Athletic events such as 5Ks, 10Ks and even triathlons are one of the most popular ways non-profit organizations fundraise and connect with the community. Events serve as an opportunity to bring a new audience and new donors into the fold while providing an enjoyable participant experience due to their low-key, non-competitive atmosphere. They generally feature activities the whole family can enjoy, and it feels good to know your registration fees are going to a good cause. Here in Colorado, there are plenty of charity races to choose from, and we’ve gathered several of our favorites for you.

Superhero 5k Run/Walk and Family Carnival: Greeley, CO

Benefits: A Kid’s Place, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and Child Advocacy Center Programs

For a day the entire family can enjoy, the Superhero 5K Run/Walk and Family Carnival is an excellent choice. The event hosts a 5K race, 1-Mile race and a free Kids’ Fun Run so the little ones can channel the excitement the race atmosphere creates. The party afterwards features traditional carnival games, face painting and music.

Highlands Ranch Half: Denver, CO

Benefits: Children’s Hospital Colorado

This course is scenic and challenging, featuring a 1,000-foot vertical descent that makes this race one of the fastest half marathon courses in the Denver Metro area. But that doesn’t make it easy by any stretch; the final 1.5 miles are uphill so you’ll need your stamina til’ the very end.

Relay for Life: Denver, CO

Benefits: American Cancer Society

Cancer doesn’t rest is the motto of this very popular series, and the passionate participants don’t rest either when it comes to raising funds for this organization. The American Cancer Society raises a majority of individual donations through grassroots events like this one where relay teams walk (and sometimes run) on a track for an average of 12 hours. Meanwhile, activities like live music, hula hoop contests, karaoke and event speakers keep participants engaged and inspired.

Race for the Cure: Denver, CO

Benefits: Susan G. Komen Colorado

It’s hard to find a bigger charity event in Denver than the Race for the Cure.  More than 20,000 walkers and runners participate in the 5K, raising more than $500,000 for breast health and breast cancer services to underserved Colorado communities.

MuckFest MS: Parker, CO

Benefits: Multiple Sclerosis Society

Who doesn’t love an excuse to get muddy? Break out from the usual 5K, gather a group of friends and sign up for this 5K mud obstacle course. You won’t be pushing for your best time, but the course will definitely test your endurance and provide lots of slippery fun!

Free to Breathe Lung Cancer 5k: Denver, CO

Benefits: Free to Breathe

The mission of Free to Breathe is to ensure that surviving lung cancer is the expectation, not the exception. This 5K runs through the perimeter of historic Washington Park in Denver. Beautiful gardens and lakes sprinkle the landscape along the route, and participants are encouraged to bring photos and mementos to fill the honor/memory garden at the event.

Your Cause Sports Triathlon: Boulder, CO

Benefits: Any cause you choose

The Boulder Sunrise and The Boulder Sunset Races have become two of the most popular in this triathlon mecca. The events offer sprint, olympic and duathlon distances and 5K and 10K runs so the whole family can participate. Each participant can raise funds for the nonprofit of their choice with all funds going directly to their cause. Simple tools make it easy to set up fundraising pages, but there is no minimum amount that must be raised to participate.

Tour de Cure Colorado: Parker, CO

Benefits: American Diabetes Association

Walk, run or cycle and choose from distances ranging from 5K up to 100 miles. This is the American Diabetes Association’s signature fundraising event, so no matter what you choose, you will be required to raise a minimum of $200. Part of the fun is competing against other corporate and family teams to raise the most money.


  1. I love the idea to find a charity run that involves both running and cycling. I’ve been wanting to get in better shape, but I can’t seem to get motivated. Maybe I would be better off if I happen to set a goal to run a charitable race.


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