9 Birmingham races you need to run this spring

birmingham race ronald mcdonald house charities of alabama red shoe 5k
Who else is excited for spring runs and races? Photo via Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama

As spring comes full-fledged to Birmingham, we’re all wanting to get outside more. Check out these nine upcoming Birmingham races that are the perfect way to enjoy this wonderful weather, whether you’re a casual 5k-er to the next Shalane Flanagan or Steve Prefontaine.

Lace up and start stretching—we’ve got some races to run, Birmingham.

1. Rumpshaker 5k

Woman runner
Running for a cause. Photo via Rumpshaker 5K

The 13th annual Rumpshaker 5k will be a little different this year with virtual and in-person race options, but it’s still on to raise money for colorectal cancer education, treatment and survivor support. You can sign up individually or with a team to raise money for this important cause.

  • Where: 1830 29th Ave S, Homewood, AL US 35209
  • When: March 27, 8AM
  • Sign up: http://www.rumpshaker5k.com/home.html

2. BTC Ellis Porch Statue to Statue 15k

birmingham track club race run
This year’s starting lines might not look like this, but BTC still has plenty of opportunities to race in 2021. Photo via Birmingham Track Club Facebook

For the uninitiated, BTC stands for the Birmingham Track Club—our local running organization that hosts races and weekly running groups. Branded as the “South’s Toughest 15k,” the 29th Ellis Porch Statue to Statue is moving locations to Oak Mountain State Park this year.

  • Where: Discover Shelby Pavilion on Terrace Drive in Oak Mountain State Park
  • When: April 3, 7AM
  • Sign up: https://runsignup.com/Race/AL/Birmingham/StatuetoStatue15K

3. Freshwater Land Trust Half Marathon

trails running freshwater land trust birmingham race
Let’s hit those trails. Photo via Freshwater Land Trust.

The Freshwater Land Trust protects several trail systems in Alabama, including the Black Creek Park trails. The race will raise money for the Land Trust to help the continued recovery effort in the Fultondale area. This race offers a half marathon and 5k options, so everyone can participate.

  • Where: 777 Yarbrough Road, Fultondale, AL US 35068
  • When: April 10, 7AM
  • Sign up: https://runsignup.com/Race/AL/Fultondale/FultondaleHalfMarathon

4. Hand in Paw’s Virtual Mutt Strut

hand in paw mutt strut birmingham race
Lace and leash up for this year’s Mutt Strut. Photo via Hand in Paw and Deborah Michelle Photography

This year the 11th annual Mutt Strut will be held virtually this year, with a 5k and 1-mile fun run option. The race will raise money for Hand in Paw, a local charity that focuses on animal therapy. So grab your favorite furry running buddy and hit the trail nearest you.

  • Where: Wherever you are!
  • When: April 17, any time of day that suits you.
  • Sign up: https://www.classy.org/event/mutt-strut-2021/e262416?c_src=PopUp

5. UAB National Alumni Society Scholarship Run

UAB scholarship run birmingham race
A bonus of signing up for Birmingham races? They all come with pretty cool swag like this from UAB’s NAS Scholarship Run. Photo via UAB National Alumni Society Scholarship Run

Going on 15 years of fundraising, the UAB National Alumni Society Scholarship Run supports scholarships at UAB. This year, the run will be entirely virtual, hosted over the course of a weekend instead of a single day.

  • Where: Wherever you and your shoes are.
  • When: April 23-26
  • Sign up: https://alumni.uab.edu/s/1881/alumni19/interior.aspxsid=1881&gid=2&pgid=1738&content_id=2508

6. Red Shoe Run Rockin’ 5K

ronald mcdonald house charities red shoe run birmingham race
This is the kind of energy I’m bringing to 2021 races. Photo via Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama

Raising funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama, the 17th annual Red Shoe Run will have a socially distanced in-person starting line and a virtual option. The race will feature a 5K and 1-mile run option so everyone can enjoy the run.

7. Motherwalk 5K

Birmingham, Vulcan 10K, fundraising walks, fundraising runs, marathons
Are you ready to run? Photo via Birmingham Track Club on Facebook

To celebrate Mother’s Day and raise money for the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation, the Motherwalk 5K will feature a limited in-person option and virtual option for this year’s race. The in-person race is limited to 500 people, so sign up now if you want to be on the starting line May 8.

  • Where: 1632 Oxmoor Rd, Homewood, AL 35209
  • When: May 8, 8AM
  • Sign up: https://runsignup.com/Race/AL/Birmingham/Motherwalk5K

8. Race for the Grace Place

the grace place run 5k
Register for the Race for The Grace Place now. Photo via The Grace Place

The sixth annual Race for the Grace Place raises money to provide food, clothing, hygiene items and other resources for those in need in the Bessemer area. You can sign up individually or as a team to raise money for The Grace Place.

  • Where: 1630 Powder Plant Rd, Bessemer, AL 35022
  • When: May 15, 8AM
  • Sign up: https://www.thegraceplaceonline.com/race

9. Run COVID Run Challenge

BHM26.2 birmingham race covid challenge
This spring, the BHM26.2 finish line looks a little different. Photo via BHM26.2

A little different kind of race, Run COVID Run 2021 challenges runners to log a 262 miles from March 21-June 21. Sponsored by BHM26.2, the 83-day race can be split into a 5K a day or however else you like to carve up your weekly mileage.

  • Where: Anywhere!
  • When: March 21-June 21, but daily runs are on your own
  • Sign up and start logging miles: https://runsignup.com/Race/AL/Birmingham/RUNCOVIDRUNchallenge

If you need a place to run one of the virtual races listed here, or if you want somewhere to train, check out these great spring running trails from Bham Now. Want to get to know the local running scene a little better? Read this Bham Now story on ultrarunning in Birmingham.

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Claire Hancock
Claire Hancock
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