5K Frenzy

5K Frenzy:
The 5K Phenomena

You have made your decision to run your first 5K. Maybe you are looking to get active and more fit, or maybe you were talked into signing up by a friend or a family member ! Either way you may have some questions about the whole 5K phenomena and here are the answers:

1) How many miles is a 5K ?
The "K" in 5K stands for kilometer which is the equivalent of 0.62 miles. Therefore, a 5K race is 3.1 miles long -- a fantastic distance for beginning runners to conquer.

2) Which 5K is the most popular in the world?
Currently, the largest 5K in the world is right in our backyard -- the Race for the Cure in Washington, DC. The largest event in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure series to fight breast cancer, this 5K had over 35,000 finishers last year. That is a lot of runners!!

3) Where is the craziest 5K held?
With the popularity of 5Ks growing every year, race directors have begun looking for new ways to attract runners and crazy themes seem to fit the bill. From races completed in underwear only to mud-filled pits and Krispy Kreme donuts, the possibilities seem to be endless. However, this one seems to "take the cake" -- the Biscuitville Bowl's 7 Campus Scramble in Greensboro, North Carolina. Runners have to scramble through four biscuit-themed obstacles. Tires filled with wet grits, flour showers, a buttermilk slip and slide and jelly belly crawl make this race one for the "crazy" record books.

4) When did 5K races become so popular?
While races of 5 kilometers in length are called 5Ks to road runners, a race of equal distance, 5000 meters, actually originated on the track. The 5000 meter race has been a part of track events in the Olympic games for years and times have been recorded in the event as far back as 1897. Since the distance is short enough for most to complete successfully, it has become a popular race length for both novices and experts.


Karen Craney
Training Program Coordinator
RRCA Certified Coach
Fleet Feet Sports Certified Coach
Fleet Feet Sports, Gaithersburg, MD

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