Homelessness, domestic violence, mental illness, hunger, drug free youth, etc. are just some of the many charities that will receive donations because of 5K runs.

A 5K is the most common road running race. A 5K’s distance is 3.1 miles and they can be run or walked. 5K runs also have themes such as dressing up like zombies or Santa that make them fun and different from others. During the fall semester, there will be at least six 5Ks races throughout East Texas cities such as Bullard, Lindale, Longview, Mineola, and Tyler.

In downtown Lindale every year, the Lindale Chamber of Commerce puts on their always popular event called Countryfest. Countryfest is Lindale’s fall festival, but this year there is a new addition to the festival. The first Harvest Hustle 5K will take place at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11 in downtown Lindale with Countryfest following the 5K at 9 a.m. The price is to participate $30.

“We are seeing a trend that runs are more popular in East Texas,” said Shelbie Glover, Lindale Area Chamber of Commerce executive director. “We think there will be a lot of people that will want to come out and run or walk in the Harvest Hustle, and kick their morning off.”

For more information contact the Lindale Chamber of Commerce at 903-882-7181 or at www.lindalechamber.org.

Another East Texas 5Ks includes the Chasing Bigfoot 5K in Mineola that begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday Oct. 18 for $20. During the run, runners also get the chance to chase Bigfoot through the course. The funds raised will go towards a new playground for the Mineola Nature Preserve. The race takes place before Mineola’s popular NatureFest festival. For more information please call (903) 569-6983.

Also, at 9 a.m. on Oct. 18 at the Kiepersol Estates Vineyard is the 3rd annual Kiepersol Corkscrew 5K Trail Run. This run is unlike any other because it is a trail run. Trail runs are challenging but also come with breathtaking scenery.

“It’s a run through the vineyard and around the property,” said Marnelle Durrett, proprietor/winemaker at Kiepersol Enterprises. “Because it’s a trail run it’s very challenging. There’s lots of hills and so if you are looking for a challenge and not your everyday road run this is definitely the place to come.”

The price is $30. Also first, second and third place overall will get Kiepersol gift cards. For more information please call 903-894-8995.

Another anticipated race this fall is the 3rd annual 5K Zombie Fun Run in Longview, which will benefit the Coalition for Drug-Free Youth, to assist in their initiative to prevent underage drinking and drug use. The run/walk is family-friendly, and participants of all ages are welcome to join in the fun. The zombie outbreak will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, at McWhorter Park, 1000 Toler Road. Cost to run/walk the race is $35, but if you want to dress up like a zombie and be stationed along the course, the cost is $25.

“It is very popular,” said NaTusha Howard, coordinator of 5K Zombie Fun Run and the Coalition for Drug Free Youth. “Some people dress up like zombies and run and some dress up like zombies and walk or we just have people who dress up like zombies and just hang out on the trail and leap out at the runners or the walkers. It gives people who like to zombies an opportunity to dress up and be a part of the whole thing.”

To register online go to http://pip.longviewtexas.gov/5k-zombie-fun-run-0. The cost is $35. For more information, contact NaTusha Howard at 903-239-5503 or at nhoward@longviewtexas.gov.

The annual Turkey Trot in Tyler held on Thanksgiving Day every year is returning for its 12th year. The race will be at 9 a.m. on Thursday Nov. 27 starting and finishing at Racquet and Jog on South Broadway. This is a new change, as in recent years the race has been held at Bergfeld Park. The run will be benefiting Meals on Wheels and Refuge of Light. For more information please contact at tylerturkeytrot@gmail.com ​or at 903-534-7031.

In Tyler, the biggest 5K race will be the return of the Ho Ho Ho Run. The Ho Ho Ho Run was a huge hit for all ages. The race is just like any other run except that everyone is dressed up like Santa, and not just people wearing a Santa hat. The participants will be decked out in a full Santa suit: Jackets, pants, belt, hat, and beard, as well as a Ho Ho Ho Run T-shirt. Youth sizes are also available. The packet can be picked up at Academy in Tyler. The streets in downtown Tyler will be filled with Santa’s at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday Dec. 13. Prices are $30 for adults, $40 for adults on race day, and $20 for children 12 & under. For more information please email customerservice@mellew.com.

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