Choose a 5K and Lace Up Your Sneakers
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.
- Running Against Racism – May in Bluemont Park
- Home Run for the Homeless 5k – September in Bluemont Park
- Dashing to Summer’s End 5k & 10k – September in Bluemont Park
- Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K – September in Crystal City
It needs to be kid-friendly.
- Bishop O’Connell High School 5K & Kids Fun Run – April at Bishop O’Connell High School
- Fairlington 5k – April in Fairlington
- Clarendon Day Run 5k/10k/Double/Kids Dash – September in Clarendon
- Kinhaven 5k and Kids’ Fun Run – October in Bluemont Park
- Encore Stage Costume Caper 5k & 1k Kids’ Fun Run – October in Bluemont Park
- Jennifer Bush-Lawson 5K & Family Fun Day – November at the Knights of Columbus
I want to compete…and win.
- Roosevelt Island ParkRun – Every Saturday, year-round, on Roosevelt Island and designed for both walkers and runners
- Crystal City Twilighter – July in Crystal City
- ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute Roosevelt Run 5k – August on the Mount Vernon Trail
I’m only running for the costumes.
- Arlington Bunny Hop – April at Clarendon United Methodist Church
- Arlington Turkey Trot – Thanksgiving Day in Lyon Park
- Jingle Bell Run – December in Pentagon Row
Contact the race organizers directly with any questions about dates of the 2020 and 2021 events or registration. Note: Some races have been cancelled or are being held virtually due to COVID-19.
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 by Katy Lang in March 2019 & April 2019 to include additional 5k races, and in September 2020 to reflect the current status of in-person events.