Race for a Cause: 52 Upcoming Charity Runs in the Midwest

This late summer/early fall season we’re entering is such a great time in our part of the country. Most of the hottest summer heat has burned off, the nights start to get cool, and you can smell a change of seasons in the air.

Sounds like good running weather.

Charity Runs in the Midwest

Below are 52 charity runs taking place throughout the Midwest in September. Here is your chance to do a bit of good while you maintain your own health. Forgive us for skewing this list heavily toward Chicagoland — it’s the area we know best.



Race Judicata, Chicago, September 4
Proceeds from this 5K run/walk will go to Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, which helps provide equal access to justice to those in need.

GLASA Twilight 5K, Lake Forest, September 6
Proceeds from the 7th annual GLASA Twilight race will go to the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association, which provides sports and recreational programs to youth, adults and injured military personnel with physical disabilities.

DuPagePads Run/Walk 5K & 10K, Wheaton, September 6
Proceeds from the 10th annual run/walk will go to DuPagePads, an organization that seeks to end homelessness in DuPage County, Illinois.

5K Run/ 3K Walk for Prostate Cancer Awareness, Westmont, September 7
Proceeds from the 4th annual event will go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago.

Respond Now 5K Run/Walk For Hunger, Chicago Heights, September 13
Proceeds from the run/walk go to Respond Now, a United Way organization that has helped families and individuals in need in Chicago for more than 43 years.

Lung Run 5K & 10K, Chicago, September 13
Proceeds from the run along Montrose Harbor will go to Uniting Against Lung Cancer, an organization that raises funds and awareness for researchers who are looking for a cure for lung cancer.

Great West Suburban Run for Recovery, Aurora, September 13
Proceeds from this 10K run & 5K run/walk go to benefit Breaking Free, an organization that helps families cope with challenges such as child abuse and substance abuse.

OCSA 5K Dog Walk and Fun Run, St. Charles, September 14
This event is hosted by Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness, an organization that seeks to educate women and men about ovarian cancer.

 Charity Runs

SEA Blue Prostate Cancer Run/Walk, Chicago, September 14
Proceeds for the 10th annual 5K run / 3K walk in Lincoln Park will go to Us TOO International and Wellness Place, both of which provide services to prostate cancer survivors and their families.

Oktoberfest 5K Run/Walk, Chicago, September 18
Proceeds from the 4th annual run/walk will go to St. Michael in Old Town Parish. Wearing lederhosen and other traditional German gear is highly encouraged.

Lawndale 5K, Chicago, September 20
Proceeds from this run/walk/baby crawl go to benefit the Lawndale Christian Fitness Center’s MEND fitness and education program from kids.

Run the Shores, Lake Barrington, September 20
Proceeds from this 5K will go toward a the Cuba Township Food Pantry.

Run! Forest Run!, Aurora, September 20
Proceeds from this 10K & 5K run/walk, plus children’s 1K run, will go to benefit the USO of Illinois and the Wounded Warrior Project.

JCYS 5K Run/Walk & Kid’s Fun Run, Ingleside, September 21
Proceeds from the event will go toward the purchase of adaptable equipment for the Jewish Council of Youth Services’ Camp Red Leaf.

Firehouse 5K, Glenview, September 21
Proceeds from the Glenview Firefighters’ 3rd annual charity 5K will go toward the various charities it supports, including Camp I Am Me, a summer camp for young burn survivors; the Muscular Dystrophy Association; and Youth Services of Glenview & Northbrook, which works to improve the mental health, character development and physical well-being of children and families in the Glenview, Northbrook and Northfield Township communities.

Harvest Hustle 5K, Geneva, September 27
Proceeds from the event will go toward the Geneva Park District Scholarship Fund.

Our Fallen Hero 5K Run/Walk, Mokena, September 27
This event is in honor of Mokena native PFC Aaron Toppen. Proceeds will go to the Pat Tillman Foundation, which provides academic support to veterans, active duty service members and their spouses.


Runnin’ For Prestin and All Kids, Michigan City, September 13
Proceeds from this 5K will go to the Pediatric Cancer Research at Riley’s Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Heart Walk and 5K Run, Indianapolis, September 13
The American Heart Association is hosting a 5K run/walk to raise money for its efforts.

Miriam Project Run/Walk, Anderson, September 13
Christian adoption agency The Miriam Project will host its 12th annual 5K run/walk and 10K run, its biggest annual fundraiser.

Purdue Dog Jog, West Lafayette, September 13
Proceeds from the 5K/10K run/walk will go to benefit the PetSafe Program, a short-term housing program provided by Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Beyond the Badge 5K, Indianapolis, September 21
Proceeds from this event will benefit the Jason M. Baker Public Safety Scholarships, which are awarded to students pursuing a college education in preparation for a career public safety.



Run With Carl, Bettendorf, September 1
The 20th annual, and final, 5-mile run, 5K walk/run, 1-mile children’s fun run and half-mile children’s fun run will be held Labor Day weekend to raise funds for the Carl D. Schillig Memorial Fund, which provides scholarships to graduates of Pleasant Valley High School.

Superhero Heart Run, Des Moines, September 7 & Omaha, Nebraska, September 14
Proceeds from this event will go to benefit Heart Heroes, which provides support and comfort to children and families affected by congenital heart defects.

