Running in Providence

Select Local Merchants

Devised in 2001 by a Brown University medical student in order to support Hasbro Children's Hospital's Asthma Camp, the annual Breeze Against Wheeze 5K run and 3K walk raises a quarter of the funds the camp needs each year to educate youngsters about managing a disease that stands as the leading cause of child hospitalization nationwide. At the start of the race, athletes trek across the Brown University campus and down Blackstone Boulevard, speeding past other runners or strolling at a heart-healthy pace to show their anti-asthma verve. The top competitor in each age bracket, plus the three fastest men and women overall, win a bounty of gift certificates and sports gear to help fuel their future challenges, while postrace raffles lend the chance for any participant to be crowned a winner. Before the adult events, kids can race for free, testing their endurance and agility without crawling through the TV screen into their favorite video game.

235 Hope Street
Providence,
RI
US

Urban Dare Adventure Race is a fast-paced competition that challenges two-person teams to decipher clues, navigate the city, and perform playful stunts. Combining the bustle of a track meet with the brain-taxing sleuth work of a luge competition, the race uses a dozen trivia-based clues to lead contestants to checkpoints all over Providence. Location hunters reach their checkpoints by whatever means necessary, be it hopping a bus downtown, flying madly through a network of secret ziplines, or scuba-diving in a fountain for bus fare. At the mini destinations, racers must use a camera to document their presence, or, in some cases, get their passports stamped after completing a challenge.

50 Exchange Terrace
Providence,
RI
US

When it came to providing for his family, Leo Rondeau never stopped fighting. He took on an assortment of jobs, from peddling flowers on the street to policing the streets of Woonsocket. After Leo was diagnosed with cancer, his family took up the fight for the man who always fought for them.

To benefit fathers battling the disease, the Rondeau's founded the Fight Like a Dad 5K, the proceeds of which pay for everything from medical expenses to ambulatory services. A cash prize awaits the first woman, man, teen, and kid to cross the certified course's finish line, and trophies honor the top-three in the four aforementioned categories. Those interested in supporting the cause without dashing to the finish can also make a donation or purchase a commemorative Fight Like Dad dog tag.

1583 Hartford Avenue
Johnston,
RI
US

Reviver Challenge

Sweat-soaked humans dart across the dirt, racing between low scrubs and trees before stomping through a sea of tires. Clear, blue skies overhead reflect nature's indifference as they struggle up small mountains, sprint with sandbags in hand, and scale towering wooden walls with no shade in sight. These racers willingly expend sweat and energy on Reviver Challenge's 2.5-mile course, which winds through 10 obstacles inspired by metaphors implied in Bob Seger songs. The course includes one mystery obstacle, kept secret to ensure participants stay alert and throw their cunning into a final challenge before a celebratory feast and live music following the race. The footrace aims to bring runners together to test their endurance and confidence while providing donations for The House of Hope and Roger Williams Chapel restoration.

4097 Diamond Hill Road
Cumberland,
RI
US

As the sun sets, cityscapes buzz with neon silhouettes as runners clad in glow-in-the-dark garb race through the GlowBash 5K's metropolitan courses. But the late starting time and futuristically-clad participants are not the only things that set this race apart from other 5K trots. Competing in teams of two or more, runners must follow 10 clues provided at the start of the race that will guide them to a series of predetermined checkpoints and challenges. Depending on the route they take, runners can cover anywhere from 3 to 5 miles in a path that can take roughly 2.5 hours to complete. After the race, each participant receives a medal and access to a post-race party, where they can mingle with fellow runners rather than going home and jogging alone on their human-sized hamster wheel. The race benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.

805 Hope Street
Bristol,
RI
US

The YMCA keeps residents healthy and engaged in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, but it traces its American origins to the streets of 19th-century Boston. Here, Thomas Valentine Sullivan carried on the mission started in London by George Williams: providing affordable recreation and residence to young men from cities and country towns alike. Over the last century and change, the organization's mission changed to keep pace with the evolving times; today, the YMCA of Greater Boston welcomes anyone interested in furthering the causes of "youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility."

This modern mission combines the Y's signature programming with new initiatives designed to keep citizens one step ahead of an ever-changing world. Members stay fit and active with everything from organized sports and fitness classes to lifeguard, CPR, and first aid lessons. But the Y's developmental programs go far beyond bodily strength; their enrichment and leadership courses equip youths with the confidence needed to take charge in their everyday lives, and ESL classes help newcomers to English embark on the next step of their linguistic lives.

45 Forge Hill Rd
Franklin,
MA
US