By: Medley Shamp
What is a 5K?
Prior to 2010, I had no desire to know what a 5k was, what it entailed or even speaking the words 5K. Since then, I’ve taken up this sport as a way to maintain my health, manage stress and meet new people.
The #1 question I hear is: WHY? Why would you want to do this? My answer is simple. Health. You see, most 5K participants are not high school track stars. Now, this is not to say your old high school buddy won’t be at this event, I’m saying that these local events are typically filled with people just like you and I. People who are ready to take charge of their health, possibly lose a little weight, spend time with others who enjoy running and sponsor the cause the event is recognizing.
Some frequently asked questions about 5K’s:
What is a 5K? A 5K is an event where the participant walks or runs 3.1 miles.
Where does a 5K occur? Everywhere! More commonly a 5K is held during town festivities (i.e. June Jubilee) or events focused on raising awareness (such as cancer awareness). 5K’s are also held year-round…yes, people actually run outside during our Minnesota winters!
What occurs at a 5K? The participant usually registers for the event in advance. On the day of the event you check in, collect your bib (participant number) and receive your goody bag. A goody bag? Yes! The organization holding the event usually includes a T-shirt and maybe even coupons to upcoming races, discounts to area businesses, granola bars, umbrellas, water bottles, headbands or stocking hats.
Am I timed? Yes, most events time the runner with a large time clock or through a small chip in their bib. Most participants are usually only concerned with their time. Something many non-runners don’t know and that is, that we really aren’t competing with each other, but with ourselves, aiming to beat our best and get a “PR” or personal record.
How much does a 5k cost? Typically, the cost of a traditional 5K run/walk is between $20-30. Fun runs, mud runs and obstacle course events usually cost a little more.
Do I need to train? To an extent yes. If you plan to run a 5K and do not currently run, a helpful training tool called “Couch to 5K” may help you. If you plan to walk a 5K, which by the way nearly 1/3 of participants are walkers, you do not need to train if you can walk a leisurely 2-3 miles now.
Finally where do I find a 5K? I thought you’d never ask…here are some upcoming local races…
Sunnybrook Stomp in Wadena on Friday, June 19 (sign-up now to join me at www.TCHC.org)
Sebeka Red River Eye Days 5K on Saturday, June 20 at 9 a.m.
Henning 5K on Saturday, July 11, registration at 7 a.m.
Ruth’s Rainbow Run on Saturday July 11 in New York Mills
Deer Creek 5K on Saturday, July 25.
Bertha 5K on Saturday, July 11.
Never Give UP 5K Walk/Run (Suicide Awareness) Saturday, August 29.
Nimrod 5K on Saturday, September 5
Princess Warrior 5K Run, Walk, Roll, Stroll or Crawl on Saturday, September 26
Now you know what a 5K is, I challenge you to try one this summer!
About Medley: I am a mother of two teenagers Cody 13, Taylor 17, my husband Adam and I are both employees of TCHC. In March I transitioned from Outreach Orthopedics to Care Coordination. We are lifelong residents of Bertha, enjoy attending our kids sporting events, hunting, fishing and camping.
You may ask what keeps me going with a packed schedule? A big motivator for me is a 7 year old boy I met through a running group called IR4 where runners log miles for their physically disabled buddies. Dean has a very rare disease called Pancreatic Agenesis where he is not able to be as active as other kids his age.
I may not be the fastest runner, or the most athletic person for that matter, but I run because I have a heart to be the very best version of myself each and everyday.
*For more information on IR4 visit www.whoirun4.com. There is no cost to participate.