National Races: Next Stop, Your City!

| Fitness

One of the biggest fitness trends right now is sharing exercise and health with friends while supporting a good cause. When you sign up for a walk, 5K or a full-out marathon, most of your dollars go toward a charitable cause. The theme has really taken off in the last five years, and races are getting more creative and fabulous with each event. You don't need to be a rockstar athlete to give it a try. You still have four and half months left of 2015 to cross these off your bucket list. Let's go!

The Color Run: The Color Run is also known as the “Happiest 5K on the Planet” and it hosted more than 300 races in 2014. It was founded in 2011 to promote health and happiness, donating more than $4 million to charity. When you run this race, wear white and expect to be blasted in colorful powder made of cornstarch, baking soda and FD&C dyes. This year, the Shine Tour offers a glittery additive, which is also completely safe and targeted to the lower body (no one likes glitter in the eyes).

the color run 5k
(Photo: The Color Run)

Here’s a list of races for the next month (sign up here):

  • July 18 in Omaha, NE and Columbus, OH
  • July 25 in Asheville, NC
  • August 1 in Buffalo, NY; Denver, CO; Sacramento, CA; and Grand Rapids, MI
  • August 8 in Erie, PA
  • August 9 in Tacoma, WA
  • August 16 in Bellingham, WA
  • August 22 in Terre Haute, IN; Atlantic City, NJ; and Salt Lake City, UT
  • August 23 in Bangor, ME
  • August 29 in Grand Forks, ND; Tuscaloosa, AL; and Boise, ID

>> Read more: 'Tis the Season for 5ks: How to Train

Run Like a Diva: Get glam to get sweaty during a 5K or half marathon. This year, when you sign up you’ll receive a pink tutu to wear during the race and any time you feel like it thereafter! Your dollars go toward the Young Foundation of Florida, Inc., which helps passionate young people tackle their education finances so they can go on and tackle their life mission. It supports other charities as well, like the Hewlett House in Long Island, which offers comfort to families dealing with cancer. The race offers boas, tiaras and all that is pink.

(Photo: NMB)

There are only five more events for year (sign up here):

  • September 12 in Peachtree City, GA
  • September 25-26 in DC’s Wine Country, VA
  • October 4 in Long Island, NY
  • November 8 in San Juan, PR (time to take a vacation?)
  • December 6 in St. Augustine, FL (again, these destinations are so vacation)

Race for the Cure: This is one of the most well-known race tours. The Susan G. Komen foundation hosts this series, which is the world’s largest education and fundraising event for breast cancer. The dollar amount raised by participants and given to cancer research, screening and education is in the billions, with 75 percent of the money staying in the location where the race is hosted.

(Photo: Toledo Blade)

Walk or run to show your support in one these cities during the next two months (dozens more to follow, check out more dates here):

  • August 2 in Akron, OH
  • August 8 in Cheyenne, WY
  • August 9 in Wausau, WI
  • August 28 in Cincinnati, OH
  • September 12 in Columbia, MO; Cleveland, OH; and Bloomington, IL
  • September 13 in Colorado Springs, CO; Kansas City, MO; New York City; and Chattanooga, TN
  • September 19 in Waco TX; Grand Rapids, MI; Monroe, LA; and Scranton, PA

Click here to fine tune your running speed before the big race!

Spartan Race: This ridiculously challenging and addicting race is more than just a race (find out why obstacle races are the new marathon here). With more than 50 events in the United States each year, including three types — The Spartan Sprint (3 miles, 20+ obstacles); The Spartan Super (8 miles, 25+ obstacles); The Spartan Beast (13 miles, 30+ obstacles) — you can find the right one for you. Even the kids can get involved with a half-mile to mile-long race. It caters to folks with disabilities for the Special Spartans and those with superhero fitness levels for the Ultra Beast, a 26-mile course with more than 60 obstacles.

(Photo: Reebok Spartan Race via Bryan Pirolli)

If you’re already sweating from reading about it, you should go ahead and sign up here:

  • July 18 in San Francisco and Palmerton, PA for the Sprint
  • August 1 in Washington, DC for the Sprint
  • August 8 in Washougal, WA for the Sprint
  • August 15 in Oahu, HI for the Trifecta: Beast, Sprint, Super and Ultra
  • August 22 in Chicago for the Sprint and the Super
  • August 29 in Boston for the Sprint; Asheville, NC for the Super

Night Nation Run: If you love running in the dark and music is a big part of your every day life, then you’re going to fall hard for this race. The 5K run is literally illuminated with light shows and lasers, and the air is full of music from multiple disc jockeys. After you cross the finish line, join the massive after-party with even more music. Your dollars go toward the Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) foundation. Even if you’re not a runner, you can still walk, skip or dance your way through the course with friends.

(Photo: Night Nation Run via Nocturnal Lands)

Check out the dates for the rest of the year (go ahead and sign up here):

  • July 18 in Pittsburgh, PA
  • August 1 in Cincinnati, OH
  • August 22 in Charlotte, NC
  • September 12 in Cleveland, OH
  • September 26 in Phoenix, AZ
  • October 10 in Twin Cities, MN
  • October 17 in Denver, CO
  • October 24 in Los Angeles, CA
  • November 14 in Sacramento, CA
  • November 21 in Bay Area, CA
  • December 5 in Tampa Bay, FL

>> Lace up: Custom Lace Your Running Shoes for Pain Relief