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Fitness studios and gyms are welcoming the fall season with fun and free events that will work up a sweat. By Melissa Romero
This week marks the start and end of local fitness classes in Washington, from yoga standup paddleboarding with Key Bridge Boathouse to Downtown DC BID's final free outdoor workout in Franklin Park. Photograph by Melissa Romero.

Local fitness studios and gyms are going all out this week with some pretty epic events planned to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. From free indoor cycling classes to yoga and hiking through Dupont Circle, there’s something every day of the week.

Monday: Yoga Standup Paddleboarding
Just because summer’s over doesn’t mean you can’t hit the water for a relaxing workout. Head to Key Bridge Boathouse at 6 for yoga standup paddleboarding at sunset before the boathouse closes in late October. $35.

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Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 09/23/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Despite the rain, the “happiest 5K on the planet” once again goes off without a hitch at National Harbor. By Melissa Romero
Despite the rain, the Color Run drew 5,000 runners to National Harbor this past Sunday. Photograph by Melissa Romero.

Sunday morning brought drizzle, foggy skies, and a whole bunch of colorful runners to National Harbor for the Color Run, dubbed the happiest 5K on the planet. Approximately 5,000 runners and walkers braved the potential rain to be doused instead with a downpour of yellow, orange, pink, and blue powder for 3.1 miles.

Since being founded a little more than a year ago, in January 2012, the Color Run series has become the single largest running event in the country, involving more than 1 million participants and 100 events in 2013 alone. Participants, from toddlers to grandparents, are drawn to the Color Run’s untimed 5K, which has only two requirements: to wear white and finish splattered in color from head to toe. With even more color-blasting at the finish line, plus free Kind bars, Slurpees, Chipotle, water, and a dance pit, the Color Run feels more like one big party than an actual run.

Posted at 02:15 PM/ET, 05/20/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
From yoga on the Mall to CrossFit classes, there are tons of free events to check out. By Melissa Romero
From free outdoor yoga classes to donation-based indoor cycling fundraisers, there are tons of fitness events happening in Washington this weekend. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

Happy Friday! There are so many fitness events happening this weekend we had to share them all. Even better: Tons of them are free! The launch party of fitness company FitDC will be hosting lots of free classes, and other studios will be donating proceeds from their classes to certain organizations. 

And don’t forget to take a snapshot of your workout this weekend. Send it to wellbeing@washingtonian.com and you could win free workout gear and tickets to Jillian Michaels’s show at the Warner Theatre later this month. 

FRIDAY

Date Night at Bar Method 
If you and your significant other are out of date ideas, why not stay fit together for a good cause? Tonight Bar Method DC in Chinatown is hosting a date night to raise money for the National MS Society. 7:30 PM. $50 per couple.

Bender Barre at Rock Creek Sports Club 
Head straight to Rock Creek Sports Club in Silver Spring for their one-hour happy hour Bender Barre class, a mix of ballet, strength, yoga, and Pilates. 6:30 PM. Free for non-members.

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Posted at 02:00 PM/ET, 04/12/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
The “happiest race on earth” is likely to sell out again. By Melissa Romero
The Color Run returns to DC and Baltimore this year. Registration opens Friday, February 15. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Angry Julie Monday.

Mark your calendars, people—registration for the Color Run in both DC and Baltimore opens tomorrow, and if the last run is any indication, both events will sell out in record time.

The inaugural race in DC was so popular last year that organizers decided to offer two chances for locals to take part in what they call “the happiest race on earth” in 2013. While DC’s May 11 race is already sold out, the run will return on September 22. Like last year, the 5K will take place around National Harbor.

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Posted at 03:00 PM/ET, 02/14/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Every month gyms and studios will offer a free class for Sweetgreen members. By Melissa Romero

Health-focused salad chain Sweetgreen is a favorite among local athletes and fitness experts for its nutritious and tasty offerings. So it makes sense that the two worlds should combine for the salad company’s new initiative: Sweetgreen Passport.

