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Races across LI: Quirky events get off on the right foot

Participants are bubbly with excitement at the first

Participants are bubbly with excitement at the first Bubble Run at Jones Beach in Wantagh. Credit: Ed Betz

Trade sweat for suds or immerse your bib in bubbles this summer. There’s a range of quirky noncompetitive themed races being held across Long Island. In some cases, there is no age requirement to take part in the fun.


Get a head start on the horses at the Belmont Stakes 5K Run for Prostate Cancer. The event has become the traditional kickoff to Belmont Stakes Week. The scenic 3.107-mile race, now in its sixth year, has runners start in the clubhouse parking lot and move on to the grounds of Belmont Park, where they will pass the horse stables. The last quarter mile is on the dirt track. “Finishing the 5K on the track that has hosted so many famous horses is a very thrilling experience, particularly when you know that the winner of the Belmont Stakes will be completing his race in the same spot in six days,” says Linda Ottaviano, executive director of the Greater Long Island Running Club, which organizes the event. A post-race party with food from 10 or so restaurants follows.

WHEN | WHERE 7:15-8:15 p.m. Sunday, June 4 at Belmont Race Track, Elmont

COST $30 ($25 until June 3), $15 ages 15 and younger

INFO 516-349-7646,,


Participants in the Bubble Palooza 5K — also known as the “Bubble Bash” — must be at least 7 years old. At the end of the noncompetitive race, participants are given color packets to toss in the air and create a real-life rainbow atmosphere. Every 15 minutes, organizers turn on Bubble Blasters to cover participants in a sea of bubbly colors.

WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m.-noon start times Saturday, June 10, Long Island Sports Park, 149 Edwards Ave., Calverton

INFO 631-698-6230,

COST $44.99 ($40 advance includes shirt and color pack) (free ages 6 and younger)

ALSO TRY Save the date for Jones Beach’s version of a bubble run Sept. 30 in Wantagh. Participants wear all white and run through waves of colored suds released every 3 to 5 minutes. Cross the finish line and the real party awaits with a DJ and vendors. ($50,


Inspired by such world events as the annual Holi Hindu spring “festival of colors,” the Color Vibe Run returns to Eisenhower Park in East Meadow on Saturday, June, 10.

Since 2012, Color Vibe has hosted this family-friendly event nationwide. On June 10, waves of color will be released every five minutes or so throughout the race. The color run is safe for children of any age, but organizers recommend everybody wear sunglasses.

WHEN | WHERE 8 a.m.-noon June 10, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow


COST $65 (free ages 12 and younger)


The degree of difficulty and dirt varies in the Tough Mudder races, which test mental and physical strength. “Mini Mudder” is a 1-mile obstacle course designed for children ages 7 to 12 that focuses on teamwork. The “Tough Mudder Half” is a 5-mile mud and obstacle course featuring some of the brand’s signature obstacles, such as Walk the Plank, where competitors climb a high platform, jump into muddy water, swim to the edge of the obstacle and exit the water. The “Tough Mudder Half” excludes more extreme elements such as ice and electric shocks and is an ideal introduction to mud runs, organizers say.

“Tough Mudder,” meanwhile, is the mudder of all races. It consists of a signature 10- to 12-mile mud and obstacle course designed to push participants out of their comfort zones. There are no winners in this course. The priority is teamwork and personal accomplishment. “Tougher Mudder” is a competitive version of the “Tough Mudder” race.

WHEN | WHERE July 22-23 at Old Bethpage Restoration Village, 1303 Round Swamp Rd., Old Bethpage


COST $179 full, $119 half, $20 mini


Run, walk, taste is the mantra at the Grape Gallop outdoor event that takes participants on a scenic tour of Hampton vineyards. After crossing the finish line, “gallopers” are treated to wines from the host vineyard and a free keepsake glass.

WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 12, Duck Walk Vineyards South, 231 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill

INFO 862-221-9777,

COST $55 by Aug. 9, $65 race day. Admission includes T-shirt, tote bag, customized bib and free event photos.


The 4-mile Run/Walk Around Lake Ronkonkoma honors the late Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy. There’ll be a post-race barbecue hosted by Texas Roadhouse of Deer Park with complimentary beer. The event will also feature a DJ.

WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m. June 24 at Ronkonkoma Beach, Rosevale Avenue, Lake Ronkonkoma

INFO 631-979-0060,

COST $40 ($30 advance) $15 fun run; $45 virtual run/walk

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