Philly Races for New Runners: 10 Best 5Ks, Trail Runs and More This Fall

A happy finisher at the Boxers' Trail 5K | Photo by Charles Bouril

A happy finisher at the Boxers’ Trail 5K | Photo by Charles Bouril

Okay, so you’ve printed out our Couch to 5K Philly Style training plan, taped it to your mirror and, by gum, you’re going to become a runner if it’s the last thing you do. Good for you! Soooo … now what?

It’s time to pick a goal race to help you stick with your training plan — that’s what. The good news is, there are plenty of awesome races in Philly and beyond. In fact, we went ahead — with input from local runners — and picked some of the best upcoming runs in the region to help you get moving.

From wine-fueled 5Ks to scenic trail runs, check out our top picks for fall runs for newbie runners. 

Run the Vineyards – Destination Enoteca
When: Sunday, October 11th.
Where: Auburn Road Winery, 117 Sharptown, Pilesgrove.
What: This race, a new addition to the popular Run the Vineyards series, takes place about 40 minutes from Philly. The off-road trail run is mostly flat and meanders through the New Jersey countryside. At the finish line, expect a great post-race party with free wine and live music.

Rescue Run 5K
When: Saturday, October 3rd.
Where: Philadelphia Navy Yard, 4747 South Broad Street, South Philly.
What: This third annual run benefits the Monster Milers, volunteer runners who exercise Philly shelter dogs by taking them on runs through the city. Best part about this race? There are adorable, adoptable pups at the finish line.

Dan’s Down Dog & Dash
When: Sunday, October 4th.
Where: Clem Macrone Park, 810 Conestoga Road, Bryn Mawr.
What: You’ll start your day with outdoor yoga at 8 a.m., then hit the ground running for a 5K at 9. Consider it a super fun two-for-one workout.

When: Sunday, October 4th.
Where: Penn Park, 3100 Walnut Street, West Philly.
What: You’ll run through pretty Penn Park for this 5K benefitting XPN’s Music On Call program. The run ends with a post-run dance party at World Cafe Live.

Runner’s World 5K
When: Saturday, October 17th.
Where: Bethlehem, PA.
What: This 5K and running festival is the best way to get jazzed about running. You’ll be surrounded by runners of all ability levels and have a chance to learn more about the sport from the people who know it best: the folks at Runner’s World. Be sure to stick around for the health and fitness expo, where there are tons of speakers and vendors to keep you busy.

Bark in the Park
When: Saturday, October 24th.
Where: Rose Tree Park, 1671 North Providence Road, Media.
What: Can you tell we love dogs here at Be Well Philly? This race is for both humans and pups, and features finishers’ prizes for runners of both species. Note: The park is rather hilly, so you’ll want to be in good shape for some inclines. The post-race festival features food trucks, music, contests and more. The run benefits the Delaware County SPCA.

Boxers’ Trail 5K
When: Saturday, September 12th.
Where: 2140 North 33rd Street, East Fairmount Park.
What: You’ll explore the wooded trails of East Fairmount Park for this one — the very trails heavyweight boxer Joe Frazier trained on. Proceeds benefit East Fairmount Park and Mander Recreation Center.

Bobtoberfest 4-miler
When: Saturday, October 10th.
Where: Schuylkill River Trail, starting at Lloyd Hall.
What: At this German-themed Oktoberfest race, staffers dress up in festive German garb, and you’re encouraged to do the same. You’ll run two miles out and two miles back on this flat course. Post-race festivities (with German food and drink, of course) will happen at Bachelors Barge Club on Boathouse Row.

Freedom 5K Run
When: Saturday, October 3rd.
Where: Starts at Washington Square Park, 7th and Walnut.
What: Calling all history buffs! At this race around Independence Hall, you’ll decide whether to run as a Loyalist or Patriot. Colonial costumes are more than encouraged. This race benefits Independence National Historical Park.

Run4UrLife 3K
When: Thursday, October 29th.
Where: West Laurel Hill Cemetery, 215 Belmont Avenue, Bala Cynwyd.
What: What better way to get you in the mood for Halloween than a spooky run through West Laurel Hill Cemetery — at sundown, no less? You’ll encounter ghosts, ghouls and other scary creatures throughout the course. Proceeds from the run benefit MANNA.

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