Charity Runs, Walks, and Fitness Events in Washington

Get fit and give back with these 19 local races.

Washington, DC

The 2015 Greater Washington Heart Walk

If you’re not up for running a race, but still want to give back to your community, a charity walk is a good option. The American Heart Association holds this national walk every year, and you can register as an individual participant or get a group together to fundraise. Money raised through donations goes to the AHA for heart health and disease research, education, and support. November 7, 8:30 a.m.; National Mall.

Friendship Walks 2015

This 1.5-mile walk benefits Friendship Place, a DC nonprofit that tackles homelessness through empowerment programs and building stable communities. This year’s walk focuses on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ goal to end homelessness by the end of the year. November 7, 10:30 a.m.; National Mall.

National Race to End Women’s Cancer

This will be the race’s sixth year in DC to promote awareness, education, and research for reproductive cancers, which affect more than 98,000 women each year. Proceeds will go to the Foundation for Women’s Cancer. Online registration closes on November 6, but you can still donate toward a 5K participant or team until race day. November 8, 9 a.m.; Freedom Plaza.

VIDA Thrive 5K

This is VIDA Fitness’s first annual 5K, and registration proceeds will go to Thrive DC, a local nonprofit that provides meals, shelter, showers, laundry, and other services to Washington’s homeless. November 14, 8 a.m.; East Potomac Park.

Rock Recovery Grub for Good 5k Fun Run

Local nonprofit Rock Recovery is hosting a 5K fun run and post-run party to fund empowerment and recovery programs for Washington residents suffering from eating disorders and body image issues. November 21, 10 a.m.; Potomac River Running, 919 F St. NW.

DC Capital Striders Holiday Lights Run

Running group DC Capital Striders is hosting a holiday-themed, evening race to donate funds to local charity So Other Might Eat and to collect toys for the Salvation Army. December 15, 5:30 p.m.; Renaissance DC Hotel, 999 9th Street, NW.


Run Like a Kenyan 5K/10K Run/Walk

Registration fees to this race will help the nonprofit Kenya Connect give educational resources to students living in rural Kenyan villages. Kenya Connect is also holding a Kenyan crafts market during and after the race. November 14, 8 a.m.; Sandy Spring Friends School, Silver Spring.

Run for Research: The Chiari Run

This 5K funds research for Chiari malformation, a neurological condition where the brain pushes through the bottom of the skull and can create pressure around the spinal cord. For more information about Chiari malformation research and the Chiari Run, go to November 15, 8:45 a.m.; Meadowbrook Park, Chevy Chase.

Burpees to Breathe

To spread support for Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Gaithersburg’s Orange Theory Fitness studio is hosting a one-hour cardio and strength-training workout to benefit the Thoracic Cancer Research Fund at the University of Maryland’s Baltimore campus. November 22, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.; Orange Theory Fitness, Gaithersburg.


Global Strides 5K

To help schools abroad, you can register (race day registration is available) for the Arlington Academy of Hope Global Strides 5K. All proceeds from the race benefit students at the Arlington Academy of Hope School in Uganda. November 7, 8 a.m.; Tuckahoe Elementary School, Arlington.

Jack T. Farrar Fill the Shoes 5K

Proceeds for this race go to the Pancreatic Action Network, in dedication to Jack T. Farrar, a Kingstowne resident who passed away 3 months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Register through by November 5. Race day registration is available. November 7, 8 a.m.; Hayfield Park, Alexandria.

Veterans Day 5K

Registered racers can honor veterans at this annual 5K and fun run in Fairfax. Potomac River Running will donate proceeds to Team Red, White & Blue, a nonprofit that focuses on building communities for veterans through fitness, leadership, and social programs. November 8, 8 a.m.; Potomac River Running, Fairfax.

Spend Yourself 5K Run/3K Walk

Race registration fees go to Spend Yourself, a nonprofit and ministry group that began as a food pantry in Falls Church and expanded their efforts to Haiti and India. You can also bring canned and dry goods to donate to Spend Yourself at the race. November 21, 8 a.m.; Falls Church.

Run For Shelter 10K/5K

For its fifth year, Carpenter’s Shelter is hosting a race to end homelessness around Washington. All registration funds go to Carpenter’s Shelter to provide shelter and services to those in need. November 22, 8 a.m.; Alexandria.

Hat Harvest 5K/10K

This race is also a winter clothing drive that will benefit Outside the Walls Ministry, a Gainesville ministry that provides assistance, food, and shelter to the homeless. Online registration ends 30 minutes before race time. November 22, 9 a.m.; Mason Neck State Park, Lorton.

Arlington Turkey Trot

Registration proceeds for Arlington’s 10th annual turkey trot goes toward five local charities: Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), A-SPAN, Bridges to Independence (formerly AACH), Doorways for Women & Families (Doorways), and Linden Resources. November 26, 8 a.m.; Christ Church of Arlington, Arlington.

Turkey Trot for Parkinson’s 5k

Team Fox is hosting its first Turkey Trot at Burke Lake Park, with funds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. You can pre-register online or register on race day. November 26, 9 a.m.; Burke Lake Park, Fairfax Station.

Ugly Sweater 5K and 10K

Moon Joggers, an online running log, is hosting Ugly Sweater races throughout December to raise funds for Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit that packs meals for malnourished children in clinics, orphanages, and schools around the world. December 1, 7 p.m. through December 31, 10 p.m.

Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run

You can don your reindeer hats, jingle bells, and ugly Christmas sweaters for this holiday-themed 5K, which benefits arthritis research at the Arthritis Foundation. December 5, 9 a.m.; Pentagon City.

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