For runners just getting into running or seasoned pros looking to set a new personal record, there are several 5K races in Raleigh and the Triangle area that offer entertaining and challenging options. With muddy obstacle courses, night runs and races that incorporate live music, long gone are the days of boring, typical 5Ks.
Here are some of our favorite 5Ks coming up in Raleigh.
Raleigh Rocks 5K
For those runners not quite ready to tackle the Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon on April 7, organizers also host a 5K run on the same day. The 5K starts at the same time as the Half Marathon so runners still get to experience all of the race-day excitement, but the 5k turns around at the PNC Arena creating a 3.1 mile route. Raleigh Rocks features 10 bands along the course and a post-race concert event for runners to enjoy.
Raleigh Mud Run
The Raleigh Mud Run, held on April 20 in Youngsville, wins for most bizarre 5K of the year. Runners race as individuals or in teams of four and each runner is given a belt with three flags. Roaming Zombies are scattered along the obstacle-infused course attempting to steal runners’ flags. If all three of a runners flags are taken, he or she must perform a physical task in exchange for another flag. The race features live music all day and one free beer per runner.
Run for Our Heroes
Run for Our Heroes is a particularly moving race that honors the memory of fallen Raleigh police offers. The pre-race ceremony includes pictures, testimonials and tributes by friends and family of these local heroes. The April 27 race is a great one for beginners as the route through downtown Raleigh is mostly flat and very scenic.
Great Glow Run
For those runners who have trouble making the early start time of many 5Ks, the Great Glow run is a fun option. The race kicks off at 8:30pm on May 11 and participants run under the stars through the Dorothea Dix campus.
Komen Race for the Cure
Runners looking for camaraderie should check out the Komen Race for the Cure on June 8, one of Raleigh’s most attended and popular races. The well-known race benefits the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which works to save lives and end breast cancer.
Color Me Rad 5K
The official date hasn’t been set, but mark October on your calendars for this popular and trendy race. Color Me Rad features four color stations along the route where racers, most wearing white T-shirts, are sprayed with bright colors (don’t worry, it’s just corn starch). The event will take place at the Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion and will benefit Special Olympics North Carolina.
Find hotels near 5k races in Raleigh with the Raleigh.com hotels directory.