Holiday Charity Running Events in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Run for a cause this year! Southeast Michigan is packed with tons of fun running events in 2015 that support charities and nonprofit organizations.

The holiday season is fast closing in, and you might be looking for a good way to spend time with the family, give back to the community and avoid packing on a few extra holiday pounds. Luckily, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties are packed with holiday runs that fill all three of these goals. From Thanksgiving-themed 5Ks for beginners, to 10Ks through rough wooded terrain and mile races just for fun, there’s a run for everyone in southeast Michigan. And, they all raise money for some great organizations. Check this list and find the right distance, charity and overall event for you and your family.

Veteran’s Day 5K

Nov. 7, 2015

  • Address: Thomas H. Brown Central City Park, 1701 N. Carlson St., Westland
  • Registration: Ends Nov. 5 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Time: 8-11:30 a.m.
  • Cost: $25/adults, free/kids 12 and under with a registered adult

This 5K aims to honor our veterans by allowing you to run behind local military units as they sing in cadence. All day activities follow the race and proceeds are donated to Veterans Haven in Wayne. Baby joggers are allowed in the final wave of runners.

Hideous Holiday Sweater Race

Nov. 7, 2015

  • Address: Kensington Metropark, 4570 Huron River Parkway, Milford
  • Registration: 8 a.m. on race day
  • Time: 9 a.m.
  • Cost: $35/5K, $40/13k, $7/parking

Don your ugliest holiday sweater and choose between a 5K or 13k race for the Scleroderma Foundation.

Outrun Hunger

Nov. 7, 2015

  • Address: Commerce Township City Government Office, 8600 PGA Drive, Commerce Township
  • Registration: Register before or on race day
  • Time: check in: 8:30 a.m., run: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: $25-$30/adults, $10/kids 12 and under

This fifth annual 5K race aims to raise enough money to feed 100 families this holiday season.

Livonia Turkey Trot

Nov. 7, 2015

  • Address: Bicentennial Park, Seven Mile and Wayne Roads, Livonia
  • Registration: Remains open until race day, but is recommended on or before Oct. 28 to guarantee a T-shirt
  • Time: check in: 9 a.m., run: 9:30 a.m.
  • Cost: $10/person

This annual run is 10 years old in 2015, and gives all of its proceeds and canned food donations to the Livonia Goodfellows.

Detroit Mustache Dache

Nov. 7, 2015

  • Address: Atwater Brewery, 237 Joseph Campau Ave., Detroit
  • Registration: Friday Nov. 6, 2015
  • Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Cost: $45-$50/adults, $12/kids 12 and under

Grow a stache, draw one on, or don a fake one and sign up to participate in this run that supports various men’s causes, like prostate and testicular cancer. A run for kids happens at 9:50 a.m., too.

10th Annual Highland “Rugged Man”

Nov. 8, 2015

  • Address: Highland Recreation Area and Mountain Bike Trailhead, off Livingston Road, Highland
  • Registration: Registration is open up until and on race day. Race day registration prices increase.
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: $27/before Nov. 6, $35/day of event

This event offers a 4.8-mile run on a rugged trail through the woods or a 2-mile hike in support of the nonprofit organization, Stay in the Shade, which works to fight malignant melanoma. Participants get a T-shirt, hot chocolate and pizza after the event.

Big Bird Run

Nov. 8, 2015

  • Address: Recreational Authority Center, 18185 Sycamore St., Roseville
  • Registration: Open on race day, but is recommended by Wednesday Nov. 4
  • Time: check in: 8:15 a.m., run: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: $25/advance, $30/day of event

Choose from a 1-mile fun run, 4K and 10K to support at least nine local service organizations. There are special giveaways for the runners, too.

Back Roads Half Marathon

Nov. 8, 2015

  • Address: Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston
  • Registration: Thursday, Nov. 5. New registrations will be accepted on Saturday, Nov. 7 by cash or check only.
  • Time: half marathon: 9:30 a.m., 10K and 5K race: 9:40 a.m.
  • Cost: $80/half marathon, $45/10K walk and run, $35/5K walk and run, $5/parking pass

More advanced runners can choose from a half marathon or 10K race on the lesser traveled trails of the park, while novice runners try the 5K race around the park. Get out and about and support two Oakland County non-profits: Clarkston Scamp, a day camp for kids with special needs, and Blessings in a Backpack, a program to help meet the nutritional needs of local kids and families.

Schrauger Memorial Run

Nov. 14, 2015

  • Address: Lake Orion High School Cross-Country Course, 495 E. Scripps Rd., Lake Orion
  • Registration: Open on race day
  • Time: check in: 8:30 a.m., one-mile fun run: 9:30 a.m., 5K race: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: free/elementary-aged kids, $15/middle school-aged kids, $25/high school-aged through adult

This run is in memory of two track- and cross-country-running brothers who died in a car accident on Sept. 29, 2007, and donates all of the proceeds to support the efforts of Love INC of North Oakland County.

Katlyn’s Krew 5K Race for Hearts

Nov. 14, 2015

  • Address: Riverview Plaza, 201 N. Riverside Ave., St. Clair
  • Registration: Online registration closes at 10 p.m. Nov. 13. Register on location for an extra $5/participant
  • Time: check-in: 7-8:30 a.m., race start: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: $25/adult 5K, $15/kids 12 and under 5K, $25/virtual participation

This timed event offers a 5K good for any walker or runner who wants to support the Charlie Sanders Foundation and “Have a Heart Save a Life.”

