Rules of a 5K

Today on “Walking Wednesday,” we are talking about the “rules” for a 5K. Some of these are more “official” rules and some are my unwritten rules.

Rules of a 5K

Rules of a 5K

  • Make sure you are registered and have a bib. Running/walking a race without registering is called banditing and is just not cool.
  • Most race officials prefer you wear the bib somewhere on your front where they can see it.
  • If you can run the 5K in under 20 minutes, start on the front row.
  • If you are walking the 5K, be on the last row.
  • Walkers should stay to the right so that runners can pass you on the left.
  • Pay attention to cars if you are walking/running on a road. Some races will prohibit headphones on open roads.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to throw your water cup on the ground, but if you stand there and drink the water (a) get out of the way and (b) throw your cup in the trash can.
  • Don’t run anyone over – and if you do, stop and help them up.
  • When you cross the finish line – KEEP MOVING. If you stop, someone is likely to run into you. This is also true on the race course – if you have to stop, move to the right and look behind you.
  • Take the food and water you need at the finish line, but leave some for others.

Just starting out? My suggestion is to find a 5K road race in your area. Fall is the perfect time to start walking or running as the weather is just right. Not sure where to start with training? Don’t forget my new Walk Your Way to a 5K program. Special pricing still in effect!

Cheers! Happy walking or running!


15 Responses to “Rules of a 5K”

  1. we have started doing a bunch of 5K’s as a family – – but I will never forget the first one because the child crossed the finish line – – on rollerskates 🙂 – – and stopped. I just kept shouting go go go

  2. Great tips! Another reason to wear your bib on the front is so you can get race photos – that’s how they are sorted and matched to you.

    • yes, if you have to search for the trash, just drop it. i always carry my own water. the few sips they put in a cup just aren’t enough for me.

    • yes, although i will say that some runners need to respect walkers a bit more. i was doing an out and back 5k once. i was as far on the right as i could be without being off the road. one of the fast runners coming toward me (on his way to the finish line). almost knocked me down. i was like – dude – you had a whole side to yourself. stay on it.

  3. I love this! I didn’t know walkers needed to be on the right, I thought it was the left. See, learn something new everyday!

    • maybe it is different in different areas, but here it is expected that walkers keep to the right (kind of like slow traffic on the right).

  4. Wow! I never even thought about people jumping in and participating without paying. Some people suck! 😀