The Great Debate: 5K or 5 miles?

23 Oct


What a week for debates!

Great Debate Deux – should a walkathon be 5k or 5 miles?

The not-so-great answer is…. It depends.

When a client asks me the 5K or 5 mile question, I first ask them a bunch of questions:

Here are three (of many)!

1.  How many walkers will you have?

500 walkers will work well with a 5K, but may spread out too much over 5 miles for a cohesive event.

5,000 walkers may overwhelm a 5K route if you have a defined start time.  Sidewalk spillage. (Oh yeah, I said spillage!)

50,000 walkers will require 5 miles and a rolling start so that your peeps can walk with a decent gait.  Baby steps for 5 miles is not customer friendly.


2. How much time do you have?

Most walkers will take 1 to 1.5 hours to complete a 5K route and 1.5 to 3 hours to complete a 5 mile route.

These average times will be longer with an increase in participants, since you will need to move to a rolling start once you hit a certain amount of walkers.


3. Do you already have a location in mind?

Many cities already have event sites where previous walks or runs have happened, and they need to be tweaked for you.  No need to re-create the wheel if there is already an existing 5K or 5-mile route that you can use.


Bottom line…I always like to create a 5-mile route from the start that will survive growth, and have a shorter option within that route to accommodate walkers who want to participate but cannot make 5 miles.   Everyone wins!


Check out my previous post about how to make sure your route is safe, no matter the length.

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