Looking for runs for cause this fall? Want a way to contribute to a worthwhile organization while getting some exercise? Here are 10 great race ideas for this fall. Read on to find one that speaks to something you believe in, then grab a friend or a family member and sign up! All of the events have a virtual option, so you can participate from anywhere!
Being a race participant is also a great way to see if you might want to be a race volunteer. While being a runner or walker, you can take note of all of the volunteers and decide if that’s something you might enjoy. Parents, I would encourage you to do this with your middle school teenagers. Then by the time they start high school, they might have an interest in also volunteering for a race.
Volunteering for the same race year after year in high school shows a level of commitment to a service organization. There also might be ways students can help improve the process of registration or other volunteer jobs. Always look for ways that will benefit the organization and that will in turn give you something to write about in your activities section of the Common App.
Best Runs for a Cause in Fall 2022
1. St. Jude 50 Mile Dog Walk
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands and treats childhood cancer and other diseases.
The St. Jude 50 Mile Dog Walk is a fun way to support the kids at St. Jude, while getting you and your pup(s) some exercise. You can do all 50 miles with one dog or you can split the miles across several dogs. They will even count walking dogs at a dog shelter!
Join the Facebook group (from the link above) and then you will have access to the mileage tracker they provide. You can use a FitBit, Apple Watch, Garmin or good old Google maps to figure out how far you and your furry friends have walked.
Participation is free. Every participant is encouraged to create a Facebook fundraiser to raise money for this wonderful children’s hospital. Miles should also be logged onto your fundraising page so that St. Jude can keep track as well.
When: October 1st – 31st (yes, you have 31 days to walk all 50 miles)
Where: Wherever you like to walk your dogs
Distance: 50 miles over 1 month
If you don’t have a dog, St. Jude also has a 60 mile Run Challenge in October. It’s the same concept as the dog walk. Run 60 miles over the course of 31 days and raise money on Facebook.
2. Run for the Water
Run for Water is a 10 mile race in Austin, Texas. It’s one of these lesser know runs for a cause. It was created by the Gazelle Foundation whose purpose is to provide clean water for the people of Burundi. Burundi is a country in East Africa, just south of Rwanda.
Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2021, this country had over 12 million people and a staggering number of those people have a 30 minute trip to access safe drinking water. The Gazelle Foundation builds clean water systems that provide better access to clean water. This is such a basic fundamental need for a better life.
Have you have every been in a situation where the water supply was cut off? I have and it’s a very challenging situation. I didn’t realize how much I took access to water for granted, until water was no longer coming into my home. Think if you never had easy access to clean water. Life as we know it would be dramatically different.
When: November 6, 2022
Where: Austin, Texas or Virtual
Distance: 10 miles
3. Wounded Warrior – Carry Forward 5K
Carry Forward 5K is an event that is hosted by the Wounded Warrior Project and it great way to support veterans who have sacrificed so much, for so many. This walk is unique in the fact that you are encouraged to carry a flag, some weight or a person during every step.
The proceeds from this event provide many different services and programs to help wounded veterans who might have unique challenges after they finish their service. Some programs include mental health, adaptive sports, financial education and independent living. If helping veterans is something that moves you, then please check out these events. Participating in an event that gives back to these men and women is a fantastic way to honor our wounded warriors.
When & Where:
- October 8, 2022 / San Antonio Texas
- November 5, 2022 / Jacksonville, Florida
- Virtual – walk anywhere you choose!
4. JDRF One Walk
JDRF One Walk is an event put on by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to help in the fight against type 1 diabetes (T1D). The proceeds from this walk helps to provide funds for juvenile type 1 diabetes research. If you know someone with diabetes, you likely understand some of the day to day challenges they face. My cousin battled diabetes for many years and I saw the toll it took on him. Help JDRF continue their mission to find a cure for this autoimmune disease.
When & Where: Locations across the United States in Fall of 2022. If you live more than 45 miles away from an existing walk you can start a JDRF One Community Walk.
