Run for a Reason: WA 5Ks With Great Causes

In response to our previous post about WA marathons under $50, we had a request to create a list of shorter runs throughout Washington. So, we researched some local 5Ks coming up in 2014, but did something a little different this time — We chose to highlight one smaller-scale run each month from now through the end of summer, and the best part is that they are each benefiting a great cause. Not only will you be doing your body a favor, you’ll be making a positive impact on the community as well, and that’s the best reason to run.

Don’t forget to check out for all of your running gear! We will set you up with gear gear AND great service, every time.

1. Java Jog | April 25th 2014 | Seattle, WA

Located in Seattle’s scenic South Lake Union Park, the JavaJog for a Cause is a 5K and 10K run/walk that benefits the coffee-farming women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It began last year in Boston, so it’s exciting to hear that the race will be held in Seattle in 2014!

Event staff state, “The first Race, held early one cold, windy morning in Boston, brought us together in solidarity with women in Congo whose lives on a daily basis are infinitely more harsh than the bitter winds we faced.   To consider their courage as we braved the blistering winds was a clear wake up call – to understand, to advocate and to do more – together.”
The goal of this race is to raise $35,000 with 100 runners participating. So far they’re raised $13,200, with is 44% of their goal. The race is in a week, so be sure to help out in any way you can! The registration fee is $50 for the 5K and $100 for the 10K. Read more about this great cause and register for the event here:

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2. Take a Risk and Run | May 31st 2014 | Vancouver, WA

This 5K run/walk, 1 mile walk, and 25 miles bike race donates 100% of its proceeds to the Teach One Lead One community mentoring program in Clark County, WA. This organization benefits at-risk youth by providing mentors who guide these students into a life of purpose and potential.  Since 1996, they have reached 24,000 kids, 34% of which no longer participate in underage drinking and 24% say they will no longer steal. The fee is $25.

Learn more about the organization and register for the event here:

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3. Flight for Sight Fun Run | June 7th 2014 | Everett, WA

The 12th annual Flight for Sight Fun run is a 5K walk/run, 1 mile walk, and 10K run benefiting Guide Dogs of America — a non-profit organization providing guide dogs, free of charge, to the blind and visually impaired. The organization is funded entirely by donations, so this great cause needs your help! It is estimated that matching one guide dog with its new partner costs a total of $43,000. So far, Guide Dogs of America has raised $120,000 in support of this cause. You can make a difference and add to that number by running.

The registration fee is $30, and you can register here:

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4. Lyle’s Miles | July 12th 2014 | Vancouver, WA

The catch to this 5K race/walk is that you will probably be disqualified at the finish line. The creator of this 5K, Lyle Smith, decided that he was fed up with finishing last at every race, so for his 60th birthday he created a race that he could never lose. That’s because everyone who finishes before him (so, everyone…) gets immediately disqualified. But don’t worry! All participants still gets a trophy and there is an awards ceremony for the “fastest disqualified” runners as well as a team costume contest. The best part about this 5K is that all of the proceeds go to great causes: 40% goes to Global Partners for Development, which funds projects in Africa that help break the cycle of poverty, 50% goes to Martha’s Pantry in Vancouver, providing food, toiletries, clothing and other essentials to families living with HIV/AIDS, and 10% of will go to Cascade AIDS Project in Portland. The fee is only $12, so there’s really no excuses not to do it! Register here:

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5. Foster Kids 5K Fun Run & Walk | August 2nd 2014 | Redmond, WA

Held in the trails of Redmond’s beautiful Marymore Park, This 5K run/walk supports the Hope Alliance for Kids organization. Through participating, you will be benefiting foster kids in King County by allowing them to go to summer camp free of charge. As a summer camp councilor veteran, I can’t stress enough how impactful and positive this experience can be in a child’s life. I wholeheartedly support this cause and encourage everyone to participate. The fee is $30, which includes a free raffle ticket for two round-trip flights on Alaska Airlines valued at over $800 each. Register here:

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We hope you have fun out on the trails! Be sure to stop by our shop located on Mercer Island, say hi, and grab your running gear. Can’t make it in? We’ve got a great selection online at

See you out there!

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