Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Woof? 10 Petrifying Pet-Friendly Halloween Races

Posted by Billy Francis

The only thing scarier than a 5k is a Halloween 5k, with a starting line full of zombies, ghouls and vampires. It might seem like a frightening prospect, but thankfully most of these little monsters are super cute and happy to race alongside you, unless you’re dressed up as a mailman. Whether you’re both seasoned runners or racing your first 5k, put on Fido’s freakiest costume and join the other fur-raising participants at these pet-friendly Halloween races.

Phoenix Wicked Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and Spooky Kids Sprint

Peoria, IL
“Turn away, Gary. Don’t show them your true identity!” Photo by Facebook.com/startlineracingaz

The wickedest part about the Phoenix Wicked Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and Spooky Kids Sprint might just be the hamstring burn the next day. The course conveniently starts and ends at the Rio Vista Community Park in Peoria and takes you along sections of the New River Trail system, a dedicated paved pathway that showcases the Arizona backcountry. Costumes are highly encouraged to give other trail users a fright while they’re out on their morning stroll.

The Phoenix Wicked Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and Spooky Kids Sprint will take place at 7 a.m. on October 27. If you’re looking for pet-friendly accommodations while you’re in town, try something different and book one of these awesome pet-friendly campers from Outdoorsy.

Rhodes Race at the Haunted Castle

Atlanta, GA
Three new dwarves: Furry, Panter and Farty. Photo by Facebook.com/thegeorgiatrustforhistoricpreservation

The Rhodes Race at the Haunted Castle 5K takes place around Rhodes Hall, which dates back to 1904 and is widely considered to be Atlanta’s spookiest haunted house. Atlantans and ghost hunters alike tell tales of the eerie atmosphere at this grand building, which is the ideal setting for a scarily fun 5K. The race winds through one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, Ansley Park. Furry friends are welcome to run with their human partners and attend the afterparty at Rhodes Hall, where participants are rewarded with barbecue sandwiches and prizes. Dogs are also invited to take part in the annual costume contest after the race.

Rhodes Race at the Haunted Castle will be held at 9 a.m. on October 26. Staying overnight at Rhodes Hall isn’t allowed, but you can rest easy at Loews Atlanta Hotel. Fido will be pampered with treats and bowls upon arrival.

Dash of Doom - Halloween 5K

Calgary, AB
"I'm the fastest hound in the galaxy!" Photo by @runcalgary

Join the zombie hordes at the starting line of Calgary’s only Halloween-themed 5K. The spooktacular Dash of Doom - Halloween 5k invites attendees to race in their most gruesome (and cutest) costumes. The best-dressed dog is featured on the following year’s swag, so your Halloweenie’s face could be immortalized forever on medals and tees.

Dash of Doom will kick off at 4 p.m. on October 26. After his scamper, pamper your pooch with a stay at the Sandman Hotel and Suites Calgary West. If Fido isn’t content waiting a whole year to see his personalized swag, he can still enjoy treats or a toy at check-in.

All-Out Kooky-Spooky

Golden, CO
And then appeared Harry’s patronus, “Old Pillow Case Dog.” Photo by Facebook.com/AllOutMultiPro

Set at the base of Table Mountain, the 8th annual All-Out Kooky-Spooky will give you plenty of stories to tell around the campfire. There are four pet-friendly categories: 1M, 5K, 10K and the Half Marathon. The courses run alongside Arvada’s Blunn Reservoir via the Ralston Creek Trail, offering an eye-catching tapestry of fall colors.

The All-Out Kooky-Spooky 1M, 5K, 10K and Half Marathon will be held at 9 a.m. on October 27. Dog owners are asked to run at the back of the pack and to keep their canine partners on a short leash throughout the race. After you cross the finish line, why not spend a weekend in nearby Denver? The Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver offers treats, beds and bowls to furry guests. There’s even a dog park two blocks from the hotel.

Trick or Trot 5k

Gettysburg, PA
“Orange you glad you raced with us?”

The Trick or Trot 5K weaves around the Gateway Complex in Gettysburg. Dress up in your most streamlined-yet-terrifying outfits and dash to the front of the pack with your pooch by your side. After the race, human competitors 21 and over are rewarded with two free beers from Appalachian Brewing Company.

Trick or Trot 5K will be held at 9 a.m. on October 27. There’s so much to see in Gettysburg that you’ll want to spend a few days exploring the area together. The Battlefield Bed & Breakfast Inn welcomes four-legged guests with treats, bowls, towels, waste bags and a blanket at check-in. There’s also a fenced dog run and 30 acres of walking trails on the property.

