Make Your First 5K A Fun One

Running is a great way to stay active and improve your overall health, and the spring is the ideal time to start thinking about participating in a road race. Running your first 5K can be intimidating, but once you finish your first it’s hard to break the habit. There are plenty of races to choose from, and here are a few that are guaranteed to be a good time and help you get hooked on running.

The Color Run

This fun-filled and decidedly casual Color Run 5K takes places in dozens of cities in the U.S. Runners get splashed with colored powder while they run through “color zones”. The runs aren’t timed, which makes them pretty appealing to novices. If you’re looking for low-key, and colorful, run to train for this is a good one.

The Brewery Running Series

The Brewery Running Series is another great option for the casual runner. This 5K series takes place over the spring and summer in 10 states. The courses aren’t always exactly 3.1 miles and they’re generally not closed, but they begin and end at a brewery. Runners are rewarded with a beer upon finishing. Another plus, the group donates a portion of the proceeds to a local non-profit.

Hot Chocolate

Nearly 20 cities host a Hot Chocolate run. The popular event is timed and takes place in cold weather months (early spring, fall and winter). It includes both a 5K and a more challenging 15K for those feeling a little more ambitious. Finishers are rewarded with a cup of hot chocolate (clever) and a pretty cool medal.

Turkey Trot

Turkey Trots are easy to find in cities and towns around the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day. It makes sense—burn a few calories before indulging and feel better about the traditional feast. A side benefit is that a 5K provides some alone time away from your family, which can be beneficial over the course of a long holiday weekend.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series

Don’t be scared off by the name, the series of runs around the world also includes a 5K option. If you like to run to music, this race is a good bet. Live music on the course makes you forget about the mileage. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon began in San Diego in 1998 and has become a popular event in the two decades since.

Your Friendly Neighborhood 5K

Most cities, towns, villages across the U.S. have caught the running bug and have a 5K or two throughout the course of the year. Check out websites like RunningInTheUSA.com to find the races near you that look like fun. Good luck!