Reasons to run a 5k race

Joe Carey, President of the Houston Area Road Runners Association (HARRA.org), wrote something interesting about 5k races in the June issue of the HARRA newsletter, printed in Texas Runner & Triathlete magazine. His words were “5ks get no respect”.

That’s an interesting quote, and I think for many long distance runners it is probably an accurate statement. And, I realize that while many of you reading this blog may already be runners, some of you aren’t.  But, no matter where you fall in the running spectrum, whether you are new to running, whether you are a long-time runner, or even a seasoned athlete in general, are there reasons why you should run a 5K race?

Some thoughts for distance runners.

Mr. Carey’s article, outlined several great reasons why long distance runners should consider running 5k races (in addition to their longer races).  Here are some of his thoughts:

  1. The post-race food at 5ks are often just as good as at the longer races and the wait-time is less;
  2. You can run a local 5k almost every weekend year round no matter where you live;
  3. You can run several 5ks for the price of one marathon;
  4. You can go faster during the race because it’s a shorter distance than you normally run;
  5. You don’t need to train “a bazillion miles a week” to be prepared for the race;
  6. You already do the distance (you can’t run a marathon without running eight 5ks on the way);
  7. You don’t need a fuel belt for the race;
  8. The whole family can participate;
  9. You can be home for breakfast more frequently on the weekends; and
  10. It’s just plain fun!

For those new to the 5k race idea, here are reasons why you, too, should sign up to run a 5k race.

This past March, some of my relatives signed up for a 5k race for the very first time.  My whole family signed up for the event, which was sponsored by MD Anderson and benefited colorectal research and prevention (the SCOPE 5k run, which is held annually in Houston).  Although my relatives weren’t really new to running, they had never before signed up for or participated in any sort of fun run or race activity.  Needless to say, there were lots of questions ahead of time about what to expect during the race, what people normally wear, etc.  But, after the initial jitters were over, we all ran and/or walked in the race, we supported a good cause, got in some excellent exercise, and generally had a great time.  And, then we all went to brunch to celebrate our accomplishment!

So, if you have not participated in a 5k before, but might be interested in doing  one in the future, here are several reasons why I think you should sign up for one and go for it:

  1. It’s great incentive to get yourself out and running;
  2. It’s a fun activity the whole family can do together;
  3. It’s a neat way to see how many people actually do this kind of thing (and to meet new people);
  4. People involved in the race (whether volunteers, participants, or spectators) are really nice and cheer you on along the way;
  5. The money you spend benefits a good cause;
  6. They give you goodies, like t-shirts and other cool things;
  7. They provide water along the way, and then food and refreshments at the end;
  8. There’s nothing like the feeling of crossing the finish line;
  9. You can invite your friends and make it a party;
  10. You can go out for brunch and a nice frosty beverage afterward.

What’s not to enjoy about that?

Picture of finish line

Molly B. Roman and Kathryn Blackbird (from l-r) crossing the finish line.

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