The running and jogging scene in Silicon Valley is alive and well with several events planned throughout the year for novice and experienced runners. Here are some races this year that are manageable yet fun for first-time runners and for those looking to break a new personal record.

Mardi Gras Madness
Celebrate Mardi Gras on February 9 with a 3-mile run around Terrell Park in the Thousand Oaks neighborhood in San Jose. Runners are encouraged to dress up by wearing brightly colored beads, masquerade masks and crowns—anything that symbolizes Mardi Gras. Runners will receive a commemorative race shirt and a prize for finishing the race. Light snacks and drinks will also be provided after the race.

Furry Friends Rescue 5k Fun Run
Dog lovers and their furry companions are encouraged to participate in this 5k hosted by Furry Friends Rescue on February 10. Participants in the free dog-friendly event meet at Running Revolution and the run starts at Campbell Park, where the untimed race allows owners to leisurely walk or run with their dog. After the run, Running Revolution offers treats for both dogs and humans.

Hellyer Half Marathon 10k/5k
This scenic race with paved pathways is perfect for first-timers and those looking to break a new personal record with a professional timer. Held on March 2, runners have the choice between a 5k, 10k or half marathon races. The course trails along the picturesque Cottonwood Lake and Coyote Creek Parkway. All finishers receive custom medals and the choice between cotton or technical fabric shirts. Awards will be given to the top three finishers in five year categories.

Color Me Rad
At Color Me Rad runners get pummeled by the Color Bomb Squad with colored corn starch as they trail around the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on September 14. Described as a “kindergarten art class gone wrong” by organizers, runners are encouraged to dress in white to see the aftermath of the color bombing. Volunteer opportunities for those who want to be on the Color Bomb Squad.

Turkey Trot
The Turkey Trot is an option for those looking to ease the guilty of gobbling up a feast at Thanksgiving dinner on November 28. Runners of all ages start in downtown San Jose and continue on the flat course through neighborhoods and business areas. There is a separate Kids Fun Run for children ages 2-9. Runners also have the option of running a 10k.