Reflections from Another 5k Season

Well I’m glad that’s over.

Another 5k season is thankfully winding to a close, and I for one, couldn’t be happier.

I know that some people love the 5k, but it’s easily my least favorite race distance. Maybe it makes me sound like a wuss, but the 5k is really nothing but pain and agony. A not quite sprint, but nowhere near comfortable, 20ish minute run.

No thanks. Give me 26.2 miles instead of those nauseating 3.1 any day of the week.


Photo by The Wife

Lessons Learned this 5k Season

This summer’s 5k season wasn’t all for naught, however. While the 4 race Watermelon Series didn’t turn out quite like I’d hoped (4th place in age group), I still managed to at least find a shiny new PR (19:53).

I also learned a few things this summer, and refreshed my memory in terms of lessons I’ve learned in previous 5k seasons.

  • Some People are Clueless–At the first race of the series this summer, there was a screw up from the porta-potty company and they didn’t deliver the porta-potties like they were supposed to. Obviously, this was an inconvenience. But the race director sent out an email, posted to Facebook, and took every reasonable measure to let people know of the situation that could have been taken. And people bitched like crazy, demanded refunds, and the whole 9 yards. I understand the inconvenience, but seriously guys, pee at home before the race.
  • Some Runners are Clueless–If you’ve never run a race before, you sort of get a pass. But if you’ve ever run a 5k, you have a general idea of how fast you will be. If you’re lining up at the front of a 1000 person race, and you know you’re going to run over 25 minutes, you’re a dick. Thanks for making those of us running 2-3 minutes (or more!) faster than you go around you over the first mile or so. There is a reason they ask you to line up based on your expected pace, and most of us have no business lining up in the front row with the sub-18 minute crowd.
  • New Runners Stick Out Like a Sore Thumb–I understand that 5ks are really popular with those new to running, and I’m so glad that people are taking control of their health and getting out and running a 5k. I know that I stuck out when I started running, and now I smile when I see the new folks out there as well. But don’t feel bad, you’ll be smiling at the new guys next year. I promise.
  • Water Stop in a 5k?–I don’t have a problem with the folks from the running store setting up a water stop at the half-way point. And I don’t have a problem with people stopping for a drink if they need one. But what are people running in the 20 minute area code doing grabbing a cup of water? Every race, someone near me grabbed a cup of water, tried drinking it, ended up choking and coughing, and got passed. If you’re running a 20 minute 5k, you should be able to run all 20 minutes without water, no?
  • The Running Community is Awesome!–Cluelessness and petty complaints aside, I love being a part of the amazing running community! Runners are so supportive, encouraging, and fun to be around that I love being around them as often as possible, even if that means running a 5k!

As much as I hate running 5ks, during 5k season there is no place that I’d rather be than with my people sweating together on another lap around Lake Hollingsworth.

Did You Have a Good Summer Race/5k Season? What Sticks Out in Your Mind From This Year’s Races? Let Me Know Below!

2 replies
  1. Amanda Nyx
    Amanda Nyx says:

    I think that last point is the most important here: the running community truly IS awesome! That 5k distance really bridges the gap between people just beginning a new hobby, people who are in it just for their health, and people who are 20 year seasoned veterans of the sport. It’s the melting pot of the running world!

    • Denny
      Denny says:

      The post as a whole was mostly tongue in cheek, but that last point was real–I love being a part of the running community.

      While I’m not a fan of the 5k, I love your point of it being a “melting pot”. That’s a great analogy! Thanks for sharing!


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