Running races can be tough in the hot, hazy summer months. Toronto is prone to some wild weather, but if you’re well-prepared, the forecast for summer races is 100% fun. Short shorts and singlets are the look, now it’s time to rock them!

A word of caution, if you’re new to the sport, start slow. Run for as long as you can, and rest. Once you’re at the five-minute mark, you can start dialling things up. And be sure to drink plenty of water!

(Need some shoe-shopping suggestions, we have that too).

hoka running shoes

TORONTO’S TOP RUNNING RACES FOR SUMMER ’23

Get loud, be proud, and join the most colourful run in town. The Pride and Remembrance Run is a fun 5 or 3K run taking place on June 24th. Supporting local 2SLGBTQ+ charities, this family-friendly event is a downtown runner’s paradise.

Aptly named Push for your Tush has routes around GTA (and MTL and Winnipeg & Ottawa) but Toronto’s local route at Sunnybrook Park is a gem. The lush green background near Eglinton and Leslie offers a 5K walk or a 10K run supporting Colorectal Cancer Canada. Mark your calendars for this June 25th race.

If you’re lucky enough to score a Kawartha Lakes cottage invite then scope out the small-town charm during the Lindsay Milk Run. Join your fellow runners on July 16th for this 5-10K route that starts and ends at the Lindsay Recreation Complex. Definitely grab a scoop of Kawartha Dairy for proper post-run nutrition.

10KTO boasts the best views of Toronto with a route that includes the Gardiner Expressway. Piggybacking on the Toronto Triathlon Festival‘s road closures, runners start on Exhibition Place grounds and run on TO’s signature downtown highway. This July 23rd race benefits SickKids Foundation‘s mental health programs.

MORE LOCAL FUN RACES TO EXPLORE

The Toronto Carnival Run takes place on July 29th at Sir Casimir Gzowski Park on Lake Shore Blvd. Offering 1-5-10K routes along the lake, if you’ve been training on the Martin Goodman Trail you’ll be in fine form for this run.

The first in the series, PUMA Toronto Women’s 10 and 5K runs are favourites for female runners. Yes, the firefighters are back! They cap these races so sign up early to run (or walk) through Sunnybrook Park to support the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario. The first in this series takes place on August 26th.

Dubbed the oldest (and some say best) run in Toronto, join runners for this September 10th race on the Toronto Islands. This laidback 5k and 10k event is located on Centre Island, just a short ferry ride from downtown. make a day of it, it never rains on race day. Sign up here- Toronto Island Run.

Also on September 10th, the annual Constantine Yorkville Run is a flat, fast and furious race through the sunny streets of Yorkville. Choose your charity from a list of wonderful options and raise as much as you can, the prizes are super premium.

This family-friendly race is for the kids, and young at heart. Animal lovers of all ages will love this September 16th race. The Oasis ZooRun allows runners to follow a scenic 5k or 10k loop through the Toronto Zoo grounds. Free admission to the zoo is included with registration, so your cubs can visit their favourite animals post-race.

CAP YOUR RUNNING SEASON OFF WITH THESE FUN RUNS

Do not miss Canada’s most important date- the Terry Fox Run. Join me, (literally) on September 17th and take part in a patriotic run that benefits cancer research. Of course, you can sponsor moi, (who’s celebrating the second decade of fundraising run.terryfox.ca/page/roach) or sign up, even morning of, at any one of Toronto’s great routes including Ward’s Island, Forest Hill, Scarborough, Beaches, Canoes’ Landing, Liberty Village, High Park, York University, and more. 

Shifted from the original date (wisely, the 17th is reserved- see above) the September 23rd RBC Race for the Kids offers a 5K race benefitting Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook Hospital. This North York run brings families together for a great cause and a post-run celebration at the finish line.

October 1st brings runners together for the annual Run for the Cure by CIBC. The route is still being finalized, but Nathan Phillip Square will be part of the pink-themed backdrop, supporting Breast Cancer awareness and treatment.

The main event, for the real runners, belongs to the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. The October 15th race pits full marathon, half marathon and 5K runners along a historic stretch of downtown Toronto. This race brings the pros, with qualifiers going off to the world’s biggest races.

Did we miss your favourite race? Hit us up- sports@auburnlane.com