The 5K run is a long-distance road running competition over a distance of five kilometres (3.107 miles). Also referred to as the 5K road race, 5 km, or simply 5K, it is the shortest of the most common road running distances. It is usually distinguished from the 5000 metres track running event by stating the distance in kilometres, rather than metres.
Among road running events, the 5K distance is mostly popular with novice or infrequent runners or joggers, as it is comparatively easier to complete the distance without endurance training. This also makes the distance suitable for people looking to improve or maintain their general physical fitness, rather than develop long-distance running abilities. The brevity of the distance means that less time is required to take part in the activity and that people from a wide range of ages and abilities may participate. From a physiological perspective, five kilometres is towards the low end of endurance running.
The combination of the activity's simplicity, its low cost, and medium exercise intensity mean that it is often recommended by medical organisations and healthcare professionals. Like all physical activity, regular 5K runs can improve cardiovascular function and reduce body fat, as well as having mental health benefits (see runner's high).
Similar to other road running events, many organised 5K running events incorporate an element of charity running. Runners may elect to raise money for a chosen charity on the condition of their completion of the race. This is typically optional, with other participants running for pleasure. The 5K distance is particularly popular among women and a number of annual women-only races are organised over this distance. Running USA's 2012 analysis of participation in American road races showed that 58% of participants in 5K races were women. This contrasts with women's participation in sport in general and in longer distance races particularly, where the same report showed the gender bias was reversed.
The Hot Chocolate 5K in Chicago and the Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run in Miami are the largest organised 5K runs in the United States, having attracted over 20,000 and over 16,000 runners, respectively, in 2012. This ranked the Hot Chocolate 5K as the 20th largest road running event of any distance in the United States that year. There are several prominent 5K race series, including The Color Run, an international, mass participation, city-based series involving coloured water showers, and the Parkrun series, which is a worldwide network of free-to-enter, volunteer-led races occurring each weekend (originating in the United Kingdom).
Unlike longer road races, such as the 10K run and marathon, the 5K distance is not commonly contested by elite distance runners. The Carlsbad 5000 is one of the few races that attract competitive elite fields and has seen several world bests for the distance (the IAAF does not recognise world record for the 5K road event). Another annual American race, Freihofer's Run for Women, also regularly has elite women competing in the road distance, as does the BOClassic in Italy. Elite racing almost exclusively takes place on the track for this distance.
There is no official world championship event organised for the 5 km road distance. Championships over 5 km are held nationally in some areas, including the United States and England. An annual North American 5K Championships was created in 2002, but this competition ceased after 2005.
The International Association of Athletics Federations does not recognise world records over the 5 km road distance. Other statistical organisations, including the Association of Road Racing Statisticians, record best times for the event. Records for the 5K are often noted in national records in athletics.
Men's world bests progression
|12:59.5||Sammy Kipketer (KEN)||26 March 2000||Carlsbad 5000|
|13:12||William Mutwol (KEN)||29 March 1992||Carlsbad 5000|
|13:26||Yobes Ondieki (KEN)||2 April 1989||Carlsbad 5000|
|13:30.2||Steve Scott (USA)||27 March 1988||Carlsbad 5000|
|13:31||Mike McLeod (GBR)||4 April 1984||Newcastle, England|
|13:56||Carlos Lopes (POR)||18 February 1973||Seia, Portugal|
|14:19.0||Luigi Conti (ITA)||23 September 1960||Bologna, Italy|
Women's world bests progression
|14:32+||Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN)||9 September 2017||Birell Prague Grand Prix|
|14:46||Meseret Defar (ETH)||9 April 2006||Carlsbad 5000|
|14:47||Lornah Kiplagat (NED)||28 March 2004||Brunssum, Netherlands|
|14:50.4||Paula Radcliffe (GBR)||14 September 2003||London, United Kingdom|
|14:53.6||Berhane Adere (ETH)||13 April 2003||Carlsbad 5000|
|14:53.8||Deena Drossin (USA)||7 April 2002||Carlsbad 5000|
|14:57||Paula Radcliffe (GBR)||2 September 2001||London, United Kingdom|
|14:57.2||Lydia Cheromei (KEN)||8 June 1997||Bern, Switzerland|
|15:05||Rose Cheruiyot (KEN)||2 April 1995||Carlsbad 5000|
|15:10||Elana Meyer (RSA)||16 October 1994||Providence, United States|
|15:11||Liz McColgan (GBR)||14 April 1991||Carlsbad 5000|
|15:20||Lynn Williams (CAN)||2 April 1989||Carlsbad 5000|
|15:26||Liz McColgan (GBR)||20 December 1987||Derry, United Kingdom|
|15:29||Grete Waitz (NOR)||20 October 1984||West Lafayette, United States|
|15:29||Lorraine Moller (NZL)||31 October 1982||Woodland Hills, United States|
|16:08||Mary Shea (USA)||14 February 1982||Raleigh, United States|
|16:16||Julie Shea (USA)||20 September 1981||Jersey City, United States|
All-time top 25
- + = en route to longer performance
|1||13:00||Sammy Kipketer||Kenya||26 March 2000||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|1 April 2001||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|2||13:10||Dejene Berhanu||Ethiopia||3 April 2005||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|3||13:11||Dejen Gebremeskel||Ethiopia||3 April 2011||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|Eliud Kipchoge||Kenya||11 April 2010||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|5||13:14||Hagos Gebrhiwet||Ethiopia||1 April 2012||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|6||13:15||Abreham Cherkos||Ethiopia||9 April 2006||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|7||13:16||Simon Ndirangu||Kenya||30 March 2013||Westfield|
|Tariku Bekele||Ethiopia||1 April 2012||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|Paul Koech||Kenya||29 March 1998||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|10||13:18||Juan Armando Quintanilla||Mexico||31 March 1996||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|11||13:19||Bekana Daba||Ethiopia||5 April 2009||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|12||13:20||Craig Mottram||Australia||3 April 2005||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|Ben True||United States||15 April 2017||BAA 5K||Boston|||
