Ready, set, go! Lace up for these 8 summer races within 2 hours of Bham

crisis center 5k
Time to bust out your running shoes. Photo via Crisis Center Inc.

Runners, joggers and walkers, get ready because Birmingham has a full calendar of summer races. From your classic 5K fundraisers to intense trail runs, there’s a race for everyone of every athletic level.

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1. Run COVID Run Challenge

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

A unique kind of race, Run COVID Run 2021 challenges runners to log 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.

If you’re looking to get started on this race, you might want to start logging miles today.

2. Sleepy Kraken Runyak

The Sleepy Kraken Runyak combines my two favorite summer activities: running and kayaking. The race is set up a little like this: run 2 miles, kayak 2 miles, run 2 miles. This duathalon is a full body workout to say the least, and the race is BYOKayak.

  • Where: 13226 Lake Lurleen Rd, Coker, AL 35452
  • When: Saturday, June 12, 8AM
  • Sign up.

3. I’m With Mike 5K

person in red shirt standing near river during daytime
Hit the trail in Homewood for this race. Photo via Gary Butterfield

Raising money for the Mike Silve Foundation to support men with prostate cancer, I’m With Mike 5K is a national 5K. Birmingham’s race will be run in Homewood this year on Father’s Day weekend. If you want to join in the fun but can’t make it to the in-person starting line, the race has a virtual option too.

According to the Mike Silve Foundation website, exercise can help lower men’s risk for prostate cancer, so this 5K is a double whammy of good things.

  • Where: Homewood, AL (location TBD)
  • When: Saturday, June 19, 8AM
  • Sign up.

4. Montevallo Flying Falcons 5K

montevallo cross country
Support Montevallo’s cross country program with this race. Photo via University of Montevallo XCTF

By athletes, for athletes. The Montevallo Flying Falcons 5K is put on and supports Montevallo’s Men Cross County program. Since the course runs around Montevallo’s lovely campus, you get your run with a view (plus it might distract you from cramps and side stitches).

  • Where: 75 College Dr, Montevallo, AL 35115
  • When: Saturday, June 19, 8AM
  • Sign up.

5. BTC Peavine Falls Run

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

The Birmingham Track Club‘s 40th annual Peavine Falls Run is back again this year on July 4. The 8.2-mile run features 6.9 miles of road running with the remainder on trails inside the scenic Oak Mountain State Park. It’s an out-and-back course on a public road, so watch out for traffic, both runners and cars and cyclists.

  • Where: 200 Terrace Drive, Pelham, AL 35124
  • When: Sunday, July 4, 6:30AM
  • Sign up.

6. Woodstock 5K

people jogging
Test yourself on the USATF certified course in historic Anniston. Photo via Quino Al

One of the most popular races in Central Alabama, the Woodstock 5K considers itself the “longest and biggest 5K” in the region (which makes me wonder how they’re measuring those five kilometers). The event is hosted by the Anniston Runners Club and has a virtual option this year. A bonus: the course is USATF certified and runs through historic Anniston.

For little ones, they can sign up for the Kidstock 1-mile run, both in-person and virtually.

  • Where: Anniston, AL (starting line TBA)
  • When: Saturday, August 7, 7AM
  • Sign up.

7. Save the O’s 5K

Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation race
Toe the line to save the O’s. Photo via Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation

Benefiting the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation, Save the O’s 5K raises money for ovarian cancer education and research. Like a lot of 2021 races, this one also offers a virtual option so you can join along wherever you are.

  • Where: 4100 Greystone Drive, Birmingham, AL US 35242
  • When: Saturday, August 21, 8AM
  • Sign up.

8. Just a Call Away 5K

5k race
Cap off the summer with a race to support local mental health services. Photo via Crisis Center Inc.

Just a Call Away 5K raises money for the Crisis Center Birmingham, a crisis intervention and prevention center that offers mental health services to Central Alabama. This annual race has moved locations this year, and will now start and finish in Patriot Park in Homewood.

  • Where: 710 Oak Grove Road, Homewood, AL US 35209
  • When: Saturday, August 28, 8AM
  • Sign up.

As you start training for these races, check out these 9 trails to train on and these 8 local running clubs to keep you motivated.

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Here at Bham Now, we love supporting nonprofits.

If you’re looking to get involved with local nonprofits, but don’t know where to start, check out our local nonprofits directory with over 160 organizations.

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Claire Hancock
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