Choose a 5K and Lace Up Your Sneakers

headshot for katy lang program director active transportation arlington va
Katy Lang Tweet Us @walkarlington@walkarlington March 4, 2019

Katy Lang was previously Program Director for Active Transportation. She started living car-free in Arlington in 2010 and is passionate about finding great running routes and safety for people walking and biking.

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Arlington’s miles of trails and fun local 5k races make it a runner and walker’s paradise.

I rekindled my relationship with running about six years ago while living in Arlington, adjacent to the Custis Trail. It was an amazing thing to roll out of bed and have my feet on the trail in a matter of minutes. I loved to train on the Custis Trail and do longer weekend runs on the Mount Vernon Trail.

With miles of multi-used paved trails in Arlington—the Custis, Mount Vernon, Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD), and Four Mile Run—running is made easier. Each trail is perfect for exploring and training for a race, so you’ll never get bored! Use the Arlington Loop map to explore a new path if you’re trying to find a new route.

Arlington has dozens of local 5k runs (that’s 3.1 miles) that motivate locals to run and bring people to town from all over the country. The 5k distance is loved by serious, casual, and new runners alike, and many of these Arlington races are friendly to both walkers and runners.

Choose Your Race

There are so many different types of races throughout the year geared towards every age, interest, and ability. We’re highlighting a few of our local favorites to make it easy for you to bookmark the races on your calendar. 

I want to be social.

I want to support my community.

It needs to be kid-friendly.

I want to compete…and win.

I’m only running for the costumes.

Need Route Ideas?

Now that you know what race you’re going to run, it’s time to find a new running or walking route on some of the trails we’ve mentioned. Use our Comfort Map to locate the Arlington Loop and off-street trails perfect to kick start your training.

Editor’s Note: The blog has been updated in March 2024 to include new and additional 5k races. 

Photo Credit:

Sam Kittner/

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