Need a fun way to get your family moving? Or maybe you need a little competition to help motivate you through your workouts? Either way, entering into a 5k is a great option.
In the spring, summer, and well into the fall there is a 5k nearly every weekend in a city or town near you. They range in size from a few hundred people to several thousand. There are runs in honor of holidays, in support of a cause, and even runs that involve throwing paint at each other. Whatever tickles your fancy there is a 5k for you.
Are you just starting out? Worried you will come in last if you enter into a 5k? Fear not! One of the beautiful things about 5k’s is that they attract all types. Old people. Young people. Slow people. Fast people. Beginners and seasoned veterans. While it is true, someone does have to finish last, more than likely it won’t be you! Even if you do, last place is better than did not finish which is better than did not start. Remember that!
I recently ran a 5k myself, along with my mom and dad. My parents have been running 5k’s for years and I began tagging along when I was in junior high. Regardless of our nearly 35 year age gap, I have never been able to beat my dad.
My parents both ran in Midnight Madness (a popular 5k in my hometown with thousands of runners) in July, and after my dad told me his time I challenged him to a 5k the next weekend. I had been training all summer long and he hadn’t logged many miles so I thought it was my chance.
With race day upon me I must admit I was nervous. In my 21 years I had never been able to beat my dad and I knew he was going to give it all he had to try to keep his record pristine and free from blemishes.
It wasn’t easy and I have to admit there was a time in the 3rd mile where all I wanted to do was stop, but I pulled through and beat my dad for the first time. I ran a 21:52 and my dad ran a 22:06, not bad for an old fart.
While victory was sweet, that was not the highlight of my race day. For those of you who know me, chances are you know about my mom and the scare we had with her two years ago. The Midnight Madness race that my parents ran a week earlier was the first 5k she ran since getting sick. In fact, just days before she got sick 2 years ago, we all three ran it.
The race I ran in was the second 5k she has completed. To see my mom cross that finish line (with my dog, Drake, tongue hanging out trotting out in front of her) was amazing. For her to have come so far in two years made me far happier than beating anyone could have. I am truly proud of her for the fight she has shown. Though she may not have been satisfied with her time, I thought she did an awesome job and know she will only improve.
Whatever your motivation or fitness level, I invite you to give a 5k a try. If you are just starting out, it can be a great motivator.
Give it a try. Sign up. You won’t regret it!