If you have never participated in a race before, a 5K is a great way to get active without the weeks of training and commitment required for a half marathon (beginners you can find a 5K training schedule here). For those of you training for a half marathon, a 5K is an opportunity for you to experience what the race day atmosphere is like and get in a training run, all at a much lower mileage than your half marathon day.
Over the years, 5Ks have become extremely popular, and thus more and more are coming on the market. The great thing for you is that there are a lot of fun themes and races out there every month of the year! My rule tends to be, if I get to wear a costume, I am in!
Below is a list of some of the 5Ks I have raced in the last year:
TD5K: Most cities have a Thanksgiving morning 5K that enables you to feel a little bit better about the food you eat later that day. This year I took part in the Lifetime race in Phoenix. They had a food drive, turkey hats, and the best quality souvenir shirts I have ever received at a race. It was a great way to start the day and I will be participating again this year.
The Color Run: There are a lot of copycat “colored chalk” races, but this one is the original. As you race the 5K, you run through color stations where you are doused in cornstarch dyed with one of four colors. Normally, you would end the race looking like a beautiful rainbow. Unfortunately, it rained this year in Phoenix, so, as you can see from the picture above, I looked like a hot mess. But it was fun and I look forward to racing it again in better weather.
Climb to Conquer Cancer: Although technically not a 5K, each year in Phoenix, at South Mountain, you can take part in the Climb to Conquer Cancer. It’s a five-mile walk up the mountain, and my favorite part of this race is that it’s a rolling start. What that means is that you just start when you get there. That keeps the crowds light and the hike enjoyable. Once you get to the top, you get amazing views of the Phoenix area.
Kiss Me I’m Irish Run: The great thing about this run is that you can choose to do a 4K, 8K or 17K, so for those of you that would like a bit of a challenge, you can choose a longer route. This starts and ends at Westgate in Glendale, and was a really fun race. But how could it not be when you get a green beer and a mini bundt cake at the end?
The Rave Run: This was one of my favorite races because my Wilderness Girls Rachael and Christie walked with me. We got to rip our shirts, load on the make-up, put on glowing and blinking accessories, and stack our wrists with beaded bracelets that Christie made for us. The streets were filled with lights and music and the “people watching” was incredibly entertaining (especially considering it happened to be prom night, so we saw a lot of well-dressed teens heading towards their downtown venues).
So, as you can see, there is no shortage of fun races to take part in. What are some of your favorite races? Is there a race that you take part in every year? Share with us in the comments below.