Whether you’re a hardcore biker or curious about walking a 5k, here are 50 charity events around the globe that’ll up your mojo and tone your quads.
1. Alzheimer Association’s Memory Walk (US)
Memory Walk is the US’s largest nationwide walk to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimers.
2. Arthritis Foundation Walk (US)
Funds raised help find a cure for the most common source of disability in America. Volunteer or start a team.
3. Autism Research Walk Now for Autism Speaks (US + Canada)
Large grassroots autism fundraiser raising millions of dollars per year. Walks take place in the US and Canada.
4. Avon 2 Day Walk (US)
Walk 39 miles in two days to raise money for breast cancer screening, support and treatment. Nine cities around the US are holding the event.
5. Susan Komen 3 Day Walk (US)
Kick the walk intensity up with the Susan Komen foundation’s 3 day, 60 mile walk. Join a local group or organize your own chapter and rally around breast cancer survivors and families.
Walk to Empower commemorates and remembers breast cancer survivors and loved ones on Mother’s Day. The walk takes place in 16 cities around the US but also features a virtual walk for people in other areas.
Relay for Life raises money for cancer research, celebrates survivors, and remembers family and friends lost to cancer.
8. Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk (US)
The Great Strides Walk is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest event of the year. 2009’s nationwide walk raised $35 million dollars to support CF programs.
9. America’s Walk for Diabetes (US)
Events around the country build community and fight the disease that affects 1 out of every 16 Americans.
10. Easter Seals’ Walk with Me (US)
The Easter Seals partner walkers with an Easter Seals Ambassador, an adult or child with disabilities. Walkers meet their ambassador before the event and exchange photos and stories leading up to the event.
11. Buddy Walk (US)
Buddy Walk celebrates Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October. The walk promotes the acceptance and inclusion of people with Down’s Syndrome.
12. Walk like MADD (US)
Walks around the US benefit the cause of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
13. American Heart Walk (US)
This is the American Heart Association’s signature event. Join teams across the nation to raise awareness and funds for heart disease.
14. Aids Walk (US)
The Aids Walk of Orange County project, the National Aids Walk Directory, lists over 70 Aids walks throughout the US.
15. Walk America (US)
Walk America, the March of Dimes fundraiser, raises money for research and community programs designed to prevent birth defects, low birth weight and infant death.
Walk in over 200 locations to raise funds for juvenile diabetes research. Last year the foundation raised more than 80 million dollars for diabetes research.
17. National Kidney Foundation Walk (US)
The NKF walk’s primary purpose is to encourage people to understand the importance of early detection in kidney disease. The walk also raises funds for research and aid for kidney disease sufferers.
18. Liver Life Walk (US)
Tens of thousands of people participate every year in Liver Life Walk, the largest fundraising event for liver disease.
19. American Lung Association Lung Walk (US)
Join a Lung Walk in one of the eleven cities or start your own and raise funds for the American Lung Association.
20. Walk with Us to Cure Lupus (US)
Walk with US to Cure Lupus coordinates dozens of walks around the US. 100% of raised funds go to medical research.
21. Walk MS (US)
Join over 600 walks and hundreds of thousands of people across the US to raise funds for multiple sclerosis research.
22. MS Challenge (US)
MS Challenge is a walk-a-thon over two to three days and thirty to 50 miles. Walkers are provided with training assistance and fundraising advice. If you don’t feel like walking, MS Challenge also welcomes support volunteers.
23. Out of the Darkness Community Walks (US)
Join thousands of people across the US to raise money to fund suicide prevention programs, support families and friends affected by suicide loss, and increase national awareness about depression and suicide.
24. Bike and Build (US)
Bike and Build organizes several cross-country events to raise money to benefit affordable housing organizations planned and executed by young adults..
25. California Coast Classic (US)
525 mile, 8 day tour from San Francisco to Los Angeles in September benefitting the Arthritis Foundation
26. Ride Ataxia (US)
Ride Ataxia benefits the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance, an organization researching a cure for the debilitating neuro-muscular disorder.
27. Bike 4 Breast Cancer (US)
Bike 4 Breast Cancer coordinates local and cross-country events to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.
The Livestrong challenge hosts walking, running, and biking challenges. The challenge cities in 2010 will be Seattle, San Jose, Philadelphia, and Austin.
29. Team Hole in the Wall (US)
Team Hole in the Wall is a grassroots organization that raises funds for Hole the Wall camps, the world’s largest family of camps for children with life-threatening illnesses.
