Summer is the season of 5k races. With the summer heat and humidity, it’s a great time to race 3.1 miles versus trying to go out for more sometimes. Local 5k races are also usually a great time to bring family as well. Most local race are very family (and stroller) friendly, so why not let the kids run out some energy. A lot of 5k races are also fundraisers for a non-profit organization, so it’s an easy way to get in a race/workout while supporting a great cause. For this month’s Five Things Friday post I wanted to put together five local 5k races that you should add to your calendar.
1 – First on the list is the Yinzer 5k. I am always out of town when this race occurs so I can’t put a personal recommendation. but everyone I know who has run this race absolutely loves it. This race supports Light of Life which provides meals and emergency shelter to the homeless of Pittsburgh and we also have long-term recovery programs for men and women suffering from addiction or mental illness. Normally this race is up in North Park, but this year they are bringing it down to the North Shore. They also have the little yinzer run which is less than a mile. So, on June 16th, throw on your best yinzer gear and head to the start line with a ton of your fellow yinzers.
2 – One of my Instagram friends, Amanda (@run_intended) has put together the Stride for Pride 5k for the past couple of years. The race benefits the Human Rights Campaign. The race takes place on the North Shore and is a completely flat out and back. In addition to the 5k, which you can run or walk, there is also a 200m kids dash that morning. This years race will take place on June 24th and your race registration will include a one year membership to the HRC.
3 – For the past few Fourth of July’s I have started my morning by running the Brentwood 5k. This is a rolling course (nothing gentle about it) that is a complete out and back. The fun part of this race is that Brentwood does their 4th of July parade RIGHT after the race, so the streets are completely lined with people cheering you on. It might be hot and humid, but this is a great way to start a fun holiday. Two of the other great things about this race is the FREE beer afterwards and the amazing gifts they raffle off. One year I won Pirates tickets, but haven’t been lucky enough to win anything since.
4 – Coming back for a third year is the Sandcastle 5k & Kids Fun Run on June 30th. This race is an out and back on the Sandcastle boardwalk. One of the best things about this race though is that with your registration you get a free pass to comeback and enjoy Sandcastle (additional discount tickets can also be purchased when you register). If you think you can go for the overall win at this race, the grand prize is a season pass. Not a bad deal if you have the speed.
5 – Surprise! You’re getting a special deal for this one – four races in one! Some of my favorite summer races are the city 5k races. You get to run through some of the best neighborhoods and parks that the city has. I wish they would hold an official series that ends with the Great Race in September. I think they might get some more people to do all of the races then. The first race is the Greenfield Glide on 6/3 followed only days later by the Riverview 5k on 6/8. This one is a Friday night race and while the first half of the race seems great, the second half is all uphill. Remember, what goes down, must go back up. You get break in July, but the races come back in August with the Brookline Breeze on 8/11. This race has a crazy hill at the beginning, but you hit that same hill for the last half mile and it’s a perfect time to let the wheels go. The last race is Run Around the Square on 8/25 this year. This one might be my favorite because you get a good mix of neighborhood running but then head into Frick Park. Mile 2 is all uphill, but you’ll love the downhill of mile 3 and don’t forget about the champagne and beer as you head into the park. I can’t recommend these races enough and hopefully I will be able to lace up for Riverview 5k and Run Around the Square this year.
Do you have a favorite local summer 5k race?