The Chicago Marathon is behind us, but it’s hardly the end of race season. Sign up for one of these (way less intense) themed runs — each of which benefits an incredible charity — and prepare to feel good inside and out.
Nov. 10: Hot Cider Hustle 8K
Walk or run to raise awareness and funds for Best Buddies Illinois, an organization that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For those with a sweet tooth, there’s plenty of motivation — like hot cider and caramel apples at the finish line. Visit hotciderhustle.com to register (and for 10 percent off the registration fee, use the code BESTBUDDIES2018 at checkout).
Nov. 22: Turkey Trot
This Thanksgiving Day event is popular with adults and children alike for its costumes, low-key competition (there’s a 5K, an 8K, and a kids’ race), and post-run activities like turkey bowling and cornhole. Work up an appetite and give back to the community, too: At packet pickup, you’ll receive a food drive bag from the Greater Chicago Food Depository that can be deposited at one of the donation drops along the start line on race day. Head to turkeytrotchicago.com for more.
Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve 5K
Before you ring in the new year, bid a brisk farewell to 2018 with a 3.1-mile run through Lincoln Park and along Lake Michigan. A solid sweat session is the perfect way to offset some of that inevitable New Year’s Eve indulgence. Runners will receive a custom winter wearable and enjoy a Finisher Toast, hot chocolate, and warming blankets after the race. Best of all, the 5K supports charity partner Special Olympics Chicago. For more information, visit newyearseve5k.com.
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Danielle Braff is a full-time freelance writer specializing in lifestyle and travel. She lives in Chicago with her husband and their two daughters, two dogs, and two cats. To see more of her stories, check out daniellebraff.com. Danielle is passionate about pet adoption, and her favorite nonprofit is the Anti-Cruelty Society.