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Fit in the OV: Fitness and fun go hand-in-hand

Photo of Nick Scala with Oro Valley Town Seal

Based on the Town of Oro Valley special event calendar there is an overwhelming trend throughout the year: Oro Valley likes to race. 5ks, 10ks, marathons, triathlons, swim meets, hiking challenges; you name it, we have a race for it. This is not too surprising, given Oro Valley’s active culture paired with great roads, bike lanes, pools, parks, trails and multi-use paths.

October 5, 2017

It also helps that we have more than 300 days of sunshine and up to eight months of ideal outdoor recreation weather. Some of these races are highly competitive, with participants from all over the country racing for national honors. Others are for no other reason than to have a good time.

That’s right, I’m talking about the ever-so-popular fun run. Fitness hasn’t always been associated with fun, but in Oro Valley, the two go hand and hand. This fall we have a few different opportunities to get outside with the family and enjoy fun activities all while getting your fitness on!

On Oct. 14, we will be hosting our second annual Monster Mash 5K/10K at Steam Pump Ranch. This isn’t your typical fun run. This one is jam-packed with a variety of fun activities, competitions, food trucks, music and some scary elements hidden throughout the ranch. And if you’re feeling extra spirited, you can do the “Tough Pumpkin” race, which is a 5K run/walk while carrying a pumpkin. Or maybe even the “Pumpkin Pounder” race, in which runners have to eat a slice of pumpkin pie after the gun goes off and then run the 5K. For those of you wanting to save the fun until after the race, there will be an option for a standard 5K and 10K.

Looking for something for the kiddos? Try the free, one-mile kids zombie run, where kids can run in their costumes, or have their face painted (for free!) like a zombie. Rounding out the night will be a free outdoor screening of “Casper” starting at 7 p.m. For a full event description and activity schedule, please visit

While the Monster Mash has a lot of great fun going on, we do suggest that you keep your dogs at home. But not to worry—our four-legged friends will have their time to shine on October 28 at the fourth annual Doggie Dash ‘n Dawdle. What’s better than a standard fun run? A fun run with your furry companion, of course! Bring your pup to Riverfront Park for a two-mile dash or a one-mile dawdle on the multi-use path. There will be giveaways and prizes for participants, a doggie costume contest, tons of free activities and more than 25 local pet vendors, including rescue organizations, pet clinics, dog apparel businesses, adoptable dogs and much more!

Don’t have a dog but still love admiring them? Feel free to come out and enjoy the festival! We will have food trucks, music and plenty of other family-friendly activities. Registration can be completed online, in person at the Oro Valley Community Center, or by calling 229-5050.

Looking ahead to 2018, we invite you to start your year with a bang at the Hot Cocoa 5k New Year’s Day Run & Walk. This event will take place at Steam Pump Ranch on Jan. 1, and we will have a delicious cup of hot cocoa waiting for you at the finish line. Proceeds will benefit Oro Valley’s Round Up for Youth Recreation Scholarship Program, and prizes will be awarded.

In Oro Valley, fitness and fun go hand-in-hand, so join us this fall as we go outside, get active and most importantly, have fun!

By Nick Scala, Oro Valley Parks & Recreation assistant recreation manager - Explorer Newspaper, 10/5/17