Tick or Treat: 5K Night Trail Run

Kansas City, KS
“Why would anyone want a tick?” Photo by Mile90photography

Hopefully you don’t come across any creepy crawlies at the annual Tick or Treat: 5K Night Trail Run. This off-road romp takes place exclusively on unpaved trails, so you’ll need to rely on a flickering candle (or headlamp) to guide your way through the eerie woods. As long as you don’t get lost and have to spend the night in an abandoned cabin, you’ll be rewarded with candy and refreshments at the finish line. The organizers also host a costume competition for people and pets.

Tick or Treat: 5K Night Trail Run will be held at 7 p.m. on October 26. Kansas City is full of pet-friendly hotels for Fido to get some much needed R&R after the race. Intercontinental Kansas City’s close proximity to Jacob Loose Memorial Park makes it ideal for guests with pets who love an evening stroll in beautiful surroundings.

HOWL-O-WEEN Dog Run & Haunted Hustle

Lubbock, TX
“I see dog people!” Photo by @ellie_the_pug_girl

Ghostly sightings are not uncommon in Lubbock, TX. Local residents are rumored to have seen the specter of a biology student at Texas Tech and a glowing man roaming around Lubbock Cemetery. Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, there’s no debating the sightings of hundreds of spooks at the HOWL-O-WEEN Dog Run & Haunted Hustle. Show off Fido’s outfit in the canine costume contest before taking your place at the start line of the 2K9 race. The 1.2-mile romp will take you alongside a pretty section of Canyon Lake 6.

HOWL-O-WEEN Dog Run & Haunted Hustle will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 26. Dog supplies (leashes, treats and more) will be collected and donated to Morris Safe House. Visitors from out of town can spend the night at the pet-friendly Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Lubbock, where your best friend will be greeted with treats and waste bags for use in the on-site pet relief area.

Annual Halloween Mutt Run 1K/5K Run/Walk

San Diego, CA
“We’re not just fast, we’re fast food!” Photo by Facebook.com/LabsAndMore

You and your dastardly Dachshund are invited to dress up and race for a good cause at the Annual Halloween Mutt Run 1K/5K Run/Walk in San Diego. This popular event is sponsored by Road Runner Sports and supports the Labs and More Rescue Foundation. Even if you’re not running, you can donate to the non-profit here.

The Annual Halloween Mutt Run 1K/5K Run Walk will take place at 7:30 a.m. on October 26. Take a much-needed break after the race at Blue Heron Cottages. Fido can enjoy the use of a large enclosed courtyard with lawn and utility sink for bathing. The Original Dog Beach, one of the 10 best pet-friendly beaches on the West Coast, is just down the road.

Berea Animal Rescue Friends Monster Mutt Dash 5k Run/1 Mile Walk

Berea, OH
He says he’s a dog, but I think he’s lion! Photo by Free Bird Publications, LTD

Horrifying hounds can also compete for a noble cause at the Berea Animal Rescue Friends Monster Mutt Dash 5k Run/1 Mile Walk. The race is divided into a 5K and a shorter 1-mile fun walk. Stick around afterwards to attend Animal Rescue Friends’ Annual Howl-O-Ween Afterparty. Bag some swag at the awards ceremony, pet costume contest and parade. If Fido didn’t place in the race, he can try his paw at musical hoops or bobbing for weenies. Finally, toast your success in the Boo-tiful Beer Garden and take a pet portrait together (don’t forget to #bringfido!).

Berea Animal Rescue Friends Monster Mutt Dash will be held at 9:30 a.m. on October 12. All proceeds benefit Animal Rescue Friends. Participants who go the extra mile to raise funds for the shelter can get their paws on some awesome prizes. After the race, enjoy a restful night at a nearby pet-friendly Airbnb.

Howloween Dog Walkathon and Canine Costume Contest

Casselberry, FL
“Could I bee any cuter?” Photo by Facebook.com/FranklinsFrnds

On the Saturday before Halloween, Franklin’s Friends take over Secret Lake Park in Casselberry for a day of fun to raise money for animals in need in Central Florida. The Howloween Dog Walkathon and Canine Costume Contest brings dog lovers together to enjoy food, music and furry competition. The main event is the group dog walk around the pretty park.

Howloween Dog Walkathon and Canine Costume Contest will be held at 9 a.m. on October 26. The entry fee is $25 at the door, with all proceeds benefiting Franklin’s Friends. Casselberry’s convenient location near Disney World means there are plenty of inviting pet-friendly Airbnb rentals nearby.

How are you and your dog celebrating Halloween? Snap a pic of your chilling Chow Chow and don’t forget to #bringfido. Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!