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Celebrate DC's athletes with games, a parade, and more! By Angie Hilsman
Photograph courtesy of Maria-Nelly Johnson

For the 15th year in a row, the 2015 Special Olympics DC will kick off with opening day at the Raymond A. DuFour Center on the Catholic University campus on Friday, May 15, at 11am.

The games are in their 46th year, and this year, spectators can cheer on over 900 athletes who underwent a minimum of eight weeks of training before qualifying to participate in track and field, socer, volleyball, and bocce competitions.

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Posted at 01:29 PM/ET, 05/13/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Get active this holiday with these fun runs around Washington. By Sara Gilgore
Get active this Thanksgiving with one of these fun runs. Image via Shutterstock.

DC

So Others Might Eat’s Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger
When: November 27, 8:30 AM Kids’ One Mile Fun Run; 9 AM 5K Run/Walk
Where: Freedom Plaza (intersection of 13th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., NW)
Join the organization’s 13th annual run to benefit the homeless. Money raised from the 5K will help provide food, clothing, and health care to those who need it in the District. Team signup is open through November 20, but individual registration continues until race day. $35 for timed participants, $30 for noncompetitive trotters.

Potomac Valley Track Club’s Cranberry Crawl 5K and 10K
When: November 22, 7:50 AM 5K, 8 AM 10K
Where: East Potomac Park
The park’s route is completely flat and accessible for walkers and wheelchairs. The club will serve hot refreshments after the race, and you’ll have the chance to win some tasty cranberry bread. Registration closes before race day, so pay the entry fee ahead of time: $10 by November 20, then $20.


MARYLAND

Bethesda-Chevy Chase YMCA’s Turkey Chase
When: November 27, 8:30 AM 10K; 9 AM 2 Mile; 9:45 AM Tot Trot
Where: 9401 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda
The largest 10K in Montgomery County is expected to attract more than 10,000 people from area neighborhoods and across the country. Proceeds will go toward YMCA programs and local Rotary charities for children and families. Registration is open through race day, and begins at 6 that morning. More information about parking, race fees, and packet pickup is available online.

Montgomery County Road Runners Club’s Turkey Burnoff
When: November 29, 9 AM 5- and 10-mile races; 9:05 AM fun run
Where: Seneca Creek State Park, 11950 Clopper Rd., Gaithersburg
For a post-feast activity—once you finish digesting—take the scenic run alongside the park’s deer, which tend to emerge on race day. $10 for adults, $5 for runners under 18. Arrive early to secure a parking spot.

Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run
When: November 27, 9 AM
Where: Fleet Feet Sports, 318 Sixth St., Annapolis
For the eighth consecutive year, Fleet Feet Sports Annapolis invites runners to explore the downtown on Thanksgiving morning. Dress as a turkey, bring your kids, strollers, and dogs, and meet outside the store. Upon attending the free event, participants are encouraged to make a small donation to the Bowen Foundation for Autism.

Race to the Rock
When: November 27, 8 AM registration, 9 AM race
Where: Greenwich Forest Triangle, Wilson and Hampden la., Bethesda
Nonprofit Eva Nepal’s ninth annual race will raise funds for education and dental care in Nepal. Wear a creative costume and bring an item you would’ve liked to have on the Mayflower, and you’re in the running for prizes. (Alternatively, you can just run fast.) Don’t want to run at all? Hope on your bike, skateboard, or scooter. $40 for adults (2.4 miles) and $25 for kids (0.6 miles), plus family and school-program deals.


VIRGINIA

Virginia Run Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot
When: November 27, 8 AM 5K Run and 2K Walk
Where: 15355 Wetherburn Court, Centreville
Rain or snow won’t shut down this Turkey Trot, now in its 26th year. Compete on the USATF-certified 5K course or stroll for the 2K to raise money for Life with Cancer. Register for the 5K ($35) through November 26. If you miss the deadline, the 2K (varying prices) welcomes last-minute signups.

