A 5K is the first race for most runners
Every weekend someone runs their first 5k race.
For new runners, the 5K is the ideal race to start with. Most adults and children can run or walk a 5K. And with a little training to prepare, the first race can turn into the first of many races.
Before choosing your first 5k race or the first 5K for your spouse or child, make sure you have time to train. Even if you just want to finish your first race, you should do some training.
If you or your new runner have any health issues, check with the doctor before you start training.
Then go buy a pair of running shoes and get started.
An easy jog around the neighborhood should tell if your new shoes fit properly. Most good running stores are very good at getting the fit right.
First 5K Training
You can Google and find all kinds of running advice and training plans.
Active.com offers the Couch to 5K Running App on your phone. This is a convenient way to get a plan designed for beginners.
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.
To find a local running club check out the Road Runners of America. They are a national organization for running clubs and almost every running club in the US is a member.
Even if your local running club doesn’t have a walk-to-run program, there will be plenty of friendly people happy to help you get started.
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, etc. They will promote these races on their web sites also.
Here are some other sources to find your first 5K race:
Popular 5K races
Race directors never miss a chance to add a holiday theme to their races. Races are always fun and people enjoy themselves, but add a few costumes and it’s just that much better.
Many of these holiday races are themed and family friendly. I see parents with children at races all the time. Sometimes in strollers but quite often running along with mom or dad.
If you are looking to have a great time and perhaps be a little silly, look for a holiday race!
- New Year’s Day
- Groundhog Day
- Valentine’s Day
- St. Patrick’s Day
- April Fools Day
- Mother’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Fourth of July
- Labor Day
- Father’s Day
- Veteran’s Day
- Turkey Trots
- Christmas Themed Races
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 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, healthy activity and help others at the same time.
If you look for races in your area, I’m sure you will find events raising money for research to find cures for cancer and other diseases.
Here are a two national organizations that organize races:
There are so many more organizations supporting important research. If you ever need motivation to run a 5K, look for one of these races.
A First 5K Medal
While most races give a race shirt to all runners, many 5K races do not give everyone a finisher’s medal.
This means that a first time 5K runner may 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.
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.
These water-proof stickers will let everyone know that your runner is running their very first 5K.
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