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Posted at 01:55 PM/ET, 01/17/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Throughout September, local studios will offer deals and special events in honor of National Yoga Month. By Melissa Romero
September is National Yoga Month. Local yoga studios will be accepting free week passes for new students. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

Here are two words we love to hear together: free yoga. 

And for the next several weeks, there will be plenty of it. September is National Yoga Month, which means local studios offer lots of deals to encourage and educate people about the health benefits of yoga. 

Here’s how it works: Head to the Yoga Health Foundation’s website and sign up for a Yoga Month card. That will get you one free week of yoga at participating local studios. (Call the studio ahead of time to make sure the card will be accepted.) Georgetown Yoga, Yoga Chai, and Down Dog Yoga have already confirmed they are participating. 

The following studios will also be offering specials and discounts throughout September. 

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Posted at 12:30 PM/ET, 09/04/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Run a race—then reward yourself with a burger afterward.
By Melissa Romero
Start your July Fourth celebrations early this year with a morning race in Washington. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user artrckr.

Plans for July Fourth typically include the following: sun, barbecue, beer, and fireworks—then more beer. But what if we told you that you could start the celebrations super early with free food and massages? The following races take place the morning of July Fourth, so not only will you get in a good workout before the heat sets in, but you’ll have plenty of hours to chow down on good eats sans guilt for the rest of the day.

Run for Independence 8K
601 Catoctin Circ., NE, Leesburg
For those who want to keep July Fourth a day of barbecue and fireworks, you can still race a few days earlier at Potomac River Running’s Run for Independence 8K on June 30. The course runs through Leesburg and will end with music, food, and awards. Breakfast will also be provided. $30 to register. Race begins at 8 AM.

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Posted at 02:50 PM/ET, 06/25/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
To celebrate the summer solstice, do yoga with more than 9,000 yogis across the nation. By Melissa Romero
Athleta is celebrating the summer solstice on Wednesday, June 20 by offering free indoor and outdoor yoga classes at its stores. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user The Cosmopolitan.

Here in Washington, we sure do love our yoga. But what do we love even more? Free yoga classes.

Tomorrow, Athleta will be offering free yoga classes at its Georgetown and Reston locations to celebrate the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. The free sessions are part of the store’s main event, Solstice in Times Square: Athleta Mind Over Madness.

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Posted at 03:40 PM/ET, 06/19/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
This neighborhood scavenger hunt offers goodie bags, beer, and a chance at the grand prize. By Melissa Romero

Who doesn’t love scavenger hunts that end with awesome prizes and beer? That’s exactly what you can expect at next week’s Georgetown Dash, a scavenger hunt throughout Georgetown that will raise money for Girls on the Run DC, a nonprofit organization that teaches girls about health, community service, and self-esteem.

Here’s how the race works: Teams of four will aim to complete physical or mental challenges and tests to receive the next clue and destination. The team with the most stars collected at each location in the least amount of time will win a grand prize package worth more than $2,000: 

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Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 06/15/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Team up with your old man this year for a Father’s Day race and enjoy food, drinks, and massages afterward. By Melissa Romero
The Father's Day 8K will take place along the C&O Canal Towpath this year. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user tleroith.

Has Dad been complaining of his growing gut? Signing him up for a race this Father’s Day might just be the motivation he needs to get moving. And the great thing is, he won’t have to do it alone. These three races are offering father-daughter or father-son team options, and happy hour drinks, food, and free massages afterward.

Father’s Day 8K 
For the dad looking for that extra push, this five-mile race should do the trick. Participants will run a flat course along the C&O Canal Towpath. Run individually, or combine forces for a father-son or father-daughter team. Afterward, enjoy a complimentary Georgetown Cupcake or throw back a few with pops at Chadwick’s happy hour. Register online until Friday, June 15. $35. Race starts at 6:30 PM.

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Posted at 02:10 PM/ET, 06/08/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()