Arlington Turkey Trot
When: November 27, 8 AM
Where: Christ Church of Arlington, 3020 North Pershing Dr., Arlington
Christ Church is partnering with the Arlington Food Assistance Center, Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, and Doorways for Women & Families for this ninth annual kickoff to Turkey Day. Last year, it raised $42,000. Feel free to wear a costume, bring your dog (on a leash), and push a stroller along the course. Pre-register online. It’s $35 for adults, $20 for kids, and free for little ones younger than six.

Alexandria Turkey Trot
When: November 27, 9 AM 5-miler
Where: George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria
The DC Road Runners course is flat and fast, and culminates in an awards ceremony when the race is finished. Bring two nonperishable food cans or boxes to support Alexandria’s nonprofit ALIVE! $20 for adults, $15 ages 13 to 20, and $5 under 13 - prices increase for in-person enrollees on Thanksgiving, so be sure to register first online.

Fairfax Turkey Trot
When: November 27, 9 AM 4-miler
Where: 9330 Pentland Place, Fairfax
For the second year in a row, the four-mile family event aims to raise money for a local charity. This year, proceeds will benefit Warrior Canine Connection and Fairfax’s Alternative House. $35 through November 26 for adults, $20 ages 8 to 15, and no cost for children under 8.

Freeze Your Gizzard, Cross Country 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run
When: November 22, 9 AM 5K; 9:45 AM 1-mile fun run
Where: Ida Lee Park, 60 Ida Lee Dr., NW, Leesburg
Leesburg’s parks and recreation department has teamed up with Loudoun Interfaith Relief for the 12th annual pre-Thanksgiving runs. The 138-acre park offers a cross-country race, with pre-registration through November 19. $25 for 5K participants, $10 for one-miler. Bring two cans of food on race day; if you wait until then to register, get there before 7 AM to sign up for $30.

Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 11/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Zumba classes, spa days, and more ways to benefit the cause. By Tanya Pai
Show your pink pride with these Breast Cancer Awareness Month events. Image via Shutterstock.

According to the American Cancer Society, women in the US have a one in eight chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. Though the figures are lower, a number of men are diagnosed every year, as well. Breast Cancer Awareness Month, recognized each October, aims to increase awareness and education about the deadly disease and raise money to put toward finding a cure. Local organizations, workout studios, and businesses are hosting events this month to show their support. Know of one that’s not on the list? Let us know in the comments—and don’t forget to enter this week’s photo contest, themed around the color pink for breast cancer awareness.


Pink Party at Celadon Spa

The downtown DC day spa is donating 20 percent of sales from certain services to Breast Care for Washington DC. Think Kevyn Aucoin makeup lessons, Deborah Lippman mani-pedis, massages, and more. October 9, noon to 6 PM.


The Capital Wheel Goes Pink

Here’s a good reason to check out the Capital Wheel at National Harbor: This weekend, the lights on the Ferris wheel will be pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and when riders show up wearing the rosy hue, a portion of the proceeds from their ticket purchase will go to the Inova Life With Cancer Family Center. Look for area retailers displaying pink ribbons; a portion of their sales will also benefit Inova. October 10 through 13.


Dance Party With Makers Lab

Makers Lab offers up a “workout dance party,” featuring a hip-hop dance set to tunes from a deejay, plus refreshments in the form of Raw juices. Tickets ($20) include a complimentary juice, and proceeds benefit ZuriWorks for Women’s Health, which aims to increase cancer awareness and education. October 19, 4 to 7 PM.


The Great Pink Pumpkin Fights Breast Cancer

Turn your usual weekend partying into a philanthropic effort with this Friday-night event at the Midtown Party Plex. Participate in a costume contest, watch a fashion show, try out some pink hair extensions, and hit the cash bar; proceeds from ticket sales ($20 in advance, $25 at the door) benefit the nonprofit We Will Survive Cancer. October 24, 8 to 11 PM.


