You may be timid about signing up for a 5K race. Maybe you think they are full of fit, young runners? Maybe you worry about your ability to finish. Maybe you just worry about trying something you haven’t done before.
Hopefully, I can allay some of those fears. I’ve been doing 5K races off and on for more than 20 years. From the very first one I was hooked. What’s not to like? There’s the pre-race excitement. You are surrounded by people of all ages, shapes and colors. And, these people have a commitment to fitness. Now, that commitment varies from hard-core, flat-out runners, to people out for a stroll.
Try to get at least one friend to join you. That way you get quality time with your friend and exercise too.
If you participate in an organized 5K race there is a fee. For that fee you usually get a T-shirt, race number, and race packet with coupons from the sponsors of the race. Many times sponsors have tents at the race and pass out other freebies.
The starting line is organized so that the faster runners are at the front. So when you start you can either move to the back to ensure you don’t interrupt anyone’s pace, or somewhere near the middle if you think you might be faster than some. There is usually a station offering water at the mid-point of the race.
Some races will have formal timing devices so that you can see how fast you are going. Some will provide you with a chip to put on your shoe or have one affixed to the race number so that you can find out your exact time.
At the end of the race there is always water, and in my experience fresh fruit as well – usually oranges and bananas.
If the race is a little more formal than a fun-run, there will likely be age group winners. I was lucky enough to win my age group at one race – it was quite a surprise to me.
All of this is enough to get me to come out again and again to participate in 5K events. In fact, I did one just yesterday – The Wounded Warrior Lone Sailor 5K. I forgot to mention another point in favor of doing these races. All of them support some charity. You get your exercise and help others as well.
For this particular race, the race start time was at 8:00 a.m. and it was 55 degrees. We walked around beautiful Lake Baldwin and eventually warmed up. You can see a picture of my and my walking buddies Joy and Linda below. The “runners” in this event varied from fit military men and women to a fire fighter in full gear (including oxygen on his back) to a women in flip-flops. (I don’t know if she finished). There were dogs and children and a general air of fun and fellowship. We had groups of volunteers cheering us on as we completed each mile.
What’s not to like about a day where you are out enjoying nature, with friends and like-minded people-while helping out a worthwhile charity. I’ll definitely do this one again next year. I do hope it’s a little warmer next year!
Try a 5K and let me know if you share my excitement.
- Race recap: Dodge the Deer 5K (runbreathebe.wordpress.com)
- Race Tomorrow (roadtobadwater.wordpress.com)