Spring into action and support a great cause by participating in a San Diego race. Whether you’re a beginner attempting your first 5k, or a seasoned athlete striving to set a new 10k record, our city is full of fun and challenging charity races with options for every fitness level.
Upcoming events range from the Finish Chelsea’s Run 5k in Balboa Park, to the St. Patrick’s Day 10k along Mission Bay, the San Diego Mud Run in Rancho, and the ultra-sweet Hot Chocolate 15k in East Village. These races will whip you into shape and prepare you for the intense events coming this summer, including the Safari Park Half Marathon at the San Diego Zoo and VAVi’s Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge.
Ready, Set, Go: Discover the best races coming to San Diego this spring.
Finish Chelsea’s Run 5k – Saturday, March 3
We have the opportunity to honor Chelsea King and raise funds for Chelsea’s Light Foundation Sunflower Scholarship Fund during this annual family-friendly 5k walk / run and health expo. Now in its second year, the Finish Chelsea’s Run weaves through the west side of Balboa Park starting at 7:30am. After the run, participants can enjoy a health-focused festival with “Chelsea-esque” activities, including a yoga booth, organic produce booth, group photo area and a sunflower pot painting station for children. Registration pricing starts at $35 for adults and $20 for children. Learn more and sign-up at chelseaslight.org
St. Patrick’s Day 10k Run + 2 & 4 Mile Run / Walk – Saturday, March 17
Before you break open the whiskey, shed some calories for a cause during the 32nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day 10k Run + 2 & 4 Mile Run / Walk event taking place at Mission Bay Park. While race options for all fitness levels and an abundance of beer, this event is bound to be a blast. Perks include a costume contest with a special Irish award for the best Irish themed running costume, a t-shirt for all participants, and an after-party with hosted Domino’s pizza and local craft beer from Stone Brewing Co. and Ballast Point. You can also try your Irish luck to win raffle prizes, like sports merchandise and dinners for two. The race begins at 7:45am, and registration fees vary, starting at $33 for 10k and $25 for 2 & 4 mile, with proceeds to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital. Learn more and sign-up at kathyloperevents.com
Girls on the Go 10k & 5k – Sunday, March 18
Attention ladies, this one was designed just for you. Girls on the Go is a 10k and 5k race along a coastal course in Del Mar that coincides with the two-day Head to Toe Women’s Expo at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. At the finish line, participants will be treated to champagne, a girly medal and t-shirt, and admission to the Expo, which offers shopping, beauty touch-ups, chef demos, health screening, live music and more. The race begins at 7:30am, with registration pricing starting at $30 for the 5k and $50 for the 10k, with proceeds to support literacy. Learn more and sign-up at girlsonthegorun.com
San Diego Mud Run 5k – Saturday, March 24
The San Diego Mud Run returns this spring, daring locals to a challenging and oh-so-dirty 5k run complicated by hills, obstacles, tunnel crawls and 4 ft. walls covered in slippery mud. Fancy designer gym attire is not recommended, but crazy team costumes are encouraged. Prior to the race, there will be a costume contest on the main stage. This Mud Run is a family-friendly event with proceeds to benefit the children of Sonshine Haven and USO San Diego. The race begins at 10am on the grounds of Skyline Church in the Rancho San Diego area, and there is a free shuttle from Cuyamaca College. Individual registration fees start at $50. Learn more and sign-up at sandiegomudrun.com
Hot Chocolate 15k & 5k – Sunday, March 25
Do you need motivation to try your first 5k race, or to get back in the game after a long hiatus? Well, chocolate should do the trick. Who wouldn’t run to win some decadent dessert? The Hot Chocolate 15k & 5k claims to be San Diego’s sweetest race, and participants will be treated to an after party with Ghirardelli hot chocolate, fondue and more chocolate treats, as well as a goodie bag with a custom black running jacket. Oh right, and the race; the course starts and finishes in downtown San Diego’s East Village, with both 15k and 5k options for every fitness level. The 5k begins at 6:30am and the 15k at 7am, with registration prices ranging from $45 to $65, respectively. Learn more and sign-up at hotchocolate15k.com
Carlsbad 5000 – Sunday, April 1
The Carlsbad 5000 claims to be the world’s fastest 5k, but they need your skills to keep the reputation alive. The race leads participants along a scenic ocean-side course, with plenty of surprises waiting at the finish line. After the race, enjoy two free beers at the Pizza Port / Imperial Cerveza Beer Garden. Want to take the experience to the next (fitness) level? The All Day 25k is also going down on this day. 5k race registration pricing starts at $40, with a 25k upgrade priced at $85. Learn more and sign-up at carlsbad.competitor.com
More 2012 Spring Races & Marathons in San Diego:
Skins Fearless Triathlon – Sunday, April 15
La Jolla Half Marathon – Sunday, April 29
La Jolla Shores 5k – Sunday, April 29
Safari Park Half Marathon at San Diego Zoo – Sunday, May 6
Discover more local trends in our San Diego health & fitness blog