Focus on Fitness: The Five Best 5k’s for Spring

Whether you’re still going strong on your New Year’s resolution, feeling fresh off spring break, or just enjoying the South Florida sun, when the calendar turns to April road race season begins.

Behold, a list of five challenging races around Miami to put your training to the test this spring.


1. Beach Beast 5K, Fort Lauderdale Beach

Unleash your inner beast this Saturday at Fort Lauderdale’s Beach Beast. This 5K obstacle race along the water will call on your inner-animal. The Beach Beast is a bit on the expensive side at $79 per person, but with two or more racers, the price drops to $74 per runner. The competitive race will begin at 8:45 a.m. Also, there is a 10 percent registration discount available for students, teachers, military personnel and first responders at


2. Miami Mud Mingle, Miami

This strictly singles-only event involves mud, mud and more mud. The all-terrain 5K race at historic Virginia Key Beach Park, set for April 20, will take mingling singles over walls, up cargo nets and across monkey bars in pursuit of a finisher’s medal, and maybe even a hot date.

The added perks of all that mud? A T-shirt, a free post-race beer, a free after-party with food and music by DJ Mister Gray, and free entry with two drinks at the official Mud Mingle event held at The Hollywood Hard Rock. Runners ages 18-99 are eligible to register as an individual ($69) or as a team ($64) at


3. Color Mania 5K, Miami

Having Ultra withdrawals? Get your neon adrenaline fix at the Color Mania 5K at 9 a.m. April 13 at Amelia Earhart Park. This family-friendly 5K is for runners from all walks of life and all fitness levels to get out, get active and get colorful. The only rule: You must start the race wearing white and cross the finish line as a human rainbow. Registration costs $35.


4. SunSmart 5K, Key Biscayne

Sunshine, sandy shores and sneakers are all part of the fourth annual SunSmart 5K, scheduled for April 13 at Crandon Park South on Key Biscayne. Need more reasons to register? The race is hosted by students from the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and offers a discounted registration price ($15) for UM, FIU and Nova Southeastern students with a valid ID. Sign up by April 12 to secure your spot and discount. Visit

 5. Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run, Miami

On May 5, the Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run returns to Zoo Miami. Through April 14, runners can choose their mud- and obstacle-filled fate – the 5K is $65 and the 10K is just $10 more. The fast, flat course takes racers through moats and forests in and around Zoo Miami. Register as an official team with 10 or more runners to receive $5 off the entry fee.

Looking for an added challenge? Try an alternative training style and race in Merrell Barefoot shoes, Vibram Five Fingers or go completely barefoot in a separate race division. First place winners in each age group/division will receive a gift certificate for Merrell Barefoot shoes.