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Road Races

5 Charity Races to Run in May

From mother-focused organizations to celebrating mental health awareness, these virtual runs donate to a good cause.

It’s no secret that participating in a charity race is a great way for kind-hearted runners to do something meaningful. You were going to go for a run anyway, so why not put those miles to good use and help someone along the way? The virtual platforms that are now being utilized make it easy to enlist the help and camaraderie of friends from all over the country and the world.

This past year has also seen an uptick in races that not only raise money, but also raise awareness for important causes like last fall’s Womxn Run the Vote that highlighted both current and historical issues of voter suppression and February’s Finish the Run 2.23 mile race that honored Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was killed while out on a run.

We’ve rounded up five virtual races to run in May that will use your registration fee for a good cause, while also raising awareness about an important issue.  

Register for These Charity Runs Soon

Two of these three date-specific races are going on this week. Register soon for your chance to participate.

Mom Forward 5K

We hope you didn’t forget, but Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 9. Show mom you care by racing this &Mother and Altra sponsored virtual 5K. Founded last Mother’s Day by Alysia Montaño and Molly Dickens, the proceeds from the race will go directly to &Mother to further their mission of helping women thrive in their careers and in motherhood. As their race site states: “We can all make a positive change towards gender equality by showing up and advocating for mothers, calling out maternal bias, and changing the dialogue around what it means to be #andmother.”

RELATED: 15 Gift Ideas for the Mother Runners in Your Life

2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Virtual Run

From today May 5 through May 8, Native Women Running is hosting this virtual run as an opportunity to be in solidarity with anyone who has been affected by the epidemic of violence against Indigenous people. Race any distance you choose, any way you choose (hiking, biking, running, walking, and so on). All proceeds are donated to MMIW USA. 

2021 BBF 5.7K Race for ALS

On May 23, run for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The Brigance Brigade Foundation (BBF) is hosting this 5.7K charity race to “equip, encourage, and empower people living with ALS.” BBF was founded by Chanda Minor-Brigance and her husband OJ Brigance, a former Baltimore Ravens linebacker who has been living with ALS since 2007. This event is usually in person in Baltimore, but will go virtual this year because of the pandemic.

Participate in These Charity Races All Month

These races and virtual challenges can be completed any time in the month of May. 

Asics Blue Jean Mile

In May 2020 Johnny Gregorek broke the world record for the fastest mile run in a pair of blue jeans in 4:06:25. It was something he set out to do in honor of his brother Patrick who lost his battle with mental illness the year prior. While training for the record, Gregorek raised $32,000 for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of NYC (NAMI-NYC). 

This May, Asics has pledged $40,000 to NAMI-NYC for the Blue Jean Mile event. Join in by donning your jeans and heading out for a run to raise awareness for mental health. Registration is free, but there is an option to donate if you choose. 

Runstreak for Mental Health 

Another opportunity to participate in Mental Health Awareness Month, run or walk a mile every day in May with this run streak challenge by Still I Run and More Miles More Fun. Different race packages range from $5 to $55 depending on what kind of swag you’d like. Anyone who signs up also gets access to their private Facebook to connect with others in the mental health running community. Why join this run streak challenge? As stated on the website: “By joining our May 2021 Run Streak you’ll find strength in numbers, help smash the stigma surrounding mental health, and get some pretty sweet swag in the process.

RELATED: For This Baltimore Runner, Mental Health is Like Running a Marathon