Barbells 4 Breast Cancer

Fitness Together Capitol Hill has partnered with the National Breast Cancer Foundation for a bench-press competition to raise money for education and services. For every pound a participating athlete lifts, $1 will be donated to the foundation. If you’re not into lifting weights, you can sponsor individual athletes and participate in the raffle. October 25, 8 to 11 AM.


Race for Every Woman 5K

Alpha Breast Cancer Support Services holds a 5K run/walk beginning at Arlington’s Bon Air Park. Register as an individual for $10, or gather your friends and go as a team. Proceeds will go toward breast cancer awareness among Ethiopian and Eritrean women. October 25, 9 AM.


Ride for the Cure DC

Suit up in pink and head to a step or indoor-cycling class at Metro Center’s Crunch Fitness to benefit the cause. KTX Fitness trainer Keith Thompson leads the sessions; a portion of the proceeds from class sales ($30 each) benefit breast cancer awareness. October 25 and 26, multiple sessions.


Phunktions Phitness Day

Head to College Park for a daylong fitness event with Phunktions Hip Hop Dance Company to benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Start the morning with a 5K, then check out a range of fitness classes that includes yoga, core boot camp, and ballroom-dance basics. Tickets are $20 for the 5K and classes, or $15 for the classes only. October 26, 9 AM to 6 PM.


WorkOUT Breast Cancer

The For Goodness Sake Foundation hosts a fundraising event at the Reebok Fithub in Georgetown. A $25 ticket gets you a Zumba workout with a Reebok instructor, 15 percent off in-store merchandise, a swag bag, light bites, mini spa services, and more. Even better, 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the nonprofit Capital Breast Care Center. October 26, 2 to 4:30 PM.

Find Tanya Pai on Twitter at @tanyapai.

Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 10/09/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The company celebrates the grand opening of its latest store with giveaways. By Caroline Cunningham
Lululemon Westfield Montgomery offers free yoga classes this weekend. Image via Shutterstock.

Westfield Montgomery in Bethesda recently underwent a $90 million expansion, and along with a 2,400-seat cinema and a fine-dining terrace, the mall is now home to a Lululemon outpost. The athletic apparel company celebrates the grand opening of its latest location all weekend, and even if you’re not in the market for new yoga pants or running tights, you can still join in on the fun. 

Drop by on Friday, October 3, between 11 AM and 2 PM to customize your own trail mix snack and sip some “Lululemonade” to the tunes of the in-store deejay.  

Saturday brings a free yoga class in the lower level of Nordstrom beginning at 8:30 AM; after that, you can watch “acroyoga” performances in the Lululemon store windows to inspire you to new levels of yogi-excellence (or to make you realize you have some more poses to master). 

On Sunday, take advantage of free Zengo cycling classes at 8:30 and 9:30 AM, again in Nordstrom’s lower level; the routine is a bit like yoga on a bike, and promises a full-body and mind workout that will increase your zen while you sweat. As a bonus, you’ll also have the chance to win additional free Zengo classes throughout the day. 

Free workouts and an excuse to window-shop? Not a bad way to spend the weekend. 

Lululemon Westfield Montgomery. 2101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda. 

Posted at 04:00 PM/ET, 10/02/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Cemetery races, scavenger hunts, and other fun ways to stay in shape this season. By Caroline Cunningham
Grab your glowsticks for the second annual Monster Glow Dash 5K. Image via Shutterstock.

Now that bathing suit season has been replaced by candy corn and pumpkin spice season, you may need extra incentive to stick with your running routine. Luckily, the Washington area has no shortage of creative fall-themed fun runs. 

Whether it’s the promise of beer at the finish line or the adrenaline of sprinting through a spooky cemetery that keeps you moving, here are five races to check out—including one this weekend. 

5K Oktoberfest Run 

Saturday, September 27, 9 AM

Join the German School Washington DC and German Language Courses for a 5K race through Rockville. Get in the spirit the with a free rock concert the night before by German rock pop band Artig, and stick around after the race for a traditional Oktoberfest celebration, complete with sausages, pretzels, and beer. $25 to $40 to register. 

