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It's time to get those shoes tied and that running gear on. It's been a wet winter for much of Northern Nevada, and one way to shake off the cold is to participate in a 5K run (or walk). There are several races planned in the Reno/Sparks area this spring, nearly all of which benefit a nonprofit or other organization. Because details vary, be sure click on the registration link for each race for specifics.

Heart and Sole 5K

Head up to the University of Nevada, Reno on April 22 to participate in the Heart and Sole 5K race that starts at 11 a.m. in front of the Mathewson IGT Knowledge Center. Proceeds from the race will be used to cover the cost of medical supplies and lab fees at the Student Outreach Clinic at the school. The clinic, started in 1996 by medical students, offers free primary care. A one-mile walk/run also is offered. Enjoy food and music post-race. To register, click here.

Polio Purple Pinkie 5K & 10K Trail Run

Also scheduled April 22 in Reno is the Polio Purple Pinkie 5K and 10K event that benefits the Rotary Foundation's Polio Plus Fund, the RCS Rotary Foundation Inc., and Immunize Nevada. The event starts at 10 a.m. at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. Rotary Clubs worldwide have been working to decrease polio since 1979. To register, click here.

5th Annual Spring Forward for Autism 5K

Be sure to register for this 5K that benefits the JUSTin HOPE Foundation, a local nonprofit group helping families affected by autism or other neuro-developmental disorders. The run starts at 8:30 a.m. April 30 in front of the Mathewson IGT Knowledge Center at UNR. Wear blue to coordinate with the 5K theme: "Blow it out Blue" (blue is the color of the Autism Speaks organization). A raffle and silent auction also will be available, as well as bounce houses, face painting and other activities at the kids' corner. To register, click here.

Moms on the Run 5k/10K

Pinocchio's Bar & Grill brings back its race benefiting women in Northern Nevada undergoing treatment for breast or gynecological cancer. The 17th annual event starts at 9 a.m. May 14 and follows a course along Idlewild Drive. This event is packed full of activities including a continental breakfast, opening ceremonies and more. To register, click here.

Animal Ark Stampede

Scheduled for May 20 at the Animal Ark at 1265 Deerlodge Road in Reno, this fifth annual event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. and includes a  nature run and free admission to the park. A short run for kids also is planned with face-painting and raffle prizes available. The Animal Ark offers a safe home for injured, abandoned or non-releasable wildlife. To register, click here.

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