The spring race season is approaching quickly. If you are looking for a little extra motivation to sign up and step up to the start line, racing for a cause may give you the boost you need. There is a race for just about every fitness level. Walk three miles in a 5-k to support fallen heroes or 60 miles over three days to fight breast cancer. When your fitness efforts support you and others, everyone wins. While your weight, blood pressure or stress level goes down, dollars and awareness of your cause goes up. If you want to feel good and do good check out for fundraising fitness events in your area. There are also some suggestions below.

Team in Training

This is among the most popular. More than half a million athletes like you have completed the training and raised more than $1 billion for cancer research. Participants benefit from live or virtual coaching and can join as teams or individuals.

Hunger Walk/Run

In my hometown of Atlanta the metro Atlanta food bank sponsors an annual Hunger Walk. Thousands sign up and every step they take benefits food pantries, shelters, and community kitchens. According to more than 50 million households did not have regular, reliable access to food in 2011. If there isn’t a hunger walk in your town, it is a safe bet that your local food pantry would love your support to start one.

Do it Yourself

My local newspaper recently featured the story of a mom that made a commitment to walk 750 miles to fight childhood obesity. You can also combine your energy and passion to help a cause you care about. Ask friends, neighbors and co-workers to sponsor every mile you walk, bike or hike and pass the money along to a non-profit doing great work.

Negative reinforcement can work, too. Get your workout buddies together and agree on an amount you will put in the fundraising pot for each fitness goal you miss. Slept in on Saturday? Donate $25 to the American Red Cross or American Heart Association


The Color Run

This one sounds fun. Participants start with white shirts that are transformed along the race course by brightly colored powder. Held in dozens of states, probably even yours, the color run is open to individuals and teams and benefits a variety of charities.

Rock n Roll Marathon

Like a little party with your race? The Rock n Roll Marathon is right up your alley. Expect to see live bands and plenty of cheer. Rack up some mission miles while you race to benefit a mix of good causes.

Don’t worry about finishing in the top five or even in the top fifty. When you do finish, even if you are the last one to cross the line you still win. Raising money for a good cause while improving your level of physical fitness is an unbeatable combination no matter where you place in the race.