Dead Man’s Run 5K

Saturday, October 4, 6PM

Starting at dusk, this race weaves through the graves of representatives past. The 207-year-old Historic Congressional Cemetery makes the perfect setting for this spooky sprint, with promised appearances by the Grim Reaper and other haunting figures. Complete the race in costume to be eligible for the costume contest, and treat yourself to a brew at the beer tent after the race. $40 to register. 

Monster Glow Dash 5K

Friday, October 10, 7 PM

If you missed this sold-out event last year, here’s another chance to try this eerily lit run. Strap on your glow-in-the-dark necklaces, slather yourself with Glominex body paint (available at the race’s online Glow Gear Shop), and prepare to face creepy creatures on the trail through Mechanicsville’s haunted Summerseat Farm. End the night at the MGD After-Party with a deejay, dancing, food, and drinks. $46 to register. 

Urban Dare Run

Saturday, October 25, noon

While this is not a typical race, it’s still sure to help you get in your exercise for the day. Register with a team of two to four people to compete in this fast-paced, city-wide scavenger hunt. Your team’s starting location depends on your answer to an initial multiple-choice question; from there you’ll grab your clue sheets and be on your way. Make sure to bring a smartphone to document your completed tasks as you tackle challenges that range from climbing walls to throwing at targets to solving puzzles. $90 to $160 to register as a team. 

Rugged Maniac 5K

Saturday, November 1, 9 AM

With 25 obstacles scattered throughout a three-mile course, this race has plenty to keep you engaged and challenged. In fact, while you’re crawling through tunnels, clambering over shipping containers, skidding down a water slide, or leaping over flames, you’ll be lucky to get in any plain ol’ running at all. Finish the race with a beer from Boston’s Harpoon Brewery and the daylong after party featuring a foam pit, a mechanical bull, bounce houses, and games. $74 to $90 to register. 

Posted at 03:00 PM/ET, 09/24/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Find yoga, CrossFit, and more—all at no cost. By Dora Grote
Where to find free yoga classes and more in DC this summer. Image via Shutterstock.

Summer officially started on Saturday, which means swimsuit season is officially upon us. Want to get in shape without dropping a lot of dough on a gym membership? Here’s how you can work out for free seven days a week. Check out the roundup of DC offerings below, and stay tuned for options in Maryland and Virginia.

Monday

Train like a dancer when yoga and Pilates meet barre at 6:30 Monday evening in Lululemon Georgetown’s upstairs studio. Bring your own mat and work on flexibility and core strength as Lava Barre instructors lead you through a series of isometric movements.

For an even more intense burn, try Nike Georgetown’s 8 PM boot camp. Push yourself to the limit with a high-intensity workout led by different trainers each week. Reserve a spot through the Nike Training Club app, and come prepared ready to get your heart pumping and body sweating.

Tuesday

Get a jump on your day with 7 AM boot camp at Vida Fitness at the Yards. Not an early riser? Enjoy a soothing 5:45 PM yoga class complete with water views and chirping birds at Yards Park.

Wednesday

Join the Capital Striders Running Club for a scenic run looping around Capitol Hill. Alternating routes include views of the Reflecting Pool, RFK Stadium, and Navy Yard, and you can pick a distance and pace that suit your fitness abilities. Meet at 6:30 PM in the center of the park Lincoln Memorial Park next to the Lincoln Statue. Or join the club for its weekly run through Great Falls Park, with beautiful views of the Potomac River. Meet in the parking lot past the visitors center at 6 PM. Women can also try a three- to five-mile Fleet Feet Fun Run in Adams Morgan, starting at 6:30 PM.

Thursday

Shimmy and shake through the evening with a 5:30 PM Zumba class at Vida Fitness at the Yards. Exotic beats will keep you moving for a workout that’s both fun and effective.

