The best 5K races in Philadelphia this summer

Six runners wear 5k race numbers while happily running a race on a sunny day.

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By Stacy Rounds

June 10, 2024

Are you ready to lace up your running shoes and hit the streets of Philadelphia for some 5K races this summer? Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just looking to have some fun while getting some exercise, Philadelphia has a variety of races to suit every level of runner.

Check out the top 5K races —whether they’re happening during the day or evening, on the city streets, or out in the elements — in the City of Brotherly Love this summer.

Brother Love 5K Charity Fun Run

June 29, 2024

2451 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Get ready to kick off your summer with heart-pounding strides and open-hearted generosity at the Brother Love 5K Charity Fun Run. This dash comes with a dash of love! As you jog, sprint, or walk your way through the streets of Philadelphia, you’ll be doing more than just clocking in miles. You’re part of a moving brigade of philanthropy, where every step you take helps to support the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists (NAPPSA).

Be sure to bring your favorite water bottle. The early morning air may be crisp as the city is just waking up, but it may get pretty hot by the end of the race! Along with hundreds of other runners, embark on a journey that’s part sweat, part celebration, and all heart. This run welcomes all levels of runners, walkers, and everyone in between. Whether you’re there to set a new personal record or to enjoy a leisurely 5K stroll, you’ll be greeted by the sights and sounds that make Philadelphia unique, from the historic architecture to the enthusiastic cheers of supporters lining the route.

And let’s not forget about the post-race festivities. After crossing the finish line, you’ll find yourself in a sea of high fives, smiles, and maybe even a celebratory dance or two. It’s the perfect time to bask in the glow of your accomplishment, refuel with some snacks, and bask in the collective joy of doing something good for yourself and your community.

So, mark your calendar for June 29 and start breaking in those running shoes. The Brother Love 5K Charity Fun Run is a great way to kick off your summer of running. Whether you’re racing solo, with a team, or cheering from the sidelines, it’s an event that’s sure to leave you with a full heart and maybe even a new friend or two. After all, nothing brings people together quite like the shared experience of reaching a finish line for a good cause.

Night Nation Run Philadelphia

July 20, 2024

1100 Pattison Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148

Prepare to transform your typical 5K experience into a glowing spectacle of sound and color at the Night Nation Run Philadelphia on July 20. This nighttime jaunt through the city is the world’s first running music festival. The streets of Philadelphia will be turned into a pulsating dance floor, and you can be at the heart of it all, running, dancing, or doing a bit of both. Here, the energy of a music festival meets the adrenaline of a 5K.

This course will be illuminated by laser light shows, navigating through immersive light tunnels, and moving to the beat of live DJs spinning hot tracks. The Night Nation Run is designed to electrify your senses and make every step feel like a celebration. So, why walk or run when you can dance your way through 3.1 miles of sheer fun?

By joining the Night Nation, you’re contributing to a cause that’s close to many hearts. The Night Nation Run supports Stand Up To Cancer, turning your miles into meaningful support for cancer research. It’s an opportunity to shine a light, quite literally, on the power of community and hope.

The starting line feels like the entrance to the best concert of the summer, with pre-race festivities that get your heart pumping before you even take your first stride. Then, crossing the finish line plunges you into the main event: an epic after-party where you can let loose, celebrate your achievement, and dance the night away under the stars. It’s the perfect blend of fitness, fun, and philanthropy.

So, dust off those neon outfits, charge up your glow sticks and get ready to be part of a 5K unlike any other. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a casual walker who just loves a good beat, this event promises an electrifying experience that you won’t want to miss.

Philly Mayor’s Cup

August 10, 2024

1800 Belmont Mansion Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19131

On the 10th of August, Philly’s running community comes together in a spirited display of speed, endurance, and community pride for the Philly Mayor’s Cup. The Philly Mayor’s Cup is where local running clubs (within the boundaries of greater Philadelphia), and new friends come together on a course that showcases the spirit of teamwork. This beautiful trail takes you away from the city streets and onto fields of grass, gravel, and hills, amping up the challenge at the premiere location for cross-country training.

Competitive runners can give it their all for bragging rights and the chance to claim the coveted Mayor’s Cup and to be named the best running team in Philly. Winning categories include men’s, women’s, and non-binary options for each distance, with separate options for either running, walking, or wheelchair racing. Whether you’re in it to win it, aiming to smash your personal best, or just there for the gorgeous scenery, this event has something for everyone.

So, whether you prefer a 5K, half marathon or somewhere in between, the Philly Mayor’s Cup invites you to put your best foot forward and join a team-building tradition that celebrates the spirit of Philadelphia’s running community.

Belmont Plateau Hall of Fame Classic

August 24, 2024

1800 Belmont Mansion Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19131

If you’re the type of runner who craves a little adventure with your cardio and who loves to grind a little dirt on your sneakers then the Belmont Plateau Hall of Fame Classic on August 24 is calling your name. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Philadelphia’s very own Belmont Plateau, this 5K is not your average jog in the park.

With a course that follows rugged trails, challenges you with its infamous hills, and rewards you with breathtaking views of the Philadelphia skyline, it’s a race that’s equal parts grit and gusto. The trails are a delightful mix of rocks, roots, and dirt paths that keep you on your toes. You’ll navigate through nature’s obstacles — and let’s not forget the views. You can take in some of Philadelphia’s best sights below while getting lost in nature.

This race is where newbies come to fall in love with trail running and veterans return to rekindle their passion for the sport. It’s also a chance to be part of something bigger, as the Belmont Plateau trails have a storied history in the Philly running scene, serving as a training ground for generations of cross-country runners. Participating in the 8th Hall of Fame Classic stamps you into Belmont’s legacy, whether you run away with a medal or not.

Philadelphia Distance Run and 5K

September 15, 2024

2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA US 19130

As the summer begins to welcome the crisp air of incoming autumn (or so we hope), the Philadelphia Distance Run and 5K on September 15 serves as the perfect curtain call for a season filled with sweat, strides, and spirit. Whether you’re a sprint enthusiast aiming for a quick dash or a distance devotee ready to tackle the longer haul, this event caters to every runner.

The Philadelphia Distance Run and 5K started in 1978 and has been growing ever since, with its all-abilities-welcome motto and its pristine flat course. For those toeing the line at the 5K start, prepare for a blend of challenge and charm. The course weaves through Philly’s architecture and history — views you can soak in if you’re looking for something to take the sting off your legs.

What sets the Philadelphia Distance Run and 5K apart is its unique blend of urban energy and a welcoming atmosphere. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner looking for a change of pace or a newbie eager to dip your toes into the racing scene, this event promises a memorable experience wrapped in the warmth of Philly’s communal embrace.

So, dust off those running shoes, cue up your favorite playlist and get ready to join the ranks of runners making their mark in the City of Brotherly Love. After all, there’s no better way to say farewell to summer than by sprinting into fall with one last, unforgettable run.


  • Stacy Rounds

    Stacy Rounds is a writer and growth producer for The Keystone. Prior to joining the team, Stacy has worked as a writer, editor, and engagement specialist covering topics ranging from local history, disability advocacy, recreation, and food hotspots to relationships and mental health.

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