Upcoming Charity Runs and Walks This Fall

You can do one (or more) race for charity almost every weekend until the end of October.

The 2014 Kidney March

Image courtesy of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan Branches


[Ed. note: This article has been updated to reflect events taking place in 2017.]

You can support a good cause every weekend just by lacing up your shoes and getting out the door for a jog. This list will keep you busy (almost) every weekend from the beginning of September through to the end of October. 


Calgary Women's Run

When: Sunday, August 27, 2017

Time: 9 a.m.

Cost: $50

Distance: 5 kilometres or 10 kilometres.

What it’s for: This race supports the Silver Linings Foundation, which strives to help those affected by eating disorders in the province.

In case you need convincing: This is the 39th year that this race has taken place, so you know it has lots of history. Plus, you'll get a handmade fused glass pendant from Nik Naks Contemporary Fused Glass if you run in the race.

Close to the Shouldice Aquatic Centre, 5303 Bowness Rd. N.W., calgaryroadrunners.com


Kidney March 

When: Friday, September 8, 2016 to Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cost: $75 to register and fundraise a minimum of $2,200. 

Distance: 100 kilometres

What it’s for: This walk raises money for the Kidney Foundation of Canada and supports kidney disease prevention — it affects 1 in 10 Canadians. 

In case you need convincing: It’s epic. Hundreds of participants march 100 kilometres over three days and rest in sleeping pots at night. The route starts by Millarville, goes through Kananaskis and finishes in Calgary.



Dino Dash

When: Saturday, September 9, 2017

Time: 10:55 a.m. for stroller races, 11 a.m for non-stroller races.

Cost: From $30. Additional fundraising is encouraged. 

Distance: 5 kilometres or 10 kilometres around the U of C campus.

What it’s for: This race helps raise funding for the University of Calgary’s varsity track and field and cross-country teams. Since the race began in 2004, $60,000 has been raised to help student athletes with things like scholarships and uniforms.

In case you need convincing: It’s a flat course, so you’ll feel like you’re running fast even if you’re not. And you’ll go home with a tech T-shirt and a dino-inspired medal. 



Run For Little Ones

When: Saturday, September 9, 2017

Cost: Adults $30; kids $20. Fundraising is encouraged. 

Distance: 1 kilometre and 5 kilometres

What it's for: Run For Little Ones is a local non-profit organization organized by students at the University of Calgary. The organization raises funds specifically for the Alberta Children's Hospital's neuro-critical care unit.

In case you need convincing: Whether you're racing hard or taking it easy, you'll enjoy the scenic route that starts at Bowness Park. Plus, you can run with your kids if you want.

Bowness Park, runforlittleones.org


Life Without Limits Challenge

When: Saturday, September 16, 2017

Cost: Adult registration $40. Fundraising is encouraged. 

Distance: 5 kilometres

What it's for: The Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta, an organization that provides programs and services for individuals living with Cerebral Palsy. 

In case you need convincing: There's a lot of swag with this race. Your registration fee includes a barbecue lunch, a T-shirt, giveaways and entry for the draw prize.

Fish Creek Park, cpalberta.akaraisin.com


Rock the House Run

When: Sunday, September 17, 2017

Time: Registration opens at 8:30 a.m., races start between 9:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.

Cost: From $20 to $55. Fundraising is encouraged. 

Distance: 1 kilometre, 5 kilometres or 10 kilometres

What it’s for: Your registration fees help families with sick kids stay together at the Ronald McDonald House, located across from the Alberta Children’s Hospital. 

In case you need convincing: This is more than a run. It's also a party. You'll race past live music performances, street performers and dancers. 

Starts at Market Mall, 3625 Shaganappi Tr. N.W., rmhcsca.org


Terry Fox Run

image courtesy of the terry fox foundation

When: Sunday, September 17, 2017 

Time: Registration opens at 8 a.m., race begins at 10 a.m.

Cost: By donation 

Distance: 1 kilometre, 5 kilometres or 10 kilometres

What it’s for: This run raises money for the Terry Fox Foundation.

In case you need convincing: Runners should stay after the event for the festivities — there will be music, a barbeque and a presentation by Olympians — and visit the science centre for free after that. 

Telus Spark Science Centre, 220 St George’s Dr. N.E., terryfox.org


Run For Childhood Cancer

When: Saturday, September 23, 2017

Time: 10:30 a.m. 

Cost: From $12.50. Fundraising encouraged. 

Distance: 1 kilometre, 2 kilometres, 5 kilometres or 10 kilometres

What it’s for: This run supports Believe in the Gold, is a charitable organization that works to raise awareness and help families cope with childhood cancer.

In case you need convincing: Everyone participating is encouraged to wear gold to raise awareness of childhood cancer. There will also be a pancake breakfast at 9:30 a.m.

Eau Claire Market Pavilion, 200 Barclay Parade S.W., believeinthegold.ca


Calgary Heartbeat Run

When: Sunday, September 24, 2017

Time: 10 a.m.

Cost: Registration from $15. Fundraising is encouraged. 

Distance: 1 kilometre, 5 kilometres or 10 kilometres 

What it's for: This run supports the Calgary Health Trust and the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta

In case you need convincing: If you're the competitive type, know that this is a timed event and results are posted online within 24 hours after the event. If you're not, that's okay too. This race is ideal for admiring the fall colours. 