KONA Chocolate Run

Nov. 15, 2015

  • Address: Kellogg Park, downtown Plymouth
  • Registration: Online registration ends Thursday, Nov. 12, but you can register in person at the Plymouth Recreation Center up until and on race day
  • Time: 6:30 a.m./register, 7:30 a.m.-10 a.m./event
  • Cost: $52/5K, $49/5K, $33/mile; $5/parking

This race offers a 10K, 5K and Cocoa mile for runners and walkers of all ages, and donates to the Karmanos Cancer Institute, U-M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Plymouth Parks and Rec, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Lightfest 8K

Nov. 17, 2015

  • Address: Merriman Hollow Park, Merriman Road and Hines Drive, Westland
  • Registration: Open up until and on race day. Add $5 for race day registration
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: $25/advance, $30/day of, $15/high school-aged kids and younger

Walk or run this 8K through the longest holiday light display in the Midwest. All proceeds go to support Wayne County Parks.

Holiday Hoof

Nov. 21, 2015

  • Address: West Troy Street, downtown Ferndale
  • Registration: Open until 10 a.m. on Nov. 21
  • Time: 10:30 a.m.-noon
  • Cost: $48; price increases to $60 after 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 20

Dress up as your favorite holiday character to enjoy this musical 5K run and tree lighting. Proceeds benefit adaptive sports programming and gear for Ferndale schools and parks.

Blitzen the Dotte

Nov. 21, 2015

  • Address: Biddle and Pine streets, downtown Wyandotte
  • Registration: open on race day morning but prices increase
  • Time: 8:30 a.m.
  • Cost: $30-$40/10K, $25-$35/5K, free/kids

This annual fundraiser offers a 10K or 5K race and a Little Reindeer Run for kids to walk or run in order to raise money.

Anti-Turkey Trot

Nov. 26, 2015

  • Address: 14843 N. Lakeside Blvd., Shelby Township
  • Registration: Open on race day
  • Time: one-mile run: 9:30 a.m., 5K and 10K: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: $28-$30

Tired of all the Thanksgiving hullabaloo? Sidestep the crowded city streets and participate in a one-mile, 5K or “10Kish” race to benefit local food pantries. A drop box for pantry donations is set up, too.

Detroit Turkey Trot

Nov. 26, 2015

  • Address: West Woodward Avenue, at the fifth light pole north of Congress Street, Detroit
  • Registration: register by Sunday, Nov. 22
  • Time: 7:30-8:30 a.m. start times
  • Cost: $43-$48/10K and 5K, $28/1-mile

This 33-year-old event, hosted by Strategic Staffing Solutions, returns for another year to support The Parade Company, Detroit Mounted Police Division, and the Michigan Humane Society. Be sure to dress up in your most outrageous holiday gear.

Turkey Trot 5K

Nov. 26, 2015

  • Address: 300 E. Liberty St., downtown area, Ann Arbor
  • Registration: Register beforehand or on site
  • Time: 8:15 a.m./tot trot (ages 3-10), 8:45 a.m./all ages
  • Cost: $30/trot, $15/tots, free/2 and under, $35/day of event

The 10th annual 5K jaunt has hot chocolate and ugly sweaters too. Strollers welcome.

The Mighty Gobbler

Nov. 26, 2015

  • Address: Lutheran Church of the Master, 3333 Coolidge Highway, Troy
  • Registration: Open up until and on race day, prices increase $5 on race day
  • Time: packet pickup: 7:30-8:30 a.m., 1-mile run start: 8:30 a.m., 5K race start: 9 a.m.
  • Cost: $25-$30

Racers of all ages are invited to choose from a 5K or 1-mile run and walk on Thanksgiving Day. A portion of the proceeds benefit S.A.Y. Detroit and the Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers and their work helping seniors and people with disabilities live on their own.

Canton Turkey Trot

Nov. 26, 2015

  • Address: Summit on the Park, 46000 Summit Parkway, Canton
  • Registration: Open until midnight on Monday, Nov. 23. Race day registration is offered for an additional cost
  • Time: 1-mile run: 9 a.m., 5K run: 9:30 a.m.
  • Cost: $25/5K, $15/1-mile run

Families are invited to participate in a 5K race or 1-mile run to support the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan, which gives management tools to those who live with epilepsy. Must be 3 years old and older to participate. There will be music, snacks and refreshments after the race.

Turkey Trail Trot

Nov. 26-27, 2015

  • Address: Stony Creek Metropark, 4300 Main Park Road, Shelby Township
  • Registration: Monday Nov. 23, 2015. There is no race day registration
  • Time: 9 a.m.- noon Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursday
  • Cost: $25-$37/race, $7/park entry fee

Bring your four-legged friend to enjoy a 2.5-mile, 4-mile or 10K race through rolling hills at this 6th annual. Bring a canned food donation for the Rochester Area Neighborhood House and Immanuel Lutheran Church Food Pantry.

The Gobbler Gallop

Nov. 28, 2015

  • Address: Milford Trail and Main Street, Downtown Milford
  • Registration: Open up until and on race day. Prices increase Nov. 27-28.
  • Time: 1-mile fun run: 8 a.m., 4-mile walk and run: 8:30 a.m.
  • Cost: $17-$40

This four-mile course winds through downtown Milford and funds go to support Huron Valley Creativity for local students. A parade full of floats, live music and an appearance from Santa follows.

Photo of Ann Arbor Turkey Trot 5K in Ann Arbor


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