Fun runs have long been a staple for many parent groups. Now groups are getting even more creative with these runs to help them appeal to more people and raise even more funds for their schools. Here are some examples:

Color Their World
The Swans Creek Elementary PTA in Southbridge, Va., wanted to capitalize on the popularity of color runs, in which runners get “splashed” with multicolored, cornstarch-based powder while running a 5K. So the PTA gave runners the option of running a color lap at the end of its fall fun run. During this lap, parent volunteers tossed the powder onto the runners as they passed a series of color stations. Runners got free sunglasses to shield their eyes. As they completed the color lap, they were transformed into walking rainbows.

Zombie Chase
The PTA at James A. Garfield Elementary in Collingswood, N.J., asked its fun run participants to run for their lives when zombies suddenly appeared to chase them along the route. The group even added a hearse from a local funeral home and parked it at the finish line to add to the spooky atmosphere. The Zombie Chase 5K was held close to Halloween and a trick-or-treat walk was offered after the event.

Family Fitness
Even without zombies or a color lap, a PTA 5K in Lexington, Ky., drew an estimated 1,275 participants. A main draw for families was a free eight-week training program offered through the YMCA. Thirty-eight PTAs participated in the event organized by the 16th District PTA. Participating PTAs were required to create a healthy lifestyles committee. The hope is that the run will become a way to showcase healthy habits that will continue long after the run is over, says Liza Holland, president of the 16th District PTA.