These days, running marathons and half marathons go hand in hand with fundraising for a good cause, thanks to the rise of popular training programs like Team in Training. But as much as we’d like to, a lot of us don’t always have the time to raise the large sums of money.
Fortunately, on the rare weekends that aren’t filled with kids’ soccer games, traveling, or family gatherings, there are lots of 5Ks and 10Ks in and around DC that benefit a good cause. The only requirement? That you sign up and run. We rounded up eight cause-worthy races for every weekend through October. Proceeds from each race will go towards a charity or organization that benefits anything from cancer research to wounded warriors.
For Sake of the Children 1K/5K/10K
Saturday, September 14, 8 AM
Proceeds from this Chantilly 1K walk and 5K and 10K runs will benefit local charities and organizations that support children, including Children’s National Medical Center, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Autism Speaks, Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia, and Paxton Campus. The race will be extremely kid-friendly, with pony rides, a petting zoo, a moon bounce, and face-painting. $14 to $35 to register.
Race for the Future 5K
Sunday, September 15, 8 AM
The Race for the Future 5K starts and ends in Anacostia Park. It benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, which provides youth guidance through community programs. $35 to register.
Hoofin’ It for a Cause
Saturday, September 21, 8 AM
At this race, $2.50 of your registration fees will be donated to the Special Olympics of Northern Virginia. The 5K takes off at the Fairfax Corner Shopping Center, and each runner will receive a chicken sandwich as post-race fuel at the finish line.
Prevent Cancer 5K Walk/Run
Sunday, September 29, 9 AM
Start and finish your 5K inside Nationals Park while walking or running to prevent cancer. Proceeds will benefit the Prevent Cancer Foundation, which supports cancer prevention research, education, and outreach programs across the nation. The race will take you around Nationals Park and the riverfront. $30 to register.
McLean 5K Run With the Warriors
Saturday, October 5, 8 AM
The sixth annual McLean 5K will benefit the Wounded Warrior Transitional Housing at Vinson Hall, which provides wounded service members with handicap-accessible apartments once they’ve been discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. $40 to register for adults.
Anthem Great Pumpkin 5K
Saturday, October 12, 8:15 AM
Benefiting the YMCA Fairfax County Reston, the Great Pumpkin 5K starts at Reston Town Center and celebrates the fall season. There’s also a “pumpkin smash mile,” where runners are encouraged to dress in Halloween attire, and a kids’ pumpkin dash. $40 to register.
Kids Sending Smiles 5K
Saturday, October 19, 8:15 AM
A group of elementary school girls in Northern Virginia founded Kids Sending Smiles, an organization that helps the less fortunate in various ways. Its 5K in Burke Lake Park this October will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. $17 to $23 to register.
Hope for Help 5K
Saturday, October 26, 8 AM
This 5K in Lorton will benefit Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit organization that ships meals for malnourished children to almost 70 countries around the world. Kids can participate in the mini color run. $15 to $25 to register.