Time Out Sydney

Add one of these 15 fun runs to your fitness goals for 2016

1. Sun Run

Sprint across seven kilometres of the Northern Beaches

Sun Run

Starting in Dee Why, runners follow a breathtaking course through Curl Curl, Freshwater and Queenscliff, finishing up at the Steyne in Manly. Sign up for the 7k or the 10k and help raise funds for more than 800 charities, including Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club. Sat Feb 6.

2. Cupid's Undie Run

Pants off! The playful Valentine's Day charity run returns

Cupid's Undie Run

The Sydney edition of this cheeky international charity fundraiser returns for some V-Day nonsense. More than 30 cities around the globe take part in the world's largest underwear run, which is a 'brief' 1.5km run – this year taking place in Bondi. Sun Feb 14.

3. The Color Run Night

An after-dark instalment of the popular fun run

The Color Run Night

Sure, the Color Run is always good, messy fun. But if you're a night owl, it can be something of a punishment to get up with the sun and head to the park. That's where the popular fun run's nocturnal sibling comes in: now you can enjoy all the thrills of having paint thrown at you along your race after dark. Sat Feb 20.

4. Rainbow Run

Welcome Mardi Gras with a special community run in Sydney Park

Rainbow Run 2016

Runners of all ages are encouraged to dress in red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple for a two-, four- or six-kilometre dash that's also a charity fundraiser for the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby. Sat Feb 27.

5. Relay for Life

This might be Australia’s most epic charity relay

Relay for Life

It’s a 24-hour fun run, which sounds excruciating, but you don’t have to run all of it – just part of it. The Lap Challenge tests the limits of your team, who are tasked with completing the most laps in order to win prizes. The larger your team, the more sleep you get. Mar 5-6.

6. Triathlon Pink and Fun Run Pink

Swim, bike and run your way through Parramatta Park

Triathlon Pink and Fun Run Pink

Feeling extra sturdy? Attempt to smash the Ultra, which entails a 600m swim, 18km bike ride and 6km run. Kids can join the Fun Run Pink, which takes place on the bike track. If you don't fancy getting wet, there's a 5k run for adults and a 1k Kids Dash too. Sun Apr 3.

7. Illumi Run Sydney

Light up the night in a 5k race that feels more like a party

Illumi Run Sydney

Illumi Run started life in Singapore and in 2016 they’re bringing the concept to Australia with a running tour of the east coast. Sydney’s run takes place at Canterbury Park and entrants are splattered with non-toxic neon paint and glow water as they run, jog, walk or dance the five-kilometre route. Sat Apr 23.

8. Memory Walk and Jog Sydney

Raise your heart rate – and vital funds – for charity

Memory Walk and Jog Sydney

The autumn event is a regular on runners’ calendars as its route takes in the beautiful Bay Run. Money raised helps to support those impacted by dementia by funding services like counselling and education for family carers. It’s a family friendly event and kids under five can join free of charge. Sun May 1.

9. Mother's Day Classic

Celebrate the important women in your life

Mother's Day Classic 2016

Challenge yourself to complete a 4K or 7K walk or run to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation's research program. Everybody is encouraged to join in on the day – and nobody need worry about how quickly they finish. Sun May 8.

10. Sydney Half Marathon

It's not about winning, it's about finishing...

Sydney Half Marathon 2016

The first of two half marathons in Sydney, the 21.1km fun run takes a scenic route through the Royal Botanic Gardens, across the Harbour Bridge and around the Sydney Opera House. Join thousands of Sydneysiders pounding the streets to crack a PB. Sun May 15.

11. Balmoral Burn

Do it for the kids – and the glutes

Humpty Dumpty Balmoral Burn

This one is tough, but over very quickly. The 420m climb up the steep of Mosman’s Awaba Street is notoriously difficult, but if the kids can do it, so can you. All funds raised on the day go directly to the Humpty Dumpty Foundation. Sun May 29.

12. Sydney Harbour 10k

Sneak some fitness into a Sydney sightseeing tour

Sydney Harbour 10k

It's a winter warm up for the City2Surf and perfectly timed for the second half marathon on the year. Racing around Sydney’s stunning harbour foreshore in either a 10K or a 5K is a mood booster, even for the most novice of long-distance athletes. Sun Jul 10.

13. City2Surf

Be part of the world's biggest fun run

City2Surf

It's the big one. Whether you’re a serious runner, or want to join in for the first time, Sydney’s most popular fun run takes you from College Street to Bondi Beach via one killer incline – Heartbreak Hill. Suddendly 14km feels much longer than it sounds. Sun Aug 14.

14. Sydney Tower Eye Stair Challenge

Run, walk or crawl your way to the top of the Sydney Tower Eye

Sydney Tower Eye Stair Challenge

It’s the ultimate test of endurance – climb 1504 steps to reach the Sydney Tower’s Observation Deck. Whether you’re a runner or a walker, the aim is to raise funds for charity Giant Steps, who support and educate children and young adults with autism. Sun Aug 21.

15. Sydney Running Festival

Challenge yourself in 2016, sign up to one of these fun runs

Sydney Running Festival 2016

It isn't every day that you can jog over a car-free Harbour Bridge, and it isn't every day that you can say you smashed a marathon. If you're going to complete the nipple-bleeding 42.4 kilometres, why not make it one that starts and finishes at Sydney's most iconic landmarks? The Sydney Running Festival has distances to suit all runners, including a family-friendly 3.5k and a 9k Bridge Run. Sun Sep 18.

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Updated on 6 Jan 2016.

By Emma Joyce   |  

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