There’s simply nothing compared to the sound of crisp leaves crunching underfoot on a brisk autumn run. Whether you’re a novice looking to run your first race or a seasoned veteran hoping to set a new personal best, fall is undoubtedly the best time of year to run a 5k. Gone are the sluggish, sweaty runs of summertime, replaced by chilly mornings just begging for a quick run. Perhaps you’re training for a half marathon or full marathon—5ks are still a great way to practice your routine for race day. We’ve gathered a list of five fun and competitive 5ks around Philly, so lace up your racing flats and head to one of these Fall 5k races.
1. Philly Freedom 5k, Oct. 3
2. Rest in Peace 5k, Oct. 10
Ever had the urge to run through a cemetery at night around Halloween, but too afraid to go it alone? Well, you’re in luck, because the Rest in Peace 5k runs around Laurel Hill Cemetery, one of Philly’s largest and most historic cemeteries. The race starts at 5 p.m. and costumes are encouraged—there’s even special awards for best overall costume, best couples costume, and best group costume. Be prepared to run up and down some major hills while dodging centuries old tombstones. The best part is the after-party featuring free beer, music, and post-race treats.
3. Firebolt 5k, Oct. 17
The Firebolt 5k takes place during Chestnut Hill’s famous Harry Potter Festival—a weekend long event dedicated to celebrating J.K. Rowling’s international best-selling children’s books. If you’re a potterhead, head to the race in costume and you’ll have a chance at winning a special prize. All proceeds of the event will benefit J.S. Jenks Elementary School in Chestnut Hill. Post-race events include wizard chess and bouncy castles for kids.
4. HOWLoween 5k and Dog Walk, Oct. 31
Dog lovers and runners unite in the HOWLoween 5k, a race that benefits Home at Last Dog Rescue in North Wales, PA. Since it takes place on Halloween, costumes are encouraged for both dogs and humans. Non-runners can participate in the 1-mile dog walk, which starts at 9:05 a.m. right after the runners start. Don’t leave after the race—the Fall Festival starts at 10:30 a.m. with food trucks, raffles, live music, and more. So dress up your pooch and head to Parkside Place Park for this fun and adorable 5k this Halloween.