The CrossFit curious can head to Balance Gym in Thomas Circle for an introductory class offered at 1 and 7 PM. It’s fit for anyone from exercise novices to seasoned athletes. You’ll learn a few basic CrossFit movements and progressions and then integrate them into a workout at the end.

Friday

Fit in some lunchtime meditation with a noon vinyasa yoga class at Vida Fitness at the Yards. Can’t get away from the office? Try Kali Yoga at 6:45 PM in Columbia Heights.

Saturday

Cycle through the rolling hills of Anacostia with BicycleSpace every Saturday with rides starting at 8, 10, and 11:30 AM. Bring your bike and meet at the store on Seventh Street.

Sunday

Meridian Hill Park provides the backdrop for a relaxing yoga class with Bikram Yoga Dupont at 5 PM. The studio invites a different instructor from across the area each week, so you can experience a range of practices. Bring your own mat. Other options: Fleet Feet Sports Fun Run at 9 AM through Rock Creek Park in Adams Morgan, yoga at Lululemon Georgetown at noon, or Kali Yoga at 4 PM in Columbia Heights.

Other summer bonuses:

Sculpt DC has added free community classes throughout the summer. Scheduled classes include yoga on Tuesday, July 8, at 7:30 PM, and Thursday the 10th at noon, and Sculpt DC’s total-body cycle class on Saturday, July 26, at 11:30 AM, which uses weights and core exercises to improve strength, stability, and coordination while increasing endurance in 45 minutes.

Joe’s Movement Emporium is offering an entry class for seniors Wednesdays at 11 AM.

Posted at 02:41 PM/ET, 06/23/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Celebrate Capital Pride Week with a themed ride through the streets of DC. By Tanya Pai
Show your pride with DC Bike Party on Wednesday. Image via Shutterstock.

This year’s Capital Pride Week kicks off Friday, May 30, with a schedule of events that includes parties, parades, races, drag kickball games, and more. And DC Bike Party is getting in on the fun: On Wednesday, June 4, participants in the first annual Pride Ride will don their best body glitter and neon clothing and celebrate the theme of this year’s Pride Week, “build our bright future.” The approximately seven-mile ride begins in Dupont Circle at 8 PM and includes views of several DC landmarks. Always an entertaining event, this month’s will likely be even more colorful than usual; a press release promises “drag queens in pedicabs and bedazzled bikers,” and the whole thing ends with an after-party at Cobalt. 

A map of the route will be available on DC Bike Party’s website 24 hours before the ride. Bikers can also put their own stamp on the event by adding their favorite tunes to a collaborative playlist that will be played during the ride. More than 300 people have already RSVP’d through Pride Ride’s Facebook page

Planning to show your Capital Pride next week? Tweet us a photo at @washwellbeing

Posted at 01:07 PM/ET, 05/29/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The annual event aims to promote bicycling as a green method of commuting. By Tanya Pai
Image via Shutterstock.

Like opening day at Nats Park and the Sweetlife Festival, Bike to Work Day has become a local event we look forward to each spring. This year’s event, sponsored by the Golden Triangle BID, happens this Friday, May 16, and more than 14,000 area cyclists are expected to participate.

Cyclists can head to one of 79 pit stops in DC, Maryland, and Virginia between 7 and 9:30 AM for food, prizes, and other activities. Visit the website to see a map of all the pit stops and choose the one closest to you; the first 14,000 people to register online will receive a free Bike to Work Day T-shirt, which can be picked up at whichever pit stop they register for, and will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win one of six bikes. 

Last year’s Bike to Work Day broke ridership records; showers are predicted for Friday, but we expect plenty of people to turn out regardless. 

Below, see a video of Washingtonian staffers’ two-wheeled commute on Bike to Work Day last year. 

Posted at 02:02 PM/ET, 05/12/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Races, mother-daughter yoga workshops, and more. By Maleana Davis
Celebrate Mother’s Day with a mother-daughter fitness class and other fun and healthy activities. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 11, and there are plenty of great brunches to be had (both healthy and indulgent). But that’s not the only way to celebrate—lots of local organizations and fitness studios are hosting special events throughout the weekend, from 5K runs through Rock Creek Park to mother/daughter yoga workshops. Read on for some fun and active options.

