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Here are several ways to run, walk and kick into fall while helping others
Wendi Chesnut, left, walks because she was diagnosed with dementia and Jessica Marshall walks for her grandfather, grandmother and friend’s father during the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Oct. 14, 2017, in downtown Gainesville. - photo by Kayla Elder

As fall approaches and things start to cool down in North Georgia, there’s never been a better time to get outside. Luckily for Hall County residents, there are plenty of ways to do that, but just by enjoying the outdoors. There are opportunities to get active, have a little fun and support a few good causes.


A number of area 5K races provided some friendly competition and a way to stay in shape.

The RGA Pink and Blue 5K Dash on Nov. 3 at Riverside Military Academy benefits Rock Goodbye Angel, a Gainesville nonprofit that support families of pregnancy and infant loss.

This year’s race is a Run & See Georgia Grand Prix event, which encourages runners from around the state to take part. A fun run for children under age 9 begins at 8 a.m., the 5K starting at 8:30 a.m.

Registration is $30 and includes a race-day T-shirt and the chance to have an angel baby sign  in honor of families who have gone through pregnancy or infant loss placed along the course. Register here.

If a themed race is more your speed, there are the Braselton Zombie 5K Run and the Boo Run 5K in Flowery Branch.

The fourth annual Zombie 5K on Oct. 20 will take runners around downtown Braselton while zombies lurk around the corners. The race starts at 8:30 a.m.; registration is $30.

Runners are encouraged to dress in zombie outfits, with a prize given to the best. Awards will also go to the top runners in each age group. Register here.

Racers dressed in Halloween costumes will flood Flowery Branch for the Boo Run 5K on Oct. 27, hosted by the Flowery Branch Masonic Lodge. Proceeds support area charities. The race drew 525 participants last year.

“The Flowery Branch Masonic Lodge, we contribute to a lot of organizations that have charitable causes,” said Chris Eberhart, an event organizer. “Being able to help those local charities, it means a lot.”

The race starts at 9 a.m.; cost is $25. Awards will be given out to the best runners and the best costumes. Register here.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens Gainesville, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy, is at 1911 Sweetbay Drive in Gainesville. - photo by Courtesy of LARRY GRIFFETH

A couple of events this fall offer a peaceful, relaxing morning for attendees.

Every Tuesday in October, Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Gainesville will host a Tai Chi class for members and non-members. Instructed by Buck Barnes, the classes promise “to increase flexibility and balance in an enchanting setting.”

Classes begin at 9:30 a.m. and cost $59 for members, $69 for non-members. The price covers the entire month. Register here.

There’s also yoga offered at Brenau University’s Sellars Gallery. Participants can enjoy the beauty of Donald Sultan’s artwork while relaxing through yoga. Sultan’s work “draws inspiration from the natural beauty of flowers” by creating vibrant paintings and sculptures of lantern flowers and poppies.

Emilie Cook from Find Your Center Yoga in Gainesville will lead the class at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 24, free of charge; participants need only bring a yoga mat. To register, contact Allison Lauricella at 770-534-6263 or

Participants placed different colored flowers in the Promise Garden to honor those with Alzheimer’s, their caregivers, family and friends at the end of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Oct. 14 in downtown Gainesville. - photo by Kayla Elder

If a 5K is a bit much, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a good way to get moving to support a good cause. The event begins at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 6 on the downtown Gainesville square.

Up to 600 people are expected to take the 2-mile walk to raise awareness and money for the Alzheimer’s Association. There are 52 teams registered, raising $27,154 of the $45,000 goal. Register here.

02182018 KICKBALL 2.jpg
Josie Taylor, 11, kicks a ball at the Kicking it for Babies kickball tournament on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 at the Lanier Point Athletic Complex. The tournament raised about $900 that will be split between March of Dimes and the Children at Play Fund. - photo by Layne Saliba

Gainesville Parks and Recreation will raise money for March of Dimes and its Children at Play Fund. The Kicking for Every Baby fundraiser kickball game Oct. 6 at Lanier Point Softball Complex is $6 per person for teams of at least 10; signup deadline is Sept. 28.

“We are really encouraging kids to come out,” said Zandrea Stephens, division manager at Gainesville Parks and Recreation. “If they want to get a team up and come beat some of these adult teams, we would love to see that.”

After raising $900 at the beginning of the year, Gainesville Parks and Recreation is hoping to raise even more to be split between the two organizations. To register, visit

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