Fall for These 5Ks

Maybe you’ve heard of the Color Run, a 5K race during which runners are blasted with color in cities from San Francisco to South Portland, Maine.

But Vermont already has its own color runs — the 5Ks that race through some of the state’s finest foliage each fall. Sure, the speediest of competitors won’t have much time to look around, but the rest of the pack can rest assured that they’ve found the coolest way to see fall color — with no need to wash out their shorts.

3 Stallion Inn 5K, Randolph: This Sept. 21 race kicks off at the Montague Golf Course at the Three Stallion Inn, giving competitors a mostly grassy course with rolling hills. Proceeds from the race go to Randolph Union High School ($20 entry fee; 3craceproductions.com).

Mark Dooley 5K, Wilmington: A loop course on paved roads that starts and ends at Wilmington’s Twin Valley High School, this Sept. 21 event was named for a Norwich University grad and Wilmington police officer who was killed in Vermont in 2005 ($20 by Aug. 31; $25 thereafter, including race day; markdooley5k.com).

Shelburne Farms 5K, Shelburne: Think views of Lake Champlain, whoop-de-do grassy rollers, and a fly-by of the Inn at Shelburne Farms before finishing at the Coach Barn. You can almost hear William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb cheering for you. The Oct. 6 race fills fast. ($25 by Oct. 2; racevermont.com).

GMAA Turkey Trot 1 Copyright 2012 Pat Hendrick PhotographyDeal Chicken 5K, South Burlington: For any Queen City resident who’s been lapping training miles around Dorset Street, this race is on familiar turf, looping through Vermont National Country Club. The first 250 people to register get a chicken hat, and proceeds benefit the Committee on Temporary Shelter. Happening on Nov. 3. ($20; runmyevent.com).

Freaky 5K, Richmond: Get one of your last looks at the leaves for the season in this race that begins at the West Monitor Barn and dashes in and out of the woods near Huckleberry Ridge and along the VAST Trail before finishing at the East Monitor Barn, on Oct. 27 for the VYCC. There are freaky goodies, too. (vycc.org)

Turkey Trot 5K, Burlington: OK, so this race is officially in stick season, not fall foliage. But there’s plenty of color in the costumes worn by hundreds of hungry participants in this GMAA Thanksgiving Day race, which raffles off pies, benefits the Chittenden County Emergency Food Shelf and is run on the UVM cross-country course ($5 suggested donation; $10 for family; and/or food; gmaa.net).

Sarah Tuff

Sarah Tuff writes about outdoor sports, health and fitness from her home in Shelburne; her work has appeared in The New York Times, Runner's World and Skiing, among other publications. She is also the co-author of 101 Best Outdoor Towns (Countryman Press).