30. Ride for Change (Australia)
This is Perth, Australia’s largest mass, free bike ride to raise awareness for climate change.
31. Tour de Cure (US)
Tour de Cure is a series of cycling events across 43 US states. Over 40,000 cyclists in 2009 raised $17 million for the American Diabetes Association.
32. Aids/Life Cycle: Ride to End Aids (US)
Seven day bike ride in June through sweet California coast scenery, from San Francisco to LA. Aids/Life cycle is co-supported by the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS foundation
33. Ride to Cure Juvenile Diabetes (US)
Ride to Cure benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The program trains bikers for events across the US and supports their fundraising efforts.
34. Big Ride Across America (US)
7 weeks cycle bike ride from Seattle to Washington, D.C. to benefit American Lung Association research and advocacy.
35. Bike the US for MS (US)
Check out Matador’s own Bike the US for MS photo essay for a pictorial explanation of the team’s ride across the US to raise funds for MS research.
36. Bike MS (US)
Visit the Bike MS: National MS Society site for more than 100 easy to challenging ride around the US.
37. Rona MS Bike Tour (Canada)
Over 10,000 Canucks participate in one and two day events from June through September across Canada to raise money for MS.
38. David Phinney Foundation events (US)
The David Phinney Foundation keeps a calendar on their website of bike/walk/run events across the US that beneft Parkinson’s Disease.
39. Joints in Motion (US)
Similar to Team to End Stroke, Joints in Motion is offers a virtual training program for beginning and experienced walkers and runners. Again, if you meet their fundraising minimum, your trip is on them.
40. Race for the Cure (US)
The Susan Komen foundation’s Race for the Cure coordinates 5ks around the US to benefit breast cancer research and awareness.
41. Terry Fox Run (Canada + World)
In 1980, Terry Fox set out to run across Canada for cancer awareness. In 1977 he had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, leading to the amputation of his right leg. Beginning in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Terry Fox ran, with an artificial right leg, the equivalent of a marathon everyday for 143 days. Along the way, he became more and more celebrated and used his public platform to raise awareness for cancer. He died nine months later from the disease.
Now, Canada and other organizers around the world host an annual Terry Fox Run. For more information on the annual September Canadian run, visit the Terry Fox website.
42. Team ACS (US)
The American Cancer Society website lists a slew of runs benefitting the ACS. Check out their page to find an event in your area.
43. NDCS events (UK and World)
44. Canadian Diabetes Association Team Diabetes (Canada + World)
Team Diabetes trains walkers and runners for everything from marathons to short distances. In addition to events in Canada, there are international destinations such as Athens, Reykjavik, and Honolulu with additional hiking events in places like the Grand Canyon.
45. National Hospice Foundation Run to Remember (US)
Run to Remember is a national training program that will help volunteers pick a race, decide on a pace, and train to support hospice care.
Leukemia and Lymphoma
46. Team in Training
The Team in Training program is a huge charity sports training program benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Our own Abbie Mood has run two marathons with Team in Training.
47. Walt Disney World Marathon (US)
One of the biggest marathons in conjunction with the Team in Training program is the Walt Disney World Marathon. Yes, it’s corporate, but each year the marathon raises more than 7 million dollars for the foundation. Plus, you get to run your 26.2 miles through all four theme parks.
48. Liver Life Challenge (US)
Liver Life Challenge is another training program. LLC coordinates with the American Liver Foundation to provide training and support for half-marathon and marathon runners. Race entry is guaranteed!
49. Team to End Stroke (US)
The American Heart Association’s Team to End Stroke is a five month training program for marathon and half-marathon walkers and runners. They offer nutrition and training guidance, even paying for your trip to your chosen event if you meet the fundraising minimum.
50. Run for Water (World)
Run for Water is a series of 6K runs and walks happening in 192 countries within a 24 hour period. (Date for 2010 is April 18.) The event, which includes concerts and other activities, hopes to raise awareness for the water crisis. For more information on the water crisis, visit Matt Scott’s piece detailing 40 Shocking Facts about Water. For a little perspective, read Julie Schwietert’s article on the Kilimanjaro cake walk for clean water.
Looking for more marathons? Check out marathonrookie.com’s extensive list, organized by month.
Know of/participated in other walk/bike/run events? Share the link and any info below. Any advice for future walkers/bikers/runners?