As the temperatures drop, it becomes more bearable (and less sweaty) for Coloradans to train and participate in athletic events across the state. This October, there is no lack of fun and charitable ways to get up and active, and these races will have you understanding why Colorado often ranks as the fittest state in the nation.
When: Thursday, October 1, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Washington Park, 701 S. Franklin St., Denver
Benefiting: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)
Details: The Rocky Mountain Light the Night Walk is a fundraising event that celebrates and commemorates lives touched by blood cancers. Walkers who raise $100 or more will carry an illuminated balloon throughout the walk to “Light the Night,” and each balloon’s color has special significance. Friends and supporters carry red balloons, cancer patients and survivors carry white balloons, and gold balloons are carried in memory of a lost loved one. The event provides shirts, refreshments, entertainment, music, and kids activities to fundraisers at the $100 level.
Cost & Deadline: There is no cost to participate in Light the Night, but participants are encouraged to fundraise for the cause. There will be on-site registration available.
When: Saturday, October 3, 8:30 a.m.
Where: Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, 4218 County Road 3A, Cañon City
Details: These scenic races begin at 5,500 feet, but participants can expect to gain even more elevation as they jog uphill and loop through trails alongside the Royal Gorge, above the Arkansas River. The races end at the south side of the Royal Gorge Bridge, and there will be post-race entertainment by the Free Range Chickens as well as food to refuel with. All proceeds from the race will benefit Starpoint, which provides essential services to children and adults with cognitive and physical challenges.
Cost & Deadline: The Toddler Trot and Kids Race are free. Online registration is now closed. Same-day signup is $40 for adults and $35 for youth.
When: Sunday, October 4, 8 a.m.
Where: Bluffs Regional Park, 10099 Crooked Stick Pl., Lone Tree
Benefiting: Douglas County Search and Rescue
Details: This fun run will have you trying out your best poker face. Two dollars from each participant will be put into the pot, and after every completed kilometer, each person will receive a poker card. At the finish line, participants will turn in their best five cards to qualify for awards. The best poker hand can win the pot (up to $400!), and all other proceeds will support the Douglas County Search and Rescue team, which relies on fundraising and volunteers to provide search, rescue, emergency response, and outdoor safety education to the citizens of Douglas County.
Cost & Deadline: The 5K is $35; the 7K is $37. While there will be on-site registration available, race day registration is not guaranteed. Race entry is limited to the first 200 to register.
When: Sunday, October 11, 9:30 a.m.
Where: Stapleton Central Park, 8801 M.L.K. Jr. Blvd., Denver
Benefiting: Metro Caring
Details: Who wouldn’t want brunch and booze after a morning run? The bRUNch run is a timed 5K and 10K that will have you working up an appetite. After runners cross the finish line, they are welcome at an all-you-can-eat-and-drink post-race festival that features some of the best brunch food and drinks in Denver. Plus, runners can help raise additional funds for Metro Caring through placing a bet in the Bacon & Egg Raffle.
Cost & deadline: Adults pay $50 for the 5K and $70 for the 10K (the festival alone is $30). On-site registration is available.
When: Sunday, October 11, 9 a.m.
Where: Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison
Benefiting: American Lung Association
Details: You’ve seen your favorite band there, you’ve watched your favorite movie there, and now it’s time to race there. Run the Rocks is a 5K run/walk through the trails and stairs at Red Rocks Amphitheatre while enjoying live music. Eighty-eight percent of the proceeds will go directly to education, research, and advocacy through the American Lung Association.
Cost & Deadline: The base price is $40, but participants are encouraged to fundraise more. There will be on-site registration.
When: Saturday, October 17, 8:30 p.m.
Where: Bandimere Speedway, 3051 S. Rooney Rd., Morrison
Benefiting: Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)
Details: If there are two things that Coloradans are passionate about, it’s music and exercise. The Night Nation 5K is the world’s first running music festival, featuring Electronic Dance Music. The racecourse is illuminated with lights and lasers and there is a music-filled after party for all participants. This fun night supports collaborative cancer research through Stand Up To Cancer.
Cost & deadline: $60 for adults—children 8 and under are free. Registration ends October 17th.
When: Saturday, October 17, 9:30 a.m.
Where: Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St., Colorado Springs
Benefiting: Rocky Mountain Field Institute
Details: Where are Waldo and Wenda? At this race, they will be just about everywhere. With registration for this event, each participant will receive a Waldo or Wenda costume complete with shirt, hat, and glasses. The day will start with a giant group photo and end with food trucks, a beer garden, exhibitors and music. The money raised benefits local nonprofits that support Waldo Canyon’s restoration, disaster relief and fire recovery, as well as outdoor activities, trails, and open space maintenance in Colorado Springs and surrounding communities.
Cost & Deadline: $35. There will be on-site registration available until 9 a.m. on race day, but the price increases to $40.
When: Saturday, October 24, 3 p.m.
Where: Sweet Cow Creamery, 637 Front St., Louisville
Details: The 6th annual MonsterDASH races are a family-friendly way to celebrate the Halloween holiday. There will be a festival opening at 1 p.m. on race day that includes pumpkin painting, pumpkin bowling, jumpy castles, costume contests, a pie-eating contest, and more. This year’s race theme is Dracula, meaning all 10K finishers will receive an etched wine glass full of “blood” (red sports drink) and kids get a Dracula gift at the finish line. There will be post-race festivities on the rooftop of Madera Grill on Main Street.
Cost & Deadline: 5K: $25 until October 15; 10K: $30 until October 15; Kids 1K: $15 until October 23. Prices raise $5 respectively after each date mentioned.
When: Saturday, October 24, 9:30 a.m.
Where: The Chatfield Botanic Gardens, 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Rd.
Benefiting: Camp Como
Details: There’s no better workout than carrying a heavy pumpkin through a 2-mile running course, right? The Great Pumpkin Haul allows participants to pick out their very own pumpkin at Chatfield’s pumpkin patch and run or walk with it through forests, open fields, over creeks, hay bales, and through the Botanic Gardens. Participants can choose to either go at it alone or be part of a team. There will be pumpkin yoga beforehand, and a fall festival with apple cider, beer, music and a corn maze after the race. Don’t forget to dress up and bring your A game, because there will also be awards for everything from best costume to heaviest pumpkin.
Cost & deadline: $45 until October 10, then prices raise to $50. There will be on-site registration available.
10. Zombie Run
When: Friday, October 30, 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Recess Factory, 3220 Weld County Road 8, Erie
Benefiting: Kennedy Krieger Institute
Details: If you’ve ever wanted to be part of a zombie apocalypse, this is your chance. The Zombie Run is a 5K course leading to a zombie-free refuge—but getting there is a challenge. Runners will encounter massive fires, dilapidated buildings, hurdles, medical checkpoints and, of course, hundreds of zombies. Zombies will get the chance to be made over two hours before the event begins, and everyone gets invited to an after party at the finish line.
Cost & deadline: Zombie price: $40; runner price: $50. There will be on-site registration available, but prices increase to $50 for zombies and $60 for runners.
For more ways to integrate into the philanthropic community, follow our Get Involved column.