The Washington Post

5K races in the D.C. area

More than 2,000 participants of all ages took to the streets of the Brambleton area of Loudoun County on New Year’s Eve 2011 to help raise funds for area charities in the second annual Ringing In Hope Walk, Run & Fun (10K and 5K race, 1K walk). The race drew in more than double the crowd of its inaugural December 2010 race. (germani photography)

Train up this summer and try one of these races in the fall. Check event Web sites for course maps and fees. Know of another great local race? Let us know in the comments.

Clarendon Day 10K, 5K & Kids Dash

Sept. 28 at 8 a.m., Arlington

Described as “one of the area’s fastest courses,” this race kicks off the annual Clarendon Day Festival. It starts in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington and finishes in Rosslyn.

Run for the Refuge 5K

Sept. 29 at 9 a.m., Laurel

This race on an asphalt road and hard-packed dirt trails raises money for environmental research, education and outreach at the Patuxent Research Refuge.

Cosmic Run 5K

Oct. 12 at 8 p.m., Waldorf

Described as more of a “journey” than a race, this nighttime event at Regency Furniture Stadium features LED light shows, showers of colored powder and pounding dance music. At the after-party, expect more focus on dance moves than finish times.

Monster Mask 5K

Oct. 13 at 9 a.m., Washington

If you’re worried about running on streets, try this out-and-back race on the C&O Canal towpath. There are awards for the top finishers — and for the runners with the best mask and best costume.

Ghost, Goblins & Ghouls Spooktacular 5K & Scarecrow Sprint Fun Run

Oct. 26 at 4 p.m., Leesburg

Participants are encouraged to run in costume (there will be a contest), and everyone registered by Sept. 29 is guaranteed to receive a trick-or-treat bag of goodies. Part of “Shocktober-Fest,” with food and drinks, a haunted house and more.

Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger

Nov. 28 at 9 a.m., Washington

This race, which starts from Washington’s Freedom Plaza, supports So Others Might Eat’s programs for the hungry and homeless. Prizes for top finishers and top fundraisers.

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