Pump up the Fun

3, 2, 1 GO!! The crowd cheered as another group crossed the start line. We were amongst them, a family of 4, surrounded by men, women and children of all ages and sizes, dressed in lycra, tutus and tiger suits. Ahead of us loomed the first obstacle – a rubber inflated mountain that we needed to climb up and slide down the other side. This was the first of many because unlike any other race we’d entered this was a 5k inflatable!

Sounds fun? Well yes that’s exactly what it was. A running course that is interspersed with inflatable obstacles every 200 – 500m.

The distinctive black, red and white obstacles, aptly named with exciting titles such as Ripple Runner, Bish Bash and the Gauntlet involve crawling, weaving, climbing and sliding alongside fellow participants. It brings out the childish thrill of being on a bouncy castle or in a fun house and provides a welcome break from running for those that don’t enjoy it.

Each obstacle is manned by a friendly and encouraging marshall and there is a refreshment stand halfway around the course offering water, energy drinks and energy bars.



Running divides us a family; some of us love it and some of us hate it. I hate running and always have. I’m waiting for that moment when it becomes enjoyable and I just want to do more and more…but it hasn’t happened yet. So for people like me the inflatable race was perfect. There was a fun, friendly, relaxed atmosphere and the ten different inflatable obstacles pumped up the fun even more (pun intended!) There is no pressure to compete and many took the course at their own pace, some walking while other raced.

UK Running Events

The inflatable 5k run, organised by UK Running Events, takes places all around the UK throughout the year. You choose a starting slot and arrive approximately half and hour before. This gives you time to soak up the atmosphere, marvel at the course and take part in the Pure Gym warm up. All participants head to the start line a few minutes beforehand and after an enthusiastic count down the fun begins. This is not a timed event but those with a competitive streak can race against each other. At the finish line there is a choice of two obstacles: the Leap of Faith (a jump onto an inflatable area below) or the Plummet (a steep slide) then as you cross the line you are presented with a medal and a tee-shirt that proudly displays the Inflatable 5k logo.
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