Getting yourself out for a run on a summer day can be rough.
It’s sticky and sweaty—and it’s easily avoidable when it comes to air conditioning and treadmills. But sometimes you’re just looking for that rewarding feeling of crossing the finish line and proclaiming, “I did it!” despite loathing the heat in the process.
Here’s a list of races in NoVA this July that won’t change the weather, but will challenge your summer endurance. (Just remember to stay hydrated!)
2019 Let Freedom Ring 17.76K & 7.4K
Thursday, July 4, 7:30 a.m.
Fourth of July races are a great way to spend the holiday getting active, and showing off your best red, white and blue running attire. At this event, runners can choose between two patriotic distances, the 17.76K (11 miles) or the 7.4K (4.5 miles) while raising money for Operation Turbo’s Boxes of Home project that sends comfort-themed packages to deployed American soldiers. // Lake Accotink Park: 7500 Accotink Park Road, Springfield; $30-$60
2019 Running of the Bull Challenge
Saturday, July 6, 7:25 a.m.
This isn’t quite the same as the famous event in Spain, but there will be a “bull” running the 5K route of this race (which will also have a 10K and 1-mile route) and if you beat it to the finish line, you receive 25% off a future local race. Portions of the proceeds will be donated to Strength in Sisters, a combination of two nonprofits dedicated to support the futures of young girls in Zambia who have a high likelihood of teen pregnancy and early marriage. // Pratt Park: 120 River Road, Fredericksburg; $15-$50
Autism Speaks 5k
Saturday, July 13, 7:30 a.m
According to a 2018 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism rates have increased by 15% since 2014, affecting one in every 59 children. In order to raise money for the nonprofit Autism Speaks and reach the NoVA community in an impactful way, Fairfax is hosting a 5K race where individuals or teams can run for the cause and help contribute to their $100,000-plus fundraising goal. // Fairfax County Government Center: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.; $20-$40
2019 Run First, Wine Later 5K & 10K
Saturday, July 20, 8 a.m.
Life is all about balance. Luckily Tarara Winery has created a race for the wine lover in all of us. Run your 5K or 10K route and return to a tasting of four wines to relax and enjoy afterward. Proceeds benefit The Arc of Loudoun, a nonprofit and full-service organization that hopes to maximize the potential of children with disabilities in the NoVA community. // Tarara Winery: 13648 Tarara Lane, Leesburg; $30-$50
Crystal City TwilighterSaturday, July 20, 8:30 p.m.
OK, so you might not want to run for a finisher’s medal, but how about beer and a slice of pizza? Grab your glow sticks and bright colors for this night race through Crystal City and you can reward yourself with cold drinks from Port City Brewing Company and free pizza from We the Pizza. You can even show off your skills post-run at the Karaoke competition. // 2121 Crystal Drive, Crystal City; $38-$50
Birthday Bash 5K
Sunday, July 21, 8 a.m.
If pizza or wine just aren’t a good enough incentive to get up and moving, this 5K has the only other option—dessert. Run your way through Fairfax Corner to get a cupcake, a free photo taken (in action, of course) and browse the tables from Nike, Adidas, Brooks and more. The event celebrates Potomac River Running Store’s 16th birthday and is fun for the whole family. // Fairfax Corner: 11900 Palace Way, Fairfax; $35-$50
For more health stories, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.