The First 5K Race

The 5K is the first race for most runners

#first5K, First 5K Medal, finishers medal

First 5K Medal 2016

Every weekend new runners try their first 5k. Most weekends there are hundreds of races to choose from. The options can seem endless during prime running season in your area.

When choosing your first 5k race, make sure you will have time to train. Even if you just want to finish your first race, you should do some training.

You should also check with your doctor to make sure it’s okay for you to run. Then you should buy a new pair of running shoes and break them in. 

A few light jogs around the neighborhood should tell you if there are any issues with the shoes. On race day you want to focus on your race and not worry about uncomfortable running shoes.

First 5K Training

You can Google and find all kinds of running advice. offers their  “Couch-to-5K” program which is a good program for new runners.

Some local running clubs host “Walk-to-Run” programs that are good for beginners and people looking to get back into running. Check out your local Y or look for a local “boot camp” program.

You can buy a book or use an on-line program for training. It may feel intimidating to join a running program or club, but these groups will welcome you and help you. Nothing beats moral support!

Finding Your local 5K Race

A google search of 5K and your zip code or town name should give you many race options. Many 5K races are run by local non-profit organizations such as The YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, Chamber of Commerce and many other organizations. They will promote these races on thir web sites also.

Here are some other sources to find your first 5K race:

Popular 5K races

Certain dates and weekends are particularly popular for 5k races. Many of these races are themed and family friendly. I see parents with children at races all the time. Christmas, 4th of July and Mother’s Day are particularly popular family runs.

Running for Good

Most 5k races are fundraisers. It may be for your child’s school PTO or their YMCA. Local groups raise money to provide services to families in need or for medical research. National organizations often organize or help local chapters organize 5k races as fundraisers also.

5K fundraising is an easy way for you to participate in a fun activity and do some good for your community.

Because most 5K races are fundraisers, organizations have had to find ways to control expenses. The cost of many essential items such as registration and timing services, insurance and permits continues to increase.

While most races still give a race shirt to all runners, most 5K races have eliminated the finisher’s medal. Sponsors want their name on the t-shirt, but the finisher’s medal is an expense.

This means that most first time 5K runners do not get a medal. When I saw parents running with their children in 5K races without a medal I knew something had to be done.

In 2014 I created the My First 5K medal so every runner can experience the joy of a medal at their first 5K race. Kids of all ages are excited to get their first race medal.

My First 5K medal helps support the non-profit sponsoring your race when you order a My First 5K medal with your race registration. If you do not see the medal offered on the registration ask the Race Director if they offer the My First 5K medal.

If your race does not offer the My First 5K medal we can send medals to you, where ever you are.

my first 5k medal. #first5k

Local races are a great family activity and convenient for young runners just starting out. I often see parents running with their young children, or pushing them in strollers. The start of a great family tradition!

Finishing a 5K race is an accomplishment. A My First 5K medal is recognition for completing a race that many never begin. It is a way to remember a special day that will hopefully lead to many more races and a healthy lifestyle for your child.

If the race you signed up for does not offer a finisher’s medal, or if you want a medal that recognizes the race as someone’s first, you can order a My First 5K medal from our Omni Running Shop.

Each medal comes with a colorful bib sticker.

5k medals,first 5kThese water-proof stickers will let everyone know that your runner is running their very first 5K. running sticker, #first5k


If your runner is receiving their medal at the finish line, the race officials will see them coming and the crowd will cheer for them as they approach the finish line.


Are you a coach or team leader?

Request a quote for your group on our Omni Running Shop page