Raising Awareness (and Heart Rates) in DC: 7 Charity Walks to Do This Fall

The Race for Every Child 5K and Kids’ Dash kicking off in Washington, DC.
The Race for Every Child 5K and Kids’ Dash kicking off in Washington, DC. Children's National Medical Center
Made Possible by
Curated by

Charity walks bring athletes of all ages and abilities together to do good and feel great. Washington has several options between now and early-November, making it prime time to lace up your walking shoes and explore the city with a purpose.

Need a smart reason to join the growing number of people who walk for a cause each year? To start, events tied to charity can be great health motivators. From 5K strolls to more committed marathon-length stretches and everything in between, these walks are designed to accommodate people with all ability and energy levels. If you are looking for the social aspect, group walks are a fun way to get to know your community and meet like-minded people. And, of course, charity walks provide opportunities to support research in an area or a cause that is meaningful to you and your family and friends.

Pick your cause, assess your goal, and walk to build endurance, especially if you plan to cross distances greater than those which you habitually walk or run. Then, sign up! listed below are seven walks happening in the next two months.

1. Race for Every Child (5K)

October 3, 2015 | Washington, DC
The annual walk (and for some, race) raises money for a beloved organization serving nearly 400,000 children each year, resulting in more than $50 million dollars in uncompensated care for pediatrics, childhood disease prevention, and other health services. The race travels across Freedom Plaza in downtown DC.

Extras: Fundraiser awards, kids dashes and family fun including face painting, balloon art, and arts and crafts. Sponsored by The Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC.

2. Walk Now For Autism Speaks

October 3, 2015 | Washington, DC
Welcoming hundreds of thousands from across the U.S. and Canada each year, this walk is the most widely-attended recreational fundraiser to benefit autism in North America. For this one, we’ll see you down on the National Mall .

Extras: If you raise $150 or more, you receive a commemorative T-shirt! Sponsored by Walk Now for Autism Speaks.

3. Out of the Darkness Community Walk (5K)

October 10, 2015 | Washington, DC
This is the premier walk in the DC to raise proceeds for local and national suicide prevention and awareness programs that fund research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss. The walk happens from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. in the area around the National Mall and the Tidal Basin . Sponsored by the  American Foundation for Suicide Prevention .

4. LLS Light the Night Walk (Free Walk)

October 17, 2015 | Washington, DC

Lighting the night for the a good cause
Lighting the night for the a good cause Light the Night

The annual walk and fundraising event pays tribute and brings hope to those battling blood cancer. Walkers gather at twilight holding illuminated balloons to support and honor survivors and loved ones lost. Walkers who raise $100 or more will receive an illuminated lantern to light the sky during the event. If you aren't participating but are into photography , head down to Freedom Plaza and capture the event.

Extras: Free food, fun games, and live music. Sponsored by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

5. Walk to End Alzheimer's (1 or 3 miles)

October 24, 2015 | Washington, DC

Walk to raise awareness for care, support, and research for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and join in a colorful tribute to all involved. Participants are encouraged to raise funds to benefit the event, though it is free to participate.

Extras: Those who reach a fundraising minimum of $100 will receive a commemorative tee. Sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association.

6. Walk to End HIV (5K)

October 24, 2015 | Washington DC

The Walk to End HIV turns into a run on Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol building.
The Walk to End HIV turns into a run on Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol building. The Walk to End HIV / Scott Henrichsen
Participants of the 2014 DC Heart Walk show their love for the cause.
Participants of the 2014 DC Heart Walk show their love for the cause. American Heart Association / Mike Buckley

The walk is designed to promote healthy living through prevention by building awareness to the number one and number five killers of Americans—heart disease and stroke. This three-mile walk along a one-mile course is expected to raise $2.5 million dollars—that’s a lot of healthier hearts. Extras: stick around for a health and wellness expo after the walk concludes. Sponsored by the American Heart Association .

Bonus: two more walks to add to your calendar for 2016:

Light the Way (5K)
Early September | Washington, DC

Light the Way 5K raises awareness and financial help for programs that help the blind and visually impaired living in the District of Columbia. The 5K walk stretches from National's Park to the Capitol Riverfront. Extras: Kids’ race (age three-eight years) and a silent auction. Sponsored by the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind.

Walk Off Parkinson’s (2.5K)
Early September | Washington, DC

Participants in 2014's Walk off Parkinson's event cut  finish-line ribbon at National's Park.
Participants in 2014's Walk off Parkinson's event cut finish-line ribbon at National's Park. Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area (PFNCA)

This family-oriented race benefits those impacted directly and indirectly by Parkinson’s disease.The family-oriented, choose-your-own pace event also marches through the National’s ballpark area in southeast DC .

Extras:
Dance, yoga, children’s games and photo ops in the National's dugout. Sponsored by the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital.

Last Updated:

Next Up

Next

Lava Walk and Climbing Talk in Snow Canyon State Park