25 Fun Road Races to Run This Year

Lace up your sneakers.


Marine Corps Run/Photo provided

Don’t pound the pavement alone this spring and summer. We found 22 fun road races you should add to your to-do list.


Boston Marine Corps Honor 5K: Though many runners will be part of ROTC, law enforcement, or the military, this 5K is for everyone. Just bring your sneakers.

$15 for military and ROTC, $35 for individuals, 5/6, 9 a.m. DCR Carson’s Beach, 125 Day Blvd., Boston, active.com.


Walk for Hunger / Photo by David Leifer

Walk for Hunger & 5K: Take part in a 20-mile walk or 3.1-mile run. Both events support more than 300 local hunger relief organizations, including food pantries, meal delivery programs, and more.

Free to walk, $35 to run, 5/7, 7 a.m. Boston Common, projectbread.org

Race 4 Research 5K: At this four-mile walk and run along the Charles, costumes are encouraged and post-race beer will be flowing. All proceeds go to the ALS Therapy Development Institute in Cambridge.

$40 and suggested $100 fundraising contribution, 5/7, 8:30 a.m. Technology Square Courtyard, 300 Technology Square, Cambridge, r4r.als.net.

Run for Recovery 5K: This loop through Franklin Park isn’t just a way to get your heart pumping—it’s also a tribute to those who have lose their lives to addiction.

$35, 5/7, 9 a.m. Franklin park, Pierpont Road, Boston, bostonbulldogsrunning.com.

Mr. K’s Color Fun Run: Get doused with color as you run along this untimed 5K route. The race raises money for the Mr. K scholarship, which helps fund kids’ trips to the Michigan Summer Leadership Camp.

$25, 5/13, 9 a.m. Franklin High School, 218 Oak St., Franklin, eventbrite.com

Water for People 5K: This course boasts such scenic views of the Boston Harbor, you won’t even realize you’ve completed 3.1 miles. Proceeds benefit Water for People.

$30, 5/13, 10 a.m. Deer Island, 190 Tafts Ave., Winthrop, eventbrite.com.

Stonyfield 5K: This day of family fun at the Stonyfield Yogurt headquarters includes a 5K run/walk, followed by an obstacle course, a free fair with more than 70 vendors, live music, and beer.

$35, 5/13, 10 a.m. Stonyfield, 10 Burton Dr., Londonderry, New Hampshire, stonyfield5k.com

Esplanade 5K Sunset Run: Enjoy Boston’s beautiful skyline with a sunset jaunt along the Esplanade. Proceeds go to the Esplanade Association. Dogs can participate, too.

$50, 5/18, 6:30 p.m. Charles River Esplanade, Fiedler Field, racemenu.com.

Bubble Run Boston: You’ll want to wear white to this race, where you’ll be covered in colored foam that will make you feel like you’re in Willy Wonka’s Bubble Room. All levels are welcome.

$50, 5/20, 8 a.m. Brockton Fairgrounds, 600 Belmont St., Brockton, bubblerun.com.

that's a lot of pink people. Photo provided.

Color Me Rad/Photo provided.


Girls on the Run: At this end-of-the-season event, 570+ girls from 3rd through 8th grade will take to the streets for a 5k that supports Girls on the Run. Plus, never run alone — each girl gets a running buddy.

$25+, 6/3, 9 a.m. Hopkinton High School, 90 Hayden Rowe St., Hopkinton, girlsontherunboston.org.

Freedom Run: This 5K winds through East Cambridge and is followed by a party sponsored by Notch, Slumbrew, and Bantam Cider.

$40+, 6/4, 9:30 a.m. CambridgeSide, cambridge5k.com.

Spectacle Island 5K: Trade your usual running route for a 5K around Spectacle Island. A half-mile race is also available for kids, and there will be music and a picnic lunch for everyone.

$45, 6/10, 8:30 a.m. Meet at Boston Harbor Island National State Park, 191 W Atlantic Ave., Boston, eventbrite.com.

The Color Run 5K: This race calls itself “the happiest 5K on the planet.” The colorful event also includes a foam zone, inflatable unicorns, and plenty of fun.