|14||13:21||Stephen Sambu||Kenya||21 September 2013||Alton|
|John Cheruiyot Korir||Kenya||13 April 2003||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|Thomas Nyariki||Kenya||29 March 1998||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|17||13:22||Philemon Hanneck||Zimbabwe||28 March 1993||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|18||13:23||James Koskei||Kenya||13 April 2003||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|19||13:24||Brahim Jabbour||Morocco||27 March 1994||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|Marc Davis||United States||31 March 1996||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|Shadrack Kosgei||Kenya||13 April 2003||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|Maregu Zewdie||Ethiopia||5 April 2009||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|John Kipkoech||Kenya||1 April 2012||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|Alistair Cragg||Ireland||30 March 2013||Westfield|
|Joshua Cheptegei||Uganda||3 April 2016||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|1||14:14 ||Masila Ndungu||Kenya||20 May 2012||Leiden|||
|2||14:32+||Joyciline Jepkosgei||Kenya||9 September 2017||Birell Prague Grand Prix||Prague|||
|3||14:45+||Fancy Chemutai||Kenya||9 September 2017||Birell Prague Grand Prix||Prague|
|4||14:46+||Violah Jepchumba||Kenya||10 September 2016||Prague Half Marathon||Prague|
|14:46||Meseret Defar||Ethiopia||9 April 2006||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|6||14:47||Lornah Kiplagat||Netherlands||28 March 2004||Parelloop||Brunssum|
|7||14:48||Genzebe Dibaba||Ethiopia||29 March 2015||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|Kim Smith||New Zealand||30 March 2013||Westfield|
|9||14:50||Molly Huddle||United States||18 April 2015||Boston|
|10||14:51||Sentayehu Ejigu||Ethiopia||18 April 2015||Boston|
|Tirunesh Dibaba||Ethiopia||3 April 2005||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|Paula Radcliffe||Great Britain||14 September 2003||London|
|14:51+||Caroline Chepkoech||Kenya||7 April 2018||Prague Half Marathon||Prague|||
|Joan Melly Chelimo||Kenya||7 April 2018||Prague Half Marathon||Prague|||
|15||14:52||Mamitu Daska||Ethiopia||18 April 2015||BAA 5K||Boston|
|16||14:53||Isabella Ochichi||Kenya||28 March 2004||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|14:53+||Sheila Chepkirui Kiprotich||Kenya||9 September 2017||Birell Prague Grand Prix||Prague|
|18||14:54||Deena Kastor||United States||7 April 2002||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|Berhane Adere||Ethiopia||13 April 2003||Carlsbad 5000||Carlsbad|
|Buze Diriba||Ethiopia||15 April 2017||BAA 5K||Boston|||
|21||14:56||Sonia O'Sullivan||Ireland||1 September 2002||London|
|22||14:57||Liz McColgan||Great Britain||27 October 1991||Chicago|
|Gelete Burka||Ethiopia||18 April 2015||BAA 5K||Boston|
|24||14:59||Benita Willis||Australia||1 September 2002||London|
|25||15:04||Kalkidan Gezahegne||Bahrain||15 April 2017||BAA 5K||Boston|||
Below is a list of other times equal or superior to 14:51:
- Violah Jepchumba also ran 14:51+ (2017).
- Wolfe-Bieler, Kristen (2007-06-08). Run Your First 5-K. Runner's World. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- Liberman, Art; Brown, Randy; Myers, Eileen (January 18, 2012). The Everything Running Book: The Ultimate Guide to Injury-free Running for Fitness and Competition. Adams Media. p. 194. ISBN 9781440529719.
- Beginner 5km programme. BUPA. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- 5K Fun Run. Diabetes.co.uk. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- 5K run: 7-week training schedule for beginners. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- running with Couch to 5K. National Health Service. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- Race for Life. Cancer Research UK. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- Statistics. Running USA (2012). Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- 2012 State of the Sport Part I: Growth of Women's Running. Running USA (2012-05-09). Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- Largest Races. Running USA. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- About. The Color Run. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- Philips, Mitch (2010-05-21). Grass-roots support pushes Parkrun to new heights. Reuters. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- Defar runs fastest ever women's 5km in Carlsbad. IAAF (2006-04-10). Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- Third win in a row for Gebremeskel, Burka makes Ethiopian double in Carlsbad. IAAF (2013-04-08). Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- Chebet beats the heat to set course record in Albany 5K. IAAF (2010-06-06). Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- Sampaolo, Diego (2012-01-01). Soi and Cheruiyot take thrillers in Bolzano. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-01-02.
- Records, Rankings, and Lists. USA Track and Field. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- English 5k Road Championship. England Athletics (2010-07-12). Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- North AMerican 5 Kilometres Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- 2005 North American 5 km Team Challenge. USATF. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- World Best Progressions- Road. Association of Road Racing Statisticians (2013-12-21). Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- Barbara Matson (April 15, 2017). "Ben True sets American record en route to BAA 5K win". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- not recognised by IAAF
- "5km Road World All Time Top 30 – Women". tilastopaja.eu. 16 April 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
- Bob Ramsak (9 September 2017). "Jepkosgei smashes world 10km record in Prague". IAAF. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- "Caroline Chepkoech Prague Half Marathon 2018 Result". runczech.com. 7 April 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "Joan Melly Chelimo Prague Half Marathon 2018 Result". runczech.com. 7 April 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
List of world bests
- World Best Progressions- Road. Association of Road Racing Statisticians (2013-12-21). Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
- 5K run training from About.com