It’s Running Season, So Let’s Get Serious About These 5K’s (but not too serious)

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Over the next few months, there is an expectation that a number of folks will be hitching their wagons to at least one 5K (3.2 mile) run. So, if it’s your first, how do you prepare?

Well, luckily your friends at Active.com have put together a quick How-To on preparing for your first race day. It includes those basic “duh” tips that can help make your race day a success. And let’s not forget that the race is only part of the experience, a 5K can eat up a good portion of your day when you consider preparation, execution, and celebration.

Currently, though, a great trend has been developing: Fun 5Ks!

Of course, if you want to participate in the basic 5K, there are plenty of them out there. On the other end, if you want a longer, grueling run through mud, electrified wires, and ice cold waters, with the added challenge of physical obstacles and challenges, there are some of those out there for you, too.

However, if you are not a fast runner, or are simply nervous about the idea, you may want to give a fun 5K a try. Usually, these events cater to raising money for a worthy cause and include a fun after-party so you can mingle with your fellow participants. The added bonus — many of these events have a fun 1K or 1 mile event for the family, so the kiddos can get in on the action.

Krispy Kreme 5K Annual Challenge which is held in Raleigh, North Carolina and raises monies for the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. To complete the challenge, you run 2.5 miles through downtown Raleigh to a Krispy Kreme store, slam down 1 dozen glazed doughnuts, and run 2.5 miles back — all in under an hour.

Zombie Run 5K Run for your life! This race with a twist pits you against a 5K obstacle course with the normal array of typical challenges —all while being chased by hungry, merciless zombies. That’s right, people dressed in typical zombie garb will try to hunt you down throughout as you work your way towards the finish.

Color Me Rad 5K If the harshness of zombies is too much for you and the softness of a doughnut is a little too “gut-wrenching”, you may want to opt for a run that puts a smile, and a rainbow of color, on your face. These races blanket you with splashes of color as you enter different areas of the race. Plan on bringing a team to get silly with!

Turkey Trot If you gobble a lot on Thanksgiving Day, a way to lessen your guilt is participating in one of these holiday races. They happen all over the country in places like Buffalo, NY, Dallas, TX, Alexandria, VA, Dana Point, CA and are a great way to bond with family over a great outdoor activity. The mileage for these races vary, but the good experiences shouldn’t. Unless you are an actual turkey, who can somehow read, you can’t participate in the Turkey Trot held in Cuero, TX.

Disco Dash 5K/10K Be groovy while you “get down” towards the finish. These events down necessarily have a dress requirement, but it’s the dressing up that always makes these things more interesting.  The most notable of these races is in Chicago, IL, but another version of this event is being held in Virginia Beach, VA.

My first 5k was a nerve-racking affair, mainly because I overdid my preparation, like I do in most aspects of my life (Thanks, obsessive compulsive disorder!). The main thing to do is go out, do one, have fun, and just set a goal of finishing. I promise you will have a blast.

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