Best Bets: 5K runs for good causes

Sunday, June 27, 2010;

Autism Speaks

8 a.m. July 4. Potomac Library, 10101 Glenolden Dr., Potomac. 202-955-3111. $30-$40.

In its 10th year, this race attracts more than 1,500 runners, who start in four waves. The flat route through a shady Potomac neighborhood finishes on a downhill -- a perfect start to your Fourth of July holiday.

Caribbean Sounds

7:30 a.m. July 11. Rock Creek Park, 4850 Colorado Ave. NW. 202-262-8267 $38.

More of a party: Steel drum bands motivate racers along the shady course, and jerk chicken and rice await at the finish. Supports sarcoidosis research. Sign up now; it fills up fast.

Crystal City Twilighter

8 p.m. July 24. 2121 Crystal Dr., Crystal City. 703-248-6883. . $35-$40.

This out-and-back route to promote Crystal City is a great conclusion to your Saturday. A post-run beer isn't out of the question, and every runner 21 or older gets one free.

Distance Festival Run for Haiti

8 a.m. women, 9 a.m. men, Aug. 28. 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant, 5240 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park. 301-807-8529. $20-$30.

A small race, good for beginners, that benefits a foundation that helps homeless boys in Haiti. The route circles Lake Artemesia, past the College Park landing strip and through the woods. A chocolate fountain rewards runners.

Step Away From Cancer

8 a.m. Sept. 25. West Potomac Park, Ohio Drive SW. 703-519-2103. $25-$30; younger than 12 free.

This beautiful trek along the Potomac River could revive any jaded Washingtonian's passion for the city.

The Dogfish Dash

8 a.m. Sept. 26. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, #6 Cannery Village Center, Milton, Del. 302-684-1000, ext. 225. $20.

A wacky race that benefits the Nature Conservancy. Win by running fast, or win by running in the most clever "recycled, reused or reimagined materials." The race ends with Dogfish's premier product.

Asha-Jyothi

8:30 a.m. Sept. 26. 11901 Grand Commons Ave., Fairfax. 571-226-7125. $20-$25.

Talk about footloose and family-friendly. Runners can aid underprivileged Indians, and learn a few Bollywood dance moves at the post-race party. During the run, volunteers will babysit and entertain kids.

-- Moira E. McLaughlin

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