5 Charlotte Races Not to Miss this Summer

Elena Gatti
Made Possible by
Curated by

Staying active in the summer can be tough. It’s true that you get plenty of daylight and there’s little chance of a sub-zero degree cold snap. However the heat, family trips, and BBQ’s (...Mmmm ribs) can easily derail your plans of keeping everything moving that should be moving, and keeping some of the jiggly bits that shouldn’t move still. Most people prefer to have a goal to work towards and not everyone is motivated by paying $35 to run in a 5K circle. Here are 5 races that promise a little something extra to get you going all summer long:

1. Best race to bring the kids

Big Muddy Challenge

The Big Muddy Challenge
June 28 th
Hunter Farm

You have most likely surmised this event will somehow incorporate mud. Bravo for your keen powers of perception. Expect to run, crawl, and dig through heaps of mud in this untimed adventure race. There’s even a muddy version of a Slip and Slide. This one’s not for the tough Spartan warriors, it’s all designed for families (ages 6 and up). The event is meant to encourage families to enjoy an active lifestyle and supports Big Brothers Big Sisters.

2. Best race to act like a kid


The ROC Race
June 28 th
Charlotte Motor Speedway

This is the opportunity to relive your glory days as the dominant figure in 4th period recess. A huge inflatable water slide, giant wrecking balls looking to knock you over, a foam bath, and many more obstacles are in place to take you out of commission. It’ll take balance, speed, power, and about 70 bucks to tackle everything that awaits you at the Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge. Part of the proceeds for the day provides support for Challenged Athletes.

3. Best non traditional multi-sport race
Amphibious Duathlon
Aug 2nd – 3rd
U.S. National White Water Center

“Run, Paddle, Run” is the theme of this two sport race (and also fun to say in your best Forest Gump voice). Start by running a 5K on the USNWC trails. Follow it up with a 2 K flat water paddle. Then finish with another 5K on the trails. You can bring your own boat or SUP or use one of their sit on top kayaks. As is the case with most events at the USNWC, there will be food, beer, and music after. On Saturday you can also watch, or participate, in the build your own boat contest.

4. Best race to Light Up Your Life

Electric Run

Electric Run
Aug 23rd
Charlotte Motor Speedway

Several neon worlds of multicolored light create enough nighttime illusions to fill a Dr. Suess-on-Ambien dream. The 5K course runs through several themed “Courselands”, each more brilliantly lit for the nighttime race than the last. The party at the end is no less dazzling. This probably won’t be a PR race, but should rank pretty high on the unique scale. Support from this race goes to the Special Olympics of North Carolina.

5. Best race to get lost
Charlotte Challenge
Aug 24th
Begins at Strike City in the Epicenter

Fresh off your post electric run afterglow, grab your pals and hit the streets for some clue solving, route planning, Amazing Race style scavenger hunting. The course is about 3 to 4 miles but you decide the specifics. Do well at this one and you can enter the national competition in Las Vegas. Prizes are also available for best costumes.

Last Updated:

Next Up


Ultra-Endurance in Santa Barbara