Run DC: With Less Than 5,000 Friends

It’s easy to stick with the big, high-profile, pricey running races around here. There are plenty to choose from, and they rarely get a bad review. But, there are plenty of smaller options where you can actually test some speed (without excessive weaving), score some swag and know that your race-running-dollars are going to good places.

The list below pulls together a few of these smaller gem races coming up in the DC-MD-VA (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area. Take your pick!

6261164148-5k race start

September 30Alexandria Family Fun Day &  5K

Straight from the directors, Amy & Liz Run starts: 8am at Cameron Run Park in Alexandria–just outside of Old Town on a really beautiful trail system. 100% of proceeds go directly to charity–several local charities, including Girls on the Run, some global water access charities, etc. It will be little and charming and a nice break from the crowds that are at races anymore. There are also free pancakes afterward and a whole little family fun area set up with some vendors and activities.


October 6 – Mind Your Health 5K Run/Walk

Run starts: 8am in Bluemont Park (Arlington, VA). As part of the Pacer’s run event series, this race is (now) $30 and put on in support of promoting exercise for mental health.


October 6Miles for Mental Health 10K

Run starts: 8am in Franklin Park, Purceville, VA – running through the “countryside”. Registration is $30 ($40 on day-of), and the post-race promises include freshly picked apples, assorted nuts and cookies.


October 14Boo! Run for Life 10K

Run starts: 8am – A classic DC 10K, this starts on and runs around the Tidal Basin (West Potomac Park, near the National Mall). Put on by the Capital Running Company in support of the cure for renal cell cancer.


November 437th Annual Rockville 10K/5K

Run starts: 8:30am in the King Farm Village Center. This town, along with the Montgomery County Road Runners, rarely fails to put on a great running event. The Shady Grove Metro stop is nearby, so it’s not too tough to get there for us DC-dwellers. After the run, racers are promised a post-run brunch provided by local restaurants!


For some more small-crowd options in and around the District, you can check out Pacer’s and/or Potomac River Running run events calendar, and the Run-Washington list!



Filed under DC, Races, running

8 responses to “Run DC: With Less Than 5,000 Friends

  1. I’m doing the Boo! Run for Life 10k. I’ve done it the last two years in a row. Great race, not crowded, flat course. Win!

  2. Seriously, I am now obsessed w/ 5ks and 10ks, my new distance, lol.

  3. Yes! I love the smaller races. Affordable, close to home, you don’t need to show up an hour++ early, and they often surprise me with some of the best swag too!

  4. Which one are you doing, missy? I’ll come cheer (run?)

  5. lizard151

    Thank you! I’m thinking of doing Boo Run for Life–let me know if you’ll be out at any of them 🙂

  6. Great list! Any and all of the Montgomery County Road Runners races are terrific for this purpose, and I try to do one of them whenever I’m feeling burned out on overly large, overly programmed, overly corporate races.

  7. Pingback: Weekly Wrap: 9/23-9/29 | Healthy Heddleston

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