You can run a 5k with minions.
Despicable Me Minion Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood
Credit: Courtesy of Universal Studios

Universal Studios Hollywood, home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, will host its first-ever Running Universal event next year, bringing the worlds of films like “Despicable Me” and “Minions” to life. The inaugural 5K race, scheduled for May 11th, 2019, will take participants through the actual theme park and behind-the-scenes at Universal’s film lot before it opens with — who else? — but a gaggle of the goofy yellow creatures in tow.

Given that Universal Studios Hollywood operates a theme park atop a working movie studio, runners and walkers will have a chance to trek past both, taking in the towers of Hogwarts castle and “The Simpsons’” famed Kwik-E-Mart before whizzing past famed backdrops and cityscapes on Universal Studios’ back lot, where movies like “Back to the Future,” “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and “War of the Worlds” were filmed.

Character meet-and-greets and live entertainment will be positioned along the course of the Minions-themed race as well, which includes peeks at behind-the-scenes areas of the California theme park.

Universal Studios Hollywood 5K Run
Credit: Courtesy of Universal Studios; bluehill75/Getty Images

Whether you’re considering the fun run for exercise or just for some early morning hang time with Bob, Kevin and Stuart, the event culminates in a private post-race party in Universal CityWalk prior to opening hours that’ll be worth running towards. Immediately once participants cross the finish line, they’ll join in on a celebration with food, live entertainment and “post-race swag”, providing plenty of post-sweat revelry.

Standard packages, which include Minion-themed race medals, collectible pins and commemorative t-shirts, cost $75, with VIP packages offered for $135. Neither include park entry beyond the early morning event, but celebrating with a Minions medal around one’s neck is a must.

Running Universal marks Universal Studios Hollywood’s first entry into hosting races inside their theme park, something Disney has popularized over the past 22 years. runDisney, the fitness-centric arm of the Walt Disney Company, offers character-themed 5K, half-marathon and marathon races at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris and on Castaway Cay, a Disney Cruise Line island. As of October 2017, all runDisney events at Disneyland Resort have ceased operation, making the new Minions-led 5K the only theme park run on the West Coast.

A Minions-led workout might be an unusual start to a vacation, but spending an early morning pounding the pavement on hallowed Hollywood ground sure beats running on that hotel treadmill.