Whether you’re a new runner, or looking to increase your speed post-marathon, a 5K is a good place to start. 3.1 miles long, you won’t need months to train, and there are plenty of great races all over the country.
From the fun group events (think colour runs and inflatables), to the fast, flat courses that are PB material, we’ve rounded up the best 5K’s to sign up to this summer here:
When: Saturday 19th May 2018, 11.00am
Where: Madeira Drive, Brighton
Lowdown: Brighton's first music run, dance and sing your away along Brighton beachfront with this race with a difference. More of a team race with a fun-run feel, this probably isn't one for PB chasers, but is bound to be a fun Saturday morning.
When: Wednesday 30th May 2018, 7.30pm
Where: Wimbledon Common, SW19 4UE
Lowdown: Set in the picturesque grounds of Wimbledon Common, the idea of this Run Through event is to get round the course before the sun sets. If you’re feeling up to the challenge, there’s also a 10K race on the same evening. The Chase the Sun series has events throughout London, including Hyde Park, Battersea Park and Clapham Common.
When: Thursday 7th June 2018, 7.15pm
Where: The Pavilion Café near the West Entrance to Alexandra Park, M16 7JL
Lowdown: This three-lap course has great PB potential. With wide pathed surfaces, no trail sections and long straights, this is a great 5K course, whatever your goal. Running throughout June, the race will return on 14th, 21st and 28th.
When: Sunday 10th June 2018, 10.00am
Where: Chapel Lane, Alveley, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV15 6NG
Lowdown: An off-road, traffic-free, picturesque route along the banks of River Severn, this is a nice summer 5K run to add to your diary.
When: Sunday 10th June 2018, 11.00am
Where: Willen Lake, Brickhill Street, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK15 0DS
Lowdown: The Cancer Research UK Race for Life events are the UK’s largest women-only fundraising event series. This summer, they are back with 5K’s up and down the country (find the one nearest you on their events website). This Milton Keynes course has beautiful views of the Willen Lake, whilst raising money for a great cause of course.
When: Saturday 16th June 2018, 10.30am
Where: Graves Park, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S8 9FL
Lowdown: Pretty Muddy is, like the name suggests, a series of muddy 5K obstacle courses, raising money for Cancer Research UK. A course that women of any ability can climb over, crawl under and charge through. These events happen all over the UK, so find the one nearest you on the events page of the Cancer Research website. Due to the nature of this event, you must be 13-years-old or over.
When: Saturday 16th June 2018, 1.00pm
Where: Secret London Location
Lowdown: Definitely not a race for those looking for a PB, but a fun summer event to add to your diary – The Secret Prosecco Dash combines running and drinking. With Prosecco pre, during and post race, you’ll race around London in a point-to-point race.
When: Sunday 24th June 2018, 10.45am
Where: Martello Tower, High Street, Dymchurch, Kent, TN29 0TJ
Lowdown: A brand new event in the Kent Racing Calendar, this is a fast and flat out and back course along the promenade. There’s prizes up for grabs in this race, which is definitely PB material. There’s also a pancake flat, point to point, 1 mile course for those looking for something different.
When: Thursday 5th July 2018, 7.30pm
Where: Beale Park, Pangbourne, Reading, Berkshire, RG8 9NW
Lowdown: A popular race with a 3km, 5km and 10km distance available, this trail run takes you through Beale Park as the sun sets.
When: Sunday 8th July 2018, 8.30am
Where: Tankerton Slopes, Marine Parade, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 2BE
Lowdown: The Surf N Turf Aquathlon is a 5K run with the added challenge of a sea swim. Choose from a 200mm or 400m swim, followed by a 5K run along the Tankerton Slopes on Whitstable’s coast. Keep your fingers crossed for warm sea temperatures, and enjoy the challenge of the fast, flat run course.
When: Sunday 8th July, 9.30am
Where: Victoria Embankment, The Meadows Recreation Ground, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG2 2JY
Lowdown: The Women’s Running Race Series provides race events for female runners of all abilities at three nationwide locations. The supportive events cater for all running types and at this Nottingham race, there’s also a 1 mile kid’s race and 10K race.
When: Monday 16th July 2018, 7.00pm
Where: The Show Field, Salwick Road, Nr Kirkham, Preston, Lancashire, PR4 3SN
Lowdown: The 7 in 7 Run Festival gives you the chance to run 5K on one, or all 7 days. PB material, the road race is flat, with one lap before returning at the Scorcher Run Festival Show Field.
When: Sunday 22nd July 2018, 10.00am
Where: University of Bath, Bath, Avon, BA2 7AY
Lowdown: The Bath Running Festival is a celebration of off-road running around the hills and valleys of Bath. A fun, hilly, traffic-free, trail course, if you’re looking to get off the pavements, this is a good race for you.
When: Sunday 29th July 2018, 10.00am
Where: Aintree Racecourse, Ormskirk Road, Liverpool, L9 5AS
Lowdown: With a 5K, 10K and half-marathon on offer, this is your chance to run round the world famous Aintree Racecourse. For the 5K race, you’ll do one lap of the fast, flat course. A memorable race with PB potential.
When: Saturday 4th August 2018, 10.30am
Where: Richmond Park, East Sheen Gate, Richmond, London, SW14 8BJ
Lowdown: This multi-terrain course will give you more of a challenge, with a couple of hills along the way. All runners receive a medal, and if you love the course, this race runs multiple times throughout the summer.
When: Sunday 12th August 2018, 10.20am
Where: Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5LQ
Lowdown: A unique opportunity to rim around one of the world’s most famous racecourses, there’s a 5K or 10K course on offer. A mix of soft trails to firm tarmac, it’s not as flat as you might think, but still a nice race.
When: Wednesday 15th August 2018, 6.45pm
Where: Baltic Square, South Shore Road, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE8 3BA
Lowdown: This fast, flat route takes you along River Tyne from the Newcastle side of the Millennium Bridge to Newcastle Business Park, under the famous Tyne Bridge and returning to cross the iconic Gateshead Millennium Bridge. They’ll be two races this year due to high demand, so book your place soon.
When: Sunday 1st September 2018, 11.00am
Where: Greenacers Animal Park, Cottage Lane, Mancot, Deeside, Flintshire, CH5 2AZ
Lowdown: An obstacle course with a difference – you’ll take on over 20, including quarter pipes, water slides, cargo nets and swamps. Designed to be family friendly and fun, this is a team building event with a difference. All children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.None of these work for you? Use our event finder to find local races all over the country.