The Joy of Running Five Kilometers

Why Should I Run a 5K Race?

by Kathleen Lisson

The running sticker on your car has to be better than 0.0!

I have been coaching a group of elementary school girls in the Rancho Bernardo neighborhood of San Diego with the nonprofit Girls on the Run. These girls take two hours a week our of their after school time to gather together and learn about running and character development. I didn't learn to love running until I was in high school, so I am eager and happy to be able to show these young girls the joys of running and physical activity. 

The goal of each session of Girls on the Run is for the participants to run a 5K race. Ours will be held in early December, so we did our first 'practice 5K' at this week's practice. I think some of the girls felt a little scared to be putting all the practice laps together and running for three miles straight, but they all eagerly put their toes on the start line and participated. 

  • We have one really talented girl - I had her model proper passing etiquette (saying "on your left" before passing) so the girls would know how to run in a public place when they were old enough to go out on their own. 
  • We have one really determined girl - she was incredulous at first but applied herself and RAN the ENTIRE three miles. 
  • We have one really friendly girl - she ran with the two younger girls as a group and planned out a run/walk program that enabled the group to finish the whole three miles as a team. 
  • We have two younger girls - they are so sweet and full of life. I am really impressed that they kept on participating and met our challenge with a smile.


After the runners had finished and cheered one another at our 'finish line,' we did a cool down and enjoyed water and a snack. I definately saw the endorphins flowing in our young ladies - smiles all around and we even ran a 'victory lap' after we had a chance to rest. Those two giggly minutes of running swiftly in the gathering evening were so special to me. 

Bobbi Gibb and Kathrine Switzer first ran the Boston Marathon in 1960's. I first started running in the 1990's.

I am so grateful for the chance to pass on my love of running to a new generation of girls. 

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