

The original Tough Mudder 5k is back, Nashville! Happening at Neal Farms 40 minutes east of town, this course is a no-holds-barred chance to really get wild. Slog through open fields of mud, wind through forested trails, plunge into icy cold creek waters, and if you make it, claim a frothy finisher beer to start your weekend party-stomping off right! 

Stick around for live entertainment at Mudder Village, play games with your fellow racers, and enjoy grub from local vendors. Though this run is only 8 to 10 miles long, this year's race includes 25 tough obstacles. Racers are expected to train fully and obtain a physician’s clearance before participating. 

Raise money for a charity you care about. This year, Tough Mudder has partnered with Crowdrise, so search their expansive database to choose the charity you’d like to run for.

Register here.


Tennessee, are you going to run this year? Do you have tales of bravery from runs you completed in 2019? Let us know in the comments below!

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