Whether you need extra motivation to train and break your personal record—or just an excuse to take a road trip—consider registering for a race that supports a good cause. Here are a few ideas to ignite your wanderlust all while making a postive impact.
The Race: Runaway Bridesmaids
Saturday, September 22 in New York, New York
Do good: Would you run in a dress to help fight sex trafficking? How about for the chance to win a trip to Machu Picchu? A team of 100 men and women will be pounding the pavement in dresses alongside world-class runners for the famous 5th Avenue Mile Presented By Nissan—all to help raise awareness and collect pledges to build a shelter for the kids of sex workers. The runner who raises the most money for Runaway Bridesmaids wins a trip to Peru.
Check out: The thing about the Big Apple is that there is delicious street food calling your name on every corner. You won't have to feel guilty about chowing down on New York-style pizza and cheesecake when your hotel makes it convenient to burn off those extra calories. Try staying at the TRYP Times Square South, located not only near hotspots such as Madison Square Garden and the Empire State Building, but also next to a bike rental shop and just a few avenues away from the water on the West Side Highway where you can run for miles down to Battery Park.
The Race: Running for Answers
Sunday, October 21 in Philadelphia, PA
Do good: All proceeds from this 5K road race set in the City of Brotherly Love go to research a cure for a rare disease that Kevin Reilly, a former linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, was diagnosed with called a Desmoids tumor. Reilly had to have his left arm amputated back in ’79 because of the mysterious disease. He’s now a sports broadcaster for the Philadelphia Eagles, runs marathons and plays golf on world-class courses. All with one arm. Register for Running for Answers and you’ll help him and others get one step closer to finding a cure.
Check out: If you’re into history, this is the city for you. Check out the “Saints and Sinners” tour from Ed Mauger’s Philadelphia on Foot to see where the colonists, pirates, and smuggles ate and drank; and learn about real-life riots in the church. After strolling those cobblestone streets, kick back with a pint of beer in one of the city's historic taverns.
The Race: Monster Mash
Saturday, October 27th in Skaneateles, New York
Do good: Running through the forest during Halloween time is part of what makes this four-mile race so cool, which passes through the Charlie Major Nature Trail and across a wooden bridge over Skaneateles Creek. But the real thing that sets this race apart is that proceeds go to the American Red Cross. Apart from a blood drive happening after the race, there’s also live music and food so you can refuel.
Check out: Skaneateles is one of the Finger Lakes, an area gaining attention for their award-winning Rieslings and tasty cheese trail. An easy hub from Boston, DC, and New York, the region is not only packed with farm-to-table restaurants, it’s also quickly becoming a center for agritourism. Don’t miss the Red Newt Cellars Winery Bistro by Seneca Lake. Owner and winemaker, David Whiting, partners with local producers such as Autumn Harvest Meats, Lively Run Goat Dairy and Red Jacket Orchards. Then he transforms just-farmed local ingredients into comfort food dishes such as the wheat ravioli with pumpkin, chevre, dried cranberries and nutmeg cream sauce. Go ahead and dig in—you earned it after your race.