Roundup: April Races and Charity Events

Shake off the winter rust and get moving with these charity athletic events.

Runner in the Park image via Shutterstock

Runner in the Park photo via Shutterstock

April is here, which means that Marathon Monday is just around the corner. And while the historic marathon is an exciting day of Boston pride, not everyone can run that far. If you’re more of a Marathon Monday spectator, but still want to get active, here are some races and charity events to get you going. Start slow and maybe by next year, you’ll be up to 26.2.

Shifter’s 5K

The Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) is a Boston Marathon team that brings together hundreds of athletes together to raise money for cancer research.

4/5, race starts at 1 p.m., cost $25, Waverley Oaks Athletic Club, 
411 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, 

New England Mindful Kids Yogathon 

Bring your kids to this event that proves you are never too young, or old, to be a yogi. This yogathon, open to those young at age and heart, is for anyone who wants to put their yoga practice to a good cause. The money raised will go towards Ivy Child International, a nonprofit organization that teaches children mindfulness-based health education programs.

4/5, event starts at 9 a.m. till 5 p.m., cost $25, Boys and Girls Club of Worcester, 65 Tainter Street, Worcester,

Calle’s Miracle Run

This 5K and 10K is in honor of Calle, a local kindergarten-aged girl who passed away from Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), which is a malignant inoperable brain tumor that affects children. All the money raised in this charity race will go toward DIPG research and to support families affected by this disease.

4/6, race starts at 10 a.m., cost $25, Norwell High School, 18 South Street, Norwell,

Run for the Troops 5K 

Each year, the money earned at this 5K goes towards building a home for a chosen injured military veteran. In the past three years this event has already helped build homes for three different soldiers, and this year they hope to build another for Veteran Matt DeWitt of Concord, New Hampshire.

4/6, race starts at 9 a.m., cost $30, Doherty Middle School, 50 Bartlet Street, Andover, 

Dunning Dash

Here’s one that your kids can enjoy too. The annual Dunning Dash is 5K Run/Walk to support the art and technology programs at Dunning Elementary School. While the adults are running, the kids also get to participate in fun activities like an obstacle course, football and baseball tosses, a boot camp program, and even run their own 50-yard and 100-yard dash.

4/12, race starts at 9 a.m., cost $20, Dunning Elementary School, 48 Frost Street, Framingham,

Fast Feet and Phreedom 5K

Does running along the Charles River make you feel free? Then this charitable 5K is right for you. The race along the Charles raises money for the National PKU alliance. Phenylketonuria, or PKU, is an inherited condition that prevents a person from metabolizing an amino acid called phenylalanine, and can often cause brain damage that leads to mental retardation, seizers, emotional problems, and learning disabilities.

4/12, race starts at 10:30 a.m., cost $25, Artesani Park, 1255 Soldiers Field Road, Brighton, 

18th Annual Doyle’s Emerald Necklace Road Race 

This historical 5-mile race truly incorporates Boston’s Irish flare as it starts and ends at the traditional Irish pub Doyle’s Café. The race then runs through Franklin Park, which happens to be Boston’s largest park.

4/13, race starts at 11 a.m., Doyle’s Café, 3484 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain,

G-Man Foundation Race for Autism Awareness

The G-Man Foundation is an organization that promotes Autism awareness and raises money to promote programs that support children with Autism. This 5K race and 3K walk will raise money for this cause.

4/13, race starts at 10 a.m., cost $25, Lowell Elks Lodge, 40 Old Ferry Road, Lowell,

22nd Annual Newton Heartbreak Road Race and Walk 

Join in this race up what’s considered one of the most difficult parts of the Boston Marathon, Heartbreak Hill. The race is a 1-mile run up and down the hill. All the money raised goes towards the Newton Community Pride—a non-profit organization that promotes arts, culture, and the beautification of the town.

4/19, race starts at 12 p.m., cost $12, Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton,

Race Against Extinction

Come walk, or run, on the wild side with this year’s 5K for the World Wildlife Fund. Whether you chose to be a tortoise and walk it, a kangaroo and bring your kid in a stroller, a cheetah and run it, or be a sloth and just watch, this event on the Charles River is a great way to celebrate Earth Day.

4/19, race starts at 11 a.m., cost $25, Artesani Park, 1255 Soldiers Field Road, Brighton,

Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash

Are you mad for running? Even if you aren’t you can still participate by either walking or running in this 5K for Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD). MADD is an organization that works to raise awareness for the dangers of drunk driving and underage drinking.

4/26, race starts at 11 a.m., Lake Quannapowitt next to the First Parish Congregational Church, Lake Avenue, Wakefield,

Muck Fest MS 

If a regular 5K is too monotonous for you, then mix it up and get ready to get down and dirty. This race will have you maneuvering through a muddy obstacle course that’ll make you feel like you are in your own action movie. All of the money raised will go towards the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

4/26-27, cost $105, Willard Park, Antietam St. & Sherman Avenue,

Yoga Reaches Out Yoga-a-thon 

Want to get athletic but not a runner? Come get your zen on during this Yoga-a-thon for Boston Children’s Hospital, brought to you by Yoga Reaches Out. The event will run all day, and will have classes from both local and nationally recognized yoga instructors. This event, which takes place at Gillette Stadium, will also have live music, food, vendors, and presentations.

4/27, event starts at 9 a.m. till 5 p.m., Gillet Stadium, 1 Patriot Place, Foxborough,

Out the Darkness Campus Walk 

Come to Boston University and participate in this American Foundation for Suicide Prevention event. This three to five mile walk will raise money for suicide prevention and awareness.

4/27, walk starts at 11 a.m., George Sherman Union, 744 Commonwealth Avenue,

Earth Rock Run

Time to celebrate the rock we live on, aka planet earth, with another kind of rock— rock music that is. Run either a half marathon or a full marathon. Then join in Earth Day festivities with live music, food, beer, and vendors showing off their eco-friendly and sustainable products.

4/27, race starts at 8 a.m., cost for half marathon is $70, cost for full marathon is $90, Osgood Landing, 1600 Osgood Street, North Andover,

James Joyce Ramble

Honor the literary genius of Irish author James Joyce in this run that attracts both pros and amateurs alike. This six-mile historical race started in 1984 when a Dedham resident decided that training for a race was just as hard as reading Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake.” Now, each year, the race honors a different writer and their work.

4/27, race starts at 11 a.m., cost $35, Endicott Estate, 656 East Street, Dedham,

Spring Classic 5K

The cherry blossoms are blooming, the Charles River rowers are out, and we can finally trade our giant puffy coats for light jean jackets. Celebrate another beautiful Cambridge spring with this flat-coursed 5K.

4/27, race starts at 9:30 a.m., cost $39, Asgard Irish Pub and Restaurant, 350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge,

4th Annual Run for Charlotte 

This 5K and 10K goes towards Prayers for Charlotte, an organization that raises money for Neuroblastoma research and relief. Neuroblastoma is an aggressive form of cancer which affects infants and children. This year the race has already earned nearly $100,000 for this cause.

4/27, race starts at 10:00 p.m., cost $35, Granite Grill, 703 Granite Street, Braintree,