In the US alone, almost 60 million people went for a run last year. And where did they start? The good old 5k. The 5k distance is hugely popular with beginners and pros alike, you only have to look at the turnout to your local Parkrun to see the love people have for this distance. 5ks tend to be run with friends, sometimes in costume, often on holidays, and always with a huge smile. We’ve listed our favourites below, in no particular order.
1. The Color Run
Where? All over the world
Run it for: the fun, the color, the good vibes.
This hugely popular race series happens all over the world, from Egypt to Italy, Australia and the US. It’s all about the good vibes, bring face paint, costumes and prepare to get covered in a celebration of rainbow.
2. Cupid Undie Run
Where? In all major cities of Australia.
Run it for: the pants, the party, the great cause.
Raise money for the Children’s Tumour Foundation by dropping those trousers and running a 5k in your pants. These events are so much fun, they’re guaranteed to draw a large crowd and a great time. Expect a great atmosphere, friendly people and a party afterwards, usually on a beach.
3. NYRR Washington Heights Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K
Where? New York, USA
Run it for: the music, the bands, the hills.
Love hills? You’ll love this. Runners take to Upper Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighbourhood to tackle the undulating city streets. Expect to be serenaded en route by musicians, bands, troupes and dancers, playing blues, salsa and Irish Folk music. Organised by New York Runners (who also organise the famous New York City Marathon) this event is firmly in our top 10.
4. Walt Disney World 5k
Where? Orlando, Florida USA
Run it for: Mickey, Cinderella and Elsa.
This has to be one of the most unique running races in the world. There are a load of other distances on offer including a marathon, 10k and kids funs runs. Join the whole Disney gang as you race around the Castle and theme park. This is a truly incredible event for all the family. And of course, costumes are hugely encouraged.
5. Turkey Trots
Where? All over the United States
Run it for: great causes, holiday vibes and to work up an appetite.
If you haven’t already done one, it’s time you joined a Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving. Get out in your local park and join hundreds of other runners or walkers. Expect a lot of turkey costumes, a great atmosphere and lots of fun for the kids. A great activity for all the family on Thanksgiving weekend.
6. The Boston Marathon 5k
Where? Boston, USA
Run it for: the bragging rights, the crowds, the weekend.
It’s not usually common knowledge, but many of the top marathons in the world also put on a 5k event. What better 5k to do than on the iconic Boston Marathon weekend. This 5k sets off 2 days before the full race, and runners will cross the official Boston Marathon finish line before anyone else. The organisation, crowd support and atmosphere of this event is second to none, to run any race in Boston on Patriot’s Day would be an unforgettable experience.
7. Cancer Research Race for Life
Where? All over the UK, in almost every city.
Run it for: the incredible cause, the atmosphere, the friendliness.
Race for Life is one of the most popular 5k series in the UK. The atmosphere is unbeatable as people walk, jog or run the city routes. Each entry helps fund much needed research into 200 types of cancer. Expect a lot of pink and a day out you won’t forget. These events used to be just women only, but now everyone is welcome, including dogs! A great day out for the whole family.
8. The Las Vegas Great Santa Run
Where? The Las Vegas Strip
Run it for: the camaraderie, the costumes, being part of something incredible.
This 5k is surely one of the more extraordinary races to behold. Thousands of people take to the streets dressed in red suits as Santa Claus and run down the Strip. This event is for tourists and locals alike, and the atmosphere and organisation is second to none. Registration includes your Santa suit, a medal and swag bag. Great for all the family, this is a truly unforgettable 5k.
The list of best 5k runs in the world:
- The Color Run
- Cupid Undie Run
- NYRR Washington Heights Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5k
- Walt Disney World 5k
- Turkey Trots
- The Boston Marathon 5k
- Cancer Research Race For Life
- The Las Vegas Great Santa Run