Whether for sport, charity, or strictly for fun, taking part in a race is a great way to get some needed exercise and make new friends in the process. Standing at the starting line with other runners often produces an adrenaline rush and crossing the finish line before anyone else brings with it the sweet feeling of victory. Races can also be tied to charity and serve as fundraisers for important causes, bringing people together in a spirit of fitness and giving. These five races in the greater Houston area are sure to elevate your pulse and encourage social interaction:
Keller Williams Premier 5k
Villages of Villagio Townhomes
22762 Westheimer Parkway
Katy, TX 77450
(281) 220-2100

Date: May 30, 2016 8:00 a.m.

KellerWIlliams Premier 5k, hosted by the real estate company, is now in its third year. Runners meet in the parking lot at Villages of Villagio Townhomes, on the corner of Peek Road and Westheimer Parkway, and can either run or walk the length of the course. Charity is a major part of this family event and proceeds from this race benefit Cinco Charities. It’s a great event for families, friends, and anyone else who wants to run in support of an important cause.

Color Fun Fest
Sam Houston Race Park
7575 North Sam Houston Parkway
Houston, TX 77064
(281) 807-8700

Date: June 4, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

Sam Houston Race Park is known for horse racing but it will host a race of a different sort on June 4 when the Color Fun Fest takes place. This family oriented fest is all about colors and runners are asked to wear white shirts and prepare to be showered with colors as they run. Kids age 12 and under are admitted free with a paying adult and everyone is treated to a carnival-style party at the race’s conclusion. There is even a second race at 8:30 p.m. for those who prefer to run under the light of the stars.

Run Houston! Clear Lake
University of Houston Clear Lake
2700 Bay Area Blvd.
Houston, TX 77058
(281) 283-7600

Date: June 5, 2016 at 7 a.m.

Hosted by Athlete Path, Run Houston is an event designed to benefit charity and runners get to select a non-profit of their choosing as the recipient of fundraising efforts. There are three race options: 5k, 10k, and a 1k kids run so everyone in the family can get involved. There is even a virtual race option for those who would rather race from home and Run Houston will reward $2,500 dollars to the top 10 fundraisers to give to their charity of choice.

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Dad’s Day 5k
Downtown Houston
550 Prairie St.
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 623-4772

Date: June 18, 2016 at 8 a.m.

Dads deserve a day of recognition for all that they do and the Dad’s Day 5k is the perfect way to honor your dad with a race and fundraiser. This run takes place in downtown Houston and in keeping with the emphasis on dads, all proceeds will benefit prostate cancer education and awareness. Runners can select among three different course lengths, including 1K, 3K, and 5K with male and female winners awarded based on the fastest times at the conclusion of the 5K run. Dad’s Day 5k will also honor three prostate cancer survivors as part of the 9 a.m. awards ceremony.

Run for Wellness 5k
Freedom Park
18050 Westheimer Parkway
Houston, TX 77082
(832) 387-5348

Date: June 26, 2016 at 7 a.m.

The Houston Wellness Project hosts this early summer race which takes place on the trails surrounding Freedom Park. The race is 5k in length and runners can time themselves, if they wish, or just run or walk along at a leisurely, non- competitive pace. The Houston Wellness Project encourages everyone to take part in this race and they make it easily affordable, as it is one of the few races that does not require a registration fee. It’s a great way to add some physical fitness to your Sunday morning without fee or fundraising worries.

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Bryan Carey is a Houston, Texas resident with an avid interest in restaurants, dining, breweries, wineries, festivals, cultural events, museums, theatre, concerts, and other forms of entertainment. He has been writing about entertainment, travel, and related topics for more than fifteen years and has thousands of articles to his credit. His work can be found at Examiner.com.