Take your mom to POP—Pilates on the Patio—on Saturday, May 10, at 10 AM on the rooftop of Roofers Union. Enjoy 45 minutes of an all-level Pilates class followed by a glass of sparkling wine. Mothers will get a sweet treat, as well. $24. 

Celebrate your mom at the Defender of Play 5K walk/run in Rock Creek Park on Saturday, May 10, at 8 AM. Come dressed up as your favorite superhero/heroine, or create your own costume and enjoy activities such as a Zumba warmup and a Mother’s Day card-making station. Best costume wins a prize. $25. 

Soccer moms should head to the GW Women’s Soccer Mother’s Day Fundraising Clinic on Saturday, May 10, starting at 10 AM. The soccer staff hosts three sessions, divided by children’s age and starting at $40, that include soccer challenges and games for mother/child bonding. All participants receive a T-shirt. 

Grab the whole family for the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure on Saturday, May 10. You can walk or run the 5K beginning and ending at the Washington Monument, and children ages 5 to 12 can participate in the Kids for the Cure event. Pre-race activities begin at 6:30. Prices start at $40 for adults and $25 for the kids’ event. 

Tranquil Space in Dupont Circle is offering a mom-and-daughter partner yoga workshop that focuses on yoga postures and breathing on Saturday, May 10, from 2:30 to 4:30. Participants also make a mala bracelet with vegan faux pearls. $40 for mom and daughter, plus $10 for materials. 

The annual Mother’s Day ride hosted by CycloFemme will be held on Sunday, May 11. The free ride starts and ends at the US Capitol at 11 AM and welcomes beginner and intermediate bikers for the 15-mile route. 

Challenge your mom to the Mother’s Day 5K Dash through Rock Creek Park on Sunday, May 11, at 9 AM. The race begins with a steep hill down Kennedy Street and continues on Beach Drive through Rock Creek Park. $40.

Mother’s Day 8K benefiting the Ethiopians Athletics Federation will be held on Sunday, May 11, starting at 9 AM at Fletcher’s Cove. The race is sponsored by the Georgetown Running Company; all participants receive a colorful T-shirt, and top finishers win cash prizes and awards. $30 to $40. 

Enjoy a Mother’s Day hike and wine tour with the REI Outdoor School on Sunday, May 11, from 10 to 3. You’ll hike along Bull Run through Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, and follow it up with a tour of Paradise Spring Winery. Snacks and wine will be served. $100. 

Take your mom to stock up on cute workout clothes at Lululemon in Logan Circle. In partnership with UrbanStems, the store gives flowers to all mothers who shop there on Mother’s Day.

For mothers with young children, Barre3 in Georgetown is offering free child care from 9 to 1 on Saturday, May 10, and 9 to 11:30 on Sunday, May 11.

Posted at 09:37 AM/ET, 05/07/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Take to the water this year for a view of the blooms. By Melissa Romero
Key Bridge Boathouse will offer three-hour Cherry Blossom paddle tours April 8 through 12. Photograph courtesy of Boating in DC.

We get it: You like seeing the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin—but not grappling with the massive crowds they draw.

Good news! This year there’s another way to get your cherry blossom fix: by kayaking on the Potomac River.

Key Bridge Boathouse announced it will offer three-hour cherry blossom paddle tours April 8 through 12. The instructor-led tour starts at the Key Bridge Boathouse dock and leads participants past the Georgetown waterfront, the Kennedy Center, and the Lincoln Memorial. The last stop is along the Tidal Basin toward East Potomac Park, where kayakers can take in excellent views of the blooms.

The cost per tour is $45 and comes with a kayak, paddle, and life jacket. Given that the tour is three hours, it’s recommended that you have at least some experience with kayaking. Sign up at Boating in DC’s website.

Posted at 02:30 PM/ET, 03/24/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()