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About 5k events in the United States

5ks are made so popular in the United States by their accessibility. Every weekend sees thousands of beginners taking their first strides at a 5k event as well as regular runners trying to beat their personal record. These events tend to happen all year round, rain or shine. You have your regular park runs and big event 5ks, but also night runs, color runs, fun runs and charity runs so there's absolutely no excuse not to get involved.

What are the best 5k events?

At most events you'll find fancy dress, friendly runners and often a charitable cause to bring people together. The 5k is where the fun happens. One great example is the Hot Chocolate Chicago 5k which is one of the largest 5ks in the US with over 25,000 participants. As the name suggests, you're greeted with chocolatey goodness at the finish line. This race is part of a series that's held in different cities throughout the US, so there's likely to be one near you. Larger events such as the Twin Cities Marathon and the Gasparilla Distance Classic often host 5k and 10k races alongside their longer flagship events.

What is the average time to run a 5k?

Your own time will vary depending on your goals and whether you're walking or running. The fastest dragsters can finish in under 14 minutes, but most can take up to an hour. Don't focus on others, set your own goals and stick to them. Generally speaking, anything under 30 minutes would be a very good time. For this to happen, you'd have to maintain a pace of around 9.5 minutes per mile for the full race.

How long should I train for a 5k?

Your training will depend on the goals you set and how they correspond to your current fitness levels and experience. First timers who don't consider themselves particularly fit should take on a 5k training program to get race ready. This will lower the risk of injury and help you stay motivated. Take a look at our 6 weeks to 5k training plan to get you up to speed.