I recently started running and am slowly getting my mile time down. The best advice I received was to run everyday and wear good fitting shoes. My first "official race" was The Color Run which got me hooked. I'm now entering many different kinds of events (fun, timed, charity, etc.) Nothing beyond a 5K- yet. The most recent one was the Joe Cassella 5K. The race proceeds provide "financial assistance for medical expenses to families of children who are ill in the Washington DC Metro area to allow families to better focus on supporting their children during their time of need."