Couch to community impact? Five reasons to register for a race this fall.

Get ready for the season of pumpkins, Halloween decorations, turkey and...5K races! Whether you're a serious runner, a not-so serious runner, or just want a fun, less time consuming way to make an impact in your community, fall weekends in Alexandria are packed with road races that benefit nonprofits supporting a range of causes. 

Why run?                                                                                                                                                            When it comes to running, many of us might need a little extra motivation. Here are some benefits to signing up for a race this fall:

1. It's good for you-Running burns an estimated 450 calories every 30 minutes, more than swimming, biking or cross country skiing, making it one of the top ways to stay in shape. 

2. There's food at the end- After burning all of those calories, you'll need to refuel. Most races offer some sort of snack at the finish line. Family Fun Day and 5K on October 5 will have pancakes waiting for each participant. 

3. You get a t-shirt- Even though most runners have more t-shirts than they can store in their closets, many races are now giving out technical shirts that are super comfortable for exercise or yard work. 

4. The afterparty- Upcoming races are hosting family friendly afterparties featuring everything from live music and food to Zumba and Parkour workshops. Rock and Stroll to End Homelessness offers all these in addition to a hula hoop jam, Ninja Warrior, and a corn hole challenge. 

5. It's a fast (or not so fast), fun way to make a difference locally- Lastly, and most importantly, by registering for a race that benefits a nonprofit, you are not only donating financially, you are helping spread the word about the charity's mission. Races often attract more publicity than traditional appeals, and by participating, you publicly show your support for that cause. Acumen Solutions Race for a Cause allows registrants to choose which charity they'd like to benefit from a list of nonprofits, including the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, and The Reading Connection. 

Feeling motivated? Check out the following list of upcoming local races that benefit nonprofits: 

5K Run/Walk for Wounded Warriors Caregivers (September 20, 2014)

Robust Walkathon Sponsored by The Successful Aging Committee (September 24, 2014)

Family Fun Day and 5K (October 5, 2014)

Rock and Stroll to End Homelessness (October 11, 2014)

St. Rita 5K Run for Education (October 18, 2014)

Acumen Solutions Race for A Cause (October 19, 2014)

Run for Shelter (November 22, 2014)

Did we miss one? Let us know by leaving a comment below. 




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