Distance: 1 mile to 5k depending on race location
5. Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest fundraiser to help the fight against Alzheimer’s. It is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association which works to promote research to prevent all forms of dementia. They also help promote early detection and quality care/support. Alzheimers is a form of dementia. If you are a parent, my gut is you either have a family member suffering from some level of dementia or you know someone who has a relative that is affected. It would be so fantastic if we could one day live in a world that is less impacted by the effects of this disease.
There is no registration fee for this walk, however they appreciate a donation to help the fight against Alzheimer’s.
When & Where: August through October in 600 communities across the United States
Distance: 1-3 miles. Distance varies by race location.
6. Susan G. Komen “More Than Pink” Walk
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. According to the Susan G. Komen website, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, which is 1 person every 12 minutes. In addition, the two greatest risk factors are being female and getting older. The “More than Pink Walk” is a great way to support the fight against breast cancer.
When: Various dates within October (October 29th is the Walk Where You Are” date)
Where: Various Locations across the United States, also a “Walk Where You Are” option
Distance: The walk is different than the 3 day walk or the Race for the Cure. This is typically a 1-3 mile walk.
7. Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run
Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Runs are a great way to get into the holiday spirit and support a great cause.
The proceeds from these runs go towards raising awareness, research for better treatments and cure for arthritis. My mom suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for so many years. I’m glad I now know about the Jingle Bell Run’s cause. I might just give this run a try this year!
One other fun thing about this run is that a lot people wear some sort of festive clothing. It might just be some holiday socks or a whole out fit. What a great way to get into the holiday spirit!
When & Where: Yes, I know these aren’t held in the fall…but I just couldn’t resist adding it to the list. They are held all across the country.
Distance: typically a 5K
8. Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks Walk is the largest fundraising event dedicated to supporting the needs of people with autism and their families. Funds raised go towards the following autism support systems:
- Understanding & Acceptance
- Research Breakthroughs
- Screening & Intervention
- Transition to Adulthood
- Information & Services
Where: cities across the country
When: various times in the fall
Distance: The length of this walk various by location. Typically the routes are 2-3 miles long. If you can’t join a organized event, there is a “Walk Your Way” option as well.
9. Miles for Migraines
Miles for Migraine’s is another one of the lesser known runs for a cause. Their mission is to raise awareness that migraine and headache disorders are more than just a headache.
As someone who has suffered from migraines for over 10 years, I can tell you first hand how migraines are not just a headache. While migraines are not life threatening, they can severely impact the quality of life. I have tried so many medications over the years just in the hopes that I might get fewer migraine days a month. Sometimes they work for a little while, but then for whatever reason they stop being as effective. It’s a very frustrating battle, but one that I am determined to keep fighting.
This organization events all throughout the year and each event has a virtual option so you can participate in any of these events.
When: all year long
Where: various locations across the U.S.
Distance: 2 miles or 5K
10. YMCA Turkey Trots
Last but not least is of course, a Turkey Trot. There are so many Turkey Trots across the country, but it all started with the Buffalo, New York YMCA in 1896. Yes, the YMCA is the OG on holding Turkey Trots. Many other organizations also hold Turkey Trots, but do your research to find out if they are donating some of the proceeds to a worthy cause.
If you choose your local YMCA Turkey Trot, you can be assured that a portion of the proceeds will benefit your local YMCA.
When: November 24, 2022 (Yep, that’s Thanksgiving day!)
Where: In Person & Virtual
Distance: Typically either a 5K, 10K or 8 miles
This post is all about great runs for a cause this fall.
I encourage you to to try one of these runs for a cause this fall. The energy at these events is so much fun. While walking or running think about if you could make the race better in any way. If you think you can, consider becoming a race volunteer next year. If you don’t ever want to be a race volunteer, that’s totally cool. Just get out and enjoy the fall weather and raise awareness for a great cause.
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