180 for Haiti 5K, Iowa City, September 7
Proceeds from this 5K will go to benefit the efforts of Community Health Initiative’s Iowa Chapter, which seeks to provide health care in rural Haiti.

Kickoff 2 Kinnick 5K Run/Walk, Iowa City, September 20
Proceeds from this race, which finishes on the field of Kinnick Stadium, will go to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

Flapjack 5K/10K, Des Moines, September 21
The organization Children’s Cancer Connection will host its 4th annual fundraising run at Water Works Park.



9/11 Heroes Run, Saginaw, September 6
Proceeds from this 5K/400M fun run will go to the Travis Manion Foundation and Team RWB, two organizations that assist veterans, servicemembers and their families.

Colors of Cancer 5K, Ypsilanti, September 13
All of the proceeds from this very colorful 5K will go to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Grand Rapids AIDS Walk + Run, Grand Rapids, September 13
Proceeds from this 5K walk/run go to support the Grand Rapids Red Project, which is dedicated to improving health, reducing risk, and preventing HIV.

Tara Grant Walk & Run, Mt. Clemens, September 13
Proceeds from this event will go to support services provided by  
Turning Point, Inc., a non-profit organization that seeks to end domestic and sexual violence.

Run 4 Reading, Grand Rapids, September 25
Proceeds from this 5K run will go toward West Side Christian School’s library.



Shatter the Silence 5K Run/Walk, Plymouth, September 7
This event is hosted by the Christopher Benz Foundation, an organization that seeks to prevent teenage suicide through education and by providing resources to schools.

Carver-Scott Humane Society Walk/Run For Love, Shakopee, September 13
This is the 25th anniversary year for the local humane society’s 5K fundraiser.

Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Trail Run, Plymouth, September 13
The Lupus Foundation of Minnesota will host its 17th annual walk/run fundraiser at French Regional Park.

Ray’s Run 5K, Maple Grove, September 13
All proceeds from this event go to support SIDS research, to raise awareness and to support families who have lost children to SIDS.

Run Walk Roll, Bloomington, September 20
All proceeds from this 4-mile run/2-mile walk and roll will go to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. October is National Bullying Prevention month, the race will raise awareness and funds to prevent bullying.



Billiken 5K, St. Louis, September 1
Saint Louis University is hosting a Labor Day 5K to raise funds for the university’s Cancer Center.

Superhero Run, St. Louis, September 6
The CHADS (Communities Healing Adolescent Depression and Suicide) Coalition is hosting a 10K run, 5K run and 1-mile walk. Proceeds will go toward bullying prevention and suicide prevention.

Making Conversations Happen 5K, St. Louis, September 14
This 5K run/walk is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Central Institute for the Deaf.

Grant’s Cause, Greenwood, September 20
This 5K run/walk will help raise awareness for spina bifida as well as support families who are affected by spina bifida. By the way,  
this is Grant.

Hopkins, Skip and Run 5K, Kansas City, September 20
Proceeds from this event will go toward the Nelson Hopkins Jr. Scholarship Fund, named in honor of a young man who was the victim of a drive-by shooting in 2009.



Rock & Run United 5K, Toledo, September 7
The Toledo United Way is hosting its Rock & Run United 5K. The United Way is a multidimensional charity that “brings together people, companies and nonprofits to create positive change in our community.”

Downtown Willoughby 5K, Willoughby, September 14
Proceeds from the 2nd annual 5K will go to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation for Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Last year’s race raised $29,500.

Green Cathedral Half Marathon, 5K and Fun Run, Youngstown, September 14
Proceeds from the event will go to the Wick Recreational Area Children’s Play Area.

March of Dimes Night Moves, Columbus, September 19
Proceeds from this 34th annual race through downtown Columbus will go to benefit the March of Dimes, whose research and programs seek to prevent infant mortality, birth defects and premature birth.

5K for K9s, Delaware, September 20
All of the money raised at this 5K will go directly to helping sick and injured dogs at the Franklin County Dog Shelter.



Trot For Troops 5K, West Bend, September 6
All of the proceeds raised at this event will go to organizations that support the four aviation units based out of West Bend.

Brigg’s & Al’s Run & Walk, Milwaukee, September 13
Proceeds from this 8K run, 5-mile walk and 3-mile walk will go to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Carbone’s Race for Research 5K Run/Walk, Madison, September 13
Proceeds from this event will go to support ongoing cancer research pilot projects at UW Carbone Cancer Center. Also, the top fundraiser will win round-trip airline tickets.

Discover Whitewater Series, Whitewater, September 21
Proceeds from this half marathon, 5K and Fit Kid Shuffle will go to Working for Whitewater’s Wellness, a coalition that promotes wellness within a community context; the Bethel House, which provides temporary housing for homeless families with children; University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Athletics; the Whitewater Aquatic Center; and the Whitewater Unified School District.

Affinity Medical Group Orthopedics & Sports Medicine 5K Run/Walk, Menasha, September 21
From every adult participant’s fee, race organizers will donate $5 to the St. Elizabeth Hospital Cancer Fund to support cancer services for area patients.

images by:
Timothy Takemoto / Flickr
Fqueenrania / Flickr