By Sacha Obaid
Races and fun runs are a common feature of community life in and around Plano. Many are held to raise funds for local charities, while some are just about having a good time and enjoying exercise outside of the dark, stuffy gym. Whatever your reasons for participating, you have lots of options for races in the upcoming months!
Plenty of 5k Run Benefits
Whether you’re already physically fit or are new to exercise, training for a 5k run—or something longer—is a fantastic way to improve your fitness and stamina. Shorter runs, such as 1k and 5k events, are ideal for the whole family to enjoy. Typically, kids as young as seven and eight years old can take part too.
Besides the run itself, a 5k usually requires some training, which means working exercise into your routine for weeks leading up to the event! That’s good for your family’s bodies and good for bonding too!
Completing fun runs and races has so many benefits and gives you a lot of different ways to feel good:
- Running and walking is great for your body, and regular exercise boosts your mental health as well as your physical health.
- Training for a 5k run is a fun way to enjoy some extra family time and gives your family the chance to work together to achieve a goal.
- A race goal helps teach your children about the importance of regular exercise. When kids learn from an early age that staying active is fun as well as healthy, they’re more likely to maintain active habits as they get older.
- Many runs are organized to benefit one or more charities, so taking part is a fantastic way to give back to local causes that you care about.
There’s so much happening in and around Plano that you’re sure to find a race that’s perfect for you!
Lantern Run, October 1
Oak Point Park Amphitheater
2801 E Spring Creek Parkway, Plano
The Lantern Run is an amazing experience. It’s an evening run that combines the idea of the traditional Lantern Festival with a run; runners deck themselves out in glowing apparel and other light-up gear before taking to the streets. The festival starts at 5:30 PM on Saturday, October 1, while the race kicks off at 7:00 PM. Register online for a 5k or 10k run, and grab a free swag packet that includes glow-gear to light your way.
Haunt Jaunt, October 15
Oak Point Park Amphitheater
2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano
Burn off that Halloween candy before the 31st at this night-time Halloween-themed race. This is a great family event hosted by the City of Plano to provide an occasion that’s fun and safe for everyone. There’s a 1-mile fun run, as well as a 5k run. The 1-mile run takes place entirely in the park, and the 5k run winds through streets around the nature preserve.
Proceeds from the races benefit Adapted Recreation, a Parks and Recreation project that provides recreational opportunities for people with special needs. Check out the City of Plano website for more information and to register.
All Souls Run, October 29
St. Mark Catholic School
1201 Alma Drive, Plano
The All Souls Remembrance Run benefits the St. Mark Catholic School Athletics Program and is scheduled for Saturday, October 29. There’s a 5k run and a 1k fun run, kicking off at 8:00 AM on the day. All participants receive a free t-shirt, and there are prizes for the top finishers.
Register online at http://www.allsoulsrun.com/.
McKinney Half Marathon, November 5
McKinney High School
1400 Wilson Creek Parkway, McKinney
Formerly the McKinney Mini 5k, this race has grown up and has added a half-marathon to the line-up. As well as the 5k and the half-marathon, there’s also a half-marathon relay for teams of 2 participants. The first race kicks off at 8:00 AM on Saturday, November 5. Register, and get more information here.
Believe McKinney, November 29
Historic Downtown McKinney
Corner of Louisiana, Church, and Virginia Streets
Also in McKinney are a series of races that run through the historic streets of Downtown McKinney. There’s a 1-mile fun run, as well as 5k and 10k races, plus a 100-meter Santa Chase for kids 10 years old and under. The fun starts at 8:00 AM on Saturday, November 29. Proceeds from the race benefit Holy Family School in McKinney.
Learn more about the event, and register online here.
Santa Run Texas® 2016, December 10
Dr. Pepper Snapple Headquarters
5301 Legacy Drive, Plano
The roads will be filled with Santa Claus on Saturday, December 10, thanks to the Santa Run! This holiday festival is fantastic fun, with plenty of food, live music, a Santa’s Playground, and, of course, the race itself. There’s a 1-mile fun run, as well as a 5k run. With all participants receiving a Santa suit to wear on the day, these races are an incredible sight! See the Santa Run Texas website to register and learn more about the event.
BMW Dallas Marathon™, Half Marathon & Relay, December 11
With more than 12,000 people making it to the finish line every year, this set of Dallas races is one of the biggest local events on any runner’s calendar. In addition to the longer races, there’s also a 5k run. The first races start just after 8:00 AM on Sunday, December 11, and the main beneficiary of the day’s proceeds is the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
Learn more about this huge event, and secure your place in the race of your choice.
5ks are too much fun to miss. And when you’re taking part in your hometown, you’re getting fit; hanging out with friends and family; and helping good, local causes. What could be better?