Photo courtesy of The Great Race.

Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, a cosplayer or just someone who likes wearing their underwear in public, Pittsburgh has a foot race for you this fall.

Many charities and local groups are hosting community races to raise money over the next few months for their cause of choice. And many local trots showcase Pittsburgh’s most iconic neighborhoods and fabulous surrounding terrain.

Here are nine worth putting on your calendar:

Musicians of Steel 5K Run/Walk, September 15

Starting at the Millvale Riverfront Pavilion, this race is organized by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to raise funds for the PSO Musicians Care Fund, a local charity dedicated to supporting music programs at underserved area schools. In addition to enjoying the stunning views along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, participants will be treated to live music from PSO musicians and other local artists along the course.

What’s the Point .5K, September 22

Described by organizers as a race for “the fit, unfit and everyone in between,” this race starts and finishes at Westinghouse Park in Point Breeze. The course is roughly half a kilometer long (get the pun?) and it’s zero waste, from the giant puppets to the running banana. Participants can help clean up the park during the Trash Dash, and four-legged friends are welcome at the Dog Jog. It’s $15 to enter, with all proceeds going toward the beautification of Westinghouse Park, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Register here, and don’t miss the pre-race carb-loading spaghetti dinner at Evergreen Cafe.

The Great Race, September 29

The 43rd annual Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race is the largest 10K in the state and a much-loved local tradition. It has grown to include a 5K run/walk, a running clinic, the Junior Great Race and the Great Race Expo, held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Sept. 27 and 28. The 10K course starts in Frick Park at Beechwood Boulevard, while the 5K begins at Fifth Avenue and Atwood Street in Oakland. Good news: Both run mainly downhill. The Great Race donates $1 from every registration to the Richard S. Caliguiri Amyloidosis Fund for medical research.

Runners and walkers at Run Shadyside.

Run Shadyside, October 5

Starting at the corner of Walnut and Ivy, this race is equal parts competition and fast-moving house tour. There’s a 5K run along with a one-mile walk with different age groups for both. Proceeds benefit the Shadyside Boys & Girls Club. The top finishers in each age group will receive a medal, and everyone is encouraged to stick around for the pancake breakfast with the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce and the Shadyside Boys & Girls Club.

GAP Relay, October 11 & 12

The second annual GAP Relay, organized by P3R and the Allegheny Trail Alliance, is a two-day, nonstop relay race through the Great Allegheny Passage. Open to teams of four, six or eight runners, the relay begins in Cumberland, Maryland. It ends the next day 150 miles away at the finish line here in Pittsburgh. Each relay team member receives a shirt, swag bag and a commemorative medal to wear during the post-race party at South Shore Riverfront Park.

The Pittsburgh Undy Run benefits cancer research. Photo courtesy of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.

Pittsburgh Undy Run/Walk, October 12

About as family-friendly as an underwear-themed event can get, the Pittsburgh Undy Run/Walk includes a 5K and one-mile fun run along the Southside Heritage Trail. The event is organized by the national advocacy group, Colorectal Cancer Alliance, to raise funds for research and support for patients living with the disease and their families.

LECOM Costume Caper 5K Run/Walk, October  19 & 20

Billed as “the City’s newest and definitely one of the most outlandish run/walks anywhere,” this fun run along the North Shore Riverwalk and trails is part of the two-day Pittsburgh Monster Pumpkin Festival. Participants are invited to run or walk in costume, and all ages are welcome. Race festivities culminate with a “kids’ spooky sprint” for different age groups.

EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler, November 2

This 10-mile run serves as a tour of some of the city’s historic and charming neighborhoods. The start line, located near Station Square, sits along the Monongahela River, boasting one of the best views of Downtown.

29th Annual YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh Turkey Trot, November 28

The long-established Turkey Trot includes a 5K, plus one-mile and five-mile races, that traverse Pittsburgh’s North Shore. Proceeds will benefit the YMCA’s various public nutrition programs, as well as the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. This year, organizers have set a goal of raising enough money to donate 10,000 pounds of food across the city.

Bill O'Toole

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.