Chaparral Valley, 1-855-515-0693, heartbeatrun.ca


Stride for Thrive

When: Sunday, September 24, 2017

Time: 9 a.m.

Cost: $25. Fundraising is encouraged.

Distance: 3 kilometres or 5 kilometres

What it’s for: This event raises money for the Thrive Centre, a fitness facility specifically for adults and youth whose lives are affected by cancer. This year, they're aiming to raise around $15,000.

In case you need convincing: During their lifetime, 45 per cent of Canadian men and 39 per cent of Canadian women will receive a cancer diagnosis. Physical activity is beneficial for cancer patients during their treatment. 



Strides for Melanoma

When: Sunday, September 24, 2017

Time: 9 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. race start 

Cost: Registration fee. Fundraising is encouraged.

Distance: 5 kilometres

What it’s for: The Melanoma Network of Canada. Funds raised at this event will help with prevention and awareness initiatives to reduce the prevalence of melanoma and help them provide patient support for those who are affected.

In case you need convincing: You don’t need to worry if you can't reach the finish line. There’s no pressure to finish in a blisteringly fast time here. All registrants will also get a bottle of sunscreen and a T-shirt.

Sandy Beach Park, 4500 14A St. S.W., 877-560-8035, melanomanetwork.com


CIBC Run for the Cure

image courtesy of Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Prairies/NWT Region

When: Sunday, October 1, 2017

Time: TBA

Cost: TBA 

Distance: 1 kilometre or 5 kilometres 

What it’s for: The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Proceeds raised support breast cancer research, education and community health grants.  

In case you need convincing: On the same day, runners from across Canada will be participating in this race. Join in. 

Southcentre Mall, 100 Anderson Rd. S.E., 1-866-302-2223, cibcrunforthecure.com


Gorilla Run

When: Sunday, October 1, 2017

Time: 8 a.m.

Cost: Individual adult registration $65

Distance: 10 kilometres

What it's for: Funds from this race are sent to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Internationalthe Bonobo Conservation Initiative and others organizations to raise funds for mountain gorillas and other conservation efforts. The race has been taking place for the last 13 years and has raised almost $100,000 for animals facing extinction.

In case you need convincing: If you don't want to run the whole race, you can also sign up as a four-person relay team. Plus, not only do you get a custom race bib, custom technical running gloves and a medal, but you'll also receive a free day pass to the zoo for participating in this race.

Calgary Zoo North Entrance, 1300 Zoo Rd. N.E., 403-264-2996, runcalgary.com


Alzheimer Walk and Run

When: Sunday, October 8, 2017

Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Cost: Registration fee. Fundraising is encouraged. 

Distance: 5 kilometres or 10 kilometres

What it's for: All funds support local families affected by Alzheimer's disease. 

In case you need convincing: You'll get home in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Plus, all registrants will receive a $10 Save on Foods gift card — perfect in case you need to pick up some last minute groceries.

Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade S.W., alzheimercalgary.ca


Oktoberfest Run

When: Saturday, October 14, 2017

Time: 1 p.m.

Cost: Starting at $45.

Distance: 5 kilometres or 10 kilometres.

What it's for: Part of the 2017 Spruce Meadows Run Series, this race supports the Ronald McDonald House Charities, which helps families with sick kids stay together.

In case you need convincing: If you've ever wanted to check out Spruce Meadows, this is your chance. Both the five and 10 kilometre race courses go through the equestrian facility's grounds.



Halloween Howl

When: Saturday, October 21, 2017

Time: Registration opens at 9 a.m., race begins at 10:30 a.m.

Cost: $20 for individual youths and $40 for individual adults.

Distance: 3 kilometres, 5 kilometres and 10 kilometres.

What it's for: This run helps generate awareness and funds for diabetes research by the Alberta Diabetes Foundation. $110,000 was raised at the 2016 Halloween Howl event.

In case you need convincing: Runners will be dressed up in their best Halloween costumes, and there will even be prizes for the best ones. And if you're interested in being timed, the 10 kilometre race is chip-timed.

Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade S.W., albertadiabetesfoundation.com


Kathy's Run For Pancreatic Cancer

When: Sunday, October 22, 2017

Time: 10 a.m.

Cost: Individual adult registration from $25.

Distance: 5 kilometres, 10 kilometres and 21 kilometre.

What it's for: Funds are raised for Pancreatic Cancer Canada. This run has already raised more than $500,000 for Pancreatic Cancer Canada over the last six years, and they're aiming to hit $1 million.

In case you need convincing: There's going to be a lot of people wearing purple and wacky purple hats. Prizes will be given out for the craziest, most original purple hat. 

North Glenmore Park, kathysrun.com


Dash of Doom

When: Saturday, October 28, 2017

Time: 4:45 p.m.

Cost: Starting at $15

Distance: 1 kilometre, 5 kilometres or 10 kilometres

What it's for: This race supports the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS), a local organization that rescues and helps animals who have been abandoned, surrendered or abused.

In case you need convincing: This is a Halloween night race and one of the city's only pet-friendly road race. Bring your pooch, wear a Halloween costume, and if Fido will let you, dress him up in a costume too (there are even prizes for the best costumes). When you're done racing, check out the festival area with games and a photo booth. 

Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade S.W., calgarymarathon.com


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