Running a 5K isn't just about crossing the finish line for charity. In fact, Neal Neroni, manager of Hermes Road Racing, which alone offers 56 races this summer, sees another reason to don running shoes: "All of the races are for good causes, but the races are mostly social." And 3.1 miles seem even more manageable when scenic routes, live music and wine tastings are involved. Here are three that runners and nonrunners can get excited about.
/ FOR NATURE LOVERS /
Woodland Race and Walk
Start: 8:30 a.m. at Holden Arboretum, Kirtland
Cost: $16 if registered by June 22, $21 after
Surrounded by pine trees and rocky soil, this trail 5K race is the perfect chance to give your sneakers a break from the asphalt. Run or walk through the expansive 3,600-acre Holden Arboretum, and enjoy nature's beauty even after receiving your medal.
/ FOR SOCIAL BUTTERFLIES AND NIGHT OWLS /
Lakewood Summer Meltdown
Start: 7 p.m. from Bell Street to Detroit Avenue in Lakewood
Cost: $20 if registered by July 22, $25 after
This race takes the normal socializing to a new level. In fact, when the last participant crosses the finish line, the evening has only just begun. The race includes live entertainment, street-fair events and a beer garden, which all give participants and their cheerleaders the chance to kick back and celebrate a run well done.
/ FOR WINOS AND WANDERERS /
Back Roads and Beaches
Start: 5 p.m. at Oberlin Inn
Cost: $20 if registered by Aug. 11, $25 after
Behind the Oberlin Inn, wineries and local eateries will offer tasting samples to participants, giving great incentive to run as quickly as possible. The course goes through the historic streets of Oberlin and along the North Coast Inland Trail of the Lorain County Metro Parks, leading the way to organic treats and full-bodied wines.