$50, 6/11, 10 a.m. Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, thecolorrun.com.

Color Me Rad: You’ll see the rainbow—and wear the rainbow—at this 5K that douses you in pink, yellow, green, blue, and violet color powder. Plus, you’ll get a free t-shirt, sunglasses, and a temporary tattoo.

$35, 6/17, 9 a.m. 440 Belmont St., Brockton, eventbrite.com

Color Vibe 5K: Catch this colorful race’s Good Vibes tour this summer. The Burlington 5K lets kids under 12 run for free, and will donate a portion of the day’s proceeds to the Burlington Education Foundation.

$65, 6/25, 8 a.m. 75 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington, thecolorvibe.com.


B.A.A. photo by Tom Cole on Flickr/Creative Commons

BAA 10K: Want to feel like you ran the Boston Marathon? This Boston Athletic Association-sponsored 10K through the Back Bay is the next best thing.

$65, 6/25, 8 a.m. Boston Common, baa.org.

Will Run for Beer 5K: Trek up to New Hampshire for this 3.1-mile run, which ends back at the Smuttynose brewery for beers, food, and live music.

$30, 6/25, 9:30 a.m. Smuttynose Brewery, 105 Towle Farm Road, Hampton, New Hampshire, smuttynose5k.com.


Dedham Four on the 4th: Proceeds from this four-mile road race benefit osteosarcoma research and the Sally Naser Charitable Foundation. Bonus: It’ll burn off your cookout hot dogs.

$30, 7/4, 9 a.m. 177 Rustcraft Road, Dedham, runreg.com.

Freedom Fights 5K: Proceeds from this 5K run/walk benefit a care package program that sends boxes of comfort food, toiletries, and treats to soldiers overseas.

$25, 7/9, 10 a.m. Winthrop High School, 400 Main St., Winthrop, risingreg.com.

Dash and Splash 5K: This 5K through the streets of Peabody ends at the YMCA, where runners can cool off with a dip in the pool. All proceeds benefit the Torigian Family YMCA Annual Fund, which makes sure no one in the community is turned away.

$25, 7/13, 6:30 p.m. Torigian Family YMCA, 259 Lynnfield St., Peabody, active.com.

Run to Home Base: Runners can choose a 2.5-mile walk, a 5K, or a 9K during this fun run that starts at Yawkey Way and finishes at Fenway Park’s home plate. Proceeds fund clinical care for 9/11 vets.

$25 registration and additional fundraising requirements, 7/15, 8 a.m. Yawkey Way, Boston, runtohomebase.org.

Franciscan Children’s Road Race: Children can walk, run, or wheel the course while runners jog three or six miles to raise money for Franciscan Children’s. Post-jaunt, participants can enjoy concessions, music, and more.

$250 fundraising minimum, 7/15, 9 a.m. Millennium Park, 300 Gardner St., West Roxbury, franciscanchildrens.org.

Mystic River 5K: This 3.1-mile fun run takes runners around the Mystic River Reservation for a scenic jog. If you’re feeling ambitious, upgrade to the five-mile run.

$28+, 7/23,  7:30 a.m. Mystic River Reservation, 261 Riverside Ave., Medford, bostonroadrunners.org.


Race to the Row: Whether you want to sprint the Fast Mile or pace yourself with a 5K, you’ll finish up with a post-race party packed with food, drinks, and beer from local businesses.

$20+, 8/20, 9 a.m. Assembly Square, 275 Foley St., Somerville, eventbrite.com.

New Balance Falmouth Race: It’s the 45th running of this seven-mile race, which travels through winding, shaded roads before leading you to a view of the Martha’s Vineyard Sound and ending with a downhill dip to the finish line. Registration closes May 17.

$70, 8/20, 9 a.m. Woods Hole Community Center, 68 Water St., Woods Hole, falmouthroadrace.com.


Foam Fest: At this obstacle course, you’ll clear more than 20 hurdles including mud pits, a waterslide, and 2.5 million cubic feet of foam. You’re sure to leave messy, tired, and happy.

$48+, 9/16, 8 a.m. Kimball Farms, 791 E Broadway, Haverhill, the5kfoamfest.com.


Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list as more races are announced.