7 Great 5k Races in Birmingham This Fall

Expect lots of costumes at the Pink Pumpkin 5k this year, held on Saturday, October 31.
Expect lots of costumes at the Pink Pumpkin 5k this year, held on Saturday, October 31. Cass Purdum
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Fall is a beautiful time of year to run. The trees are splashed in yellows, oranges, browns and reds. The temperature is brisk and crisp. But if taking your routine run isn’t quite enough for you, consider participating in a 5k. Running races allows us to not just run for fun, but run for a purpose. Lucky for us, you have plenty of choices. Here are a few of our favorite 5k races in Birmingham this fall:

1. Komen Race for the Cure

Downtown Birmingham turns pink for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Downtown Birmingham turns pink for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Jennifer

When we think 5k, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is one of the first that comes to mind. It is the largest series of 5K runs and walks in the world, and the Birmingham edition of the race will be held at Linn Park in Birmingham on Oct. 17. The purpose is to raise awareness and funds to help fight against breast cancer. You can run in memory of someone, or in honor of a cancer fighter. Cost is $35 for adults and chip timing is available.

2. Kid One Trick or Trot 5k

Benefitting Kid One Transport, a service that transports children and expectant mothers to needed health care services, the Trick or Trot 5K  is a fun race for all ages. Starting and ending at Sloss Furnaces  on Saturday, Oct. 24, we’re certain you’ll have a blast trying out the Photo Booth, Kid’s Zone, Food Tent, Bloody Mary Bar (for the grownups, of course) and much more. This costume run will instantly get you into the spirit of Halloween. Race-day registration is available on race day if you miss the early-bird cutoff. Packet pickup will be available on Friday, October 23, or on the morning of the run at the Trak Shak .

3. Run for Down Syndrome

This 5k fundraiser is for the Down Syndrome Association of Alabama, presented by Mountain High Outfitters and Southeastern Trail Series. The race will be held at the gorgeous and colorful Oak Mountain State Park, and is available for families of all ages on Saturday, October 31. Complete with a costume contest, Disney-themed characters cheering the runners and face painting, this is a 5k you won’t want to miss.

4. Pink Pumpkin Run

The Foundation for Marshall Medical Centers is presenting their 6th Annual Pink Pumpkin Run/Walk , Halloween style on Saturday, October 31. This run is to benefit mammography and cancer services at Marshall Medical Centers. The 5k course is USATF certified, and will begin at Guntersville Civitan Park and runs adjacent to gorgeous Lake Guntersville . With music, children’s activities and a Pink Pancake Brunch, this is a race you’ll be proud to participate in.

5. Samford University Red, White and Blue 5k

To honor our nation’s veterans, Samford University’s Alumni and Aerospace Studies Club is having a 5K/Fun Run down scenic Lakeshore Trail on Saturday, November 7. This is a lovely run that will allow you to enjoy the rich colors of fall and cooler temperatures while running for a cause. Registration is available on the day of the race, but register early for the discounted price of $25.

6. Moonlight Bootlegger 5K

Take to the trails at night in one of the more unusual races in Birmingham.
Take to the trails at night in one of the more unusual races in Birmingham. Moonlight Bootlegger 5k

Now here’s a race that breaks the mold of a traditional 5k. The Moonlight Bootlegger  website describes it best: “Transition back to the 1920s Prohibition Era rum running and race through the wooded trails of the backcountry. Like our bootleggin’ ancestors, see if you can make it through the moonlit woods to get to the stompin’ grounds, where you can enjoy a nice glass of moonshine and flatfoot it to bluegrass and old timey music.” Held at Oak Mountain State Park  on Saturday, November 14, this 5k will be a run you’ll never forget. Registration options begin at $28.

7. Magic City Half Marathon and 5k

Runners launch from the starting line of the Magic City Half Marathon/5K.
Runners launch from the starting line of the Magic City Half Marathon/5K. Jeremey A. Davis

Although the main feature about this event is the half marathon, we couldn’t leave out mention of the Magic City Half Marathon & 5k  on November 22. This is the 5 th  year for this event, and it has been the fastest growing half marathon in the South. You’ll love the incredible music, great entertainment and a tasty craft beer afterwards. The 5k option will follow a fun route through downtown Birmingham, around Railroad Park to the finish line at Regions Field. The cost is $42, and runners of all skill levels are welcome.

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