Here are the 10 biggest 5K races in the U.S., according to Running USA’s most recent report.
Hot Chocolate 15K/5K ChicagoChicago; 2014 Finishers: 25,849 1 of 11
First run in 2008, this Chicago race was the one that started it all for its organizers. Now the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K is the fastest growing race series in the nation. Known as "America's Sweetest Race," runners receive a finisher's mug filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and tasty dippable treats for the post-race party. Finishers also receive a chocolate-themed medal.
Mercedes Benz Corporate Run MiamiMiami; 2014 Finishers: 18,382 2 of 11
This run is part of the larger Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run Series, which is made up of three individual 5K races throughout Florida, all of which are held in the evening during the workweek. The purpose of the series is to promote running and walking as a means to a fit, healthy lifestyle for people from all walks of corporate life. Together the series represents around 1,200 South Florida companies and 350 CEOs.
Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey TrotSan Jose, Calif.; 2014 Finishers: 12,916 3 of 11
This Thanksgiving Day race focuses on showing thanks by giving back, with a big emphasis on charitable donations. The race, which is now in its 12th year, has raised over $5 million to help local charities. The course is fast and flat, stretching through downtown San Jose neighborhoods and business areas.
Gasparilla Distance Classic Race WeekendTampa, Fla.; 2014 Finishers: 12,448 4 of 11
This 5K is organized by the Gasparilla Distance Classic Association, a nonprofit dedicated specifically to raising funds for youth organizations and running programs in the Tampa Bay area. Since 1978, they have raised $4.4 million for the Boys and Girls Club, Girls, Inc. and other similar charities. In addition to the 5K, the race weekend features many other running events, including an 8K, 15K and a half marathon.
Hot Chocolate 15K/5K AtlantaAltanta; 2014 Finishers: 11,616 5 of 11
As with the Chicago race, the Atlanta Hot Chocolate 5K will appeal to anyone with a sweet tooth. Runners will receive the famous finisher's mug and a chocolate-themed medal. In addition to the normal water stops, the course also has a number of sweet stations where you can grab a quick burst of sugar from marshmallows or tootsie rolls.
Detroit Turkey TrotDetroit; 2014 Finishers: 10,472 6 of 11
This Thanksgiving Day race is part of America's Thanksgiving Parade, an event that draws thousands of spectators to Detroit and is shown on national television each year. The parade dates back to 1924, and the Turkey Trot, which is in its 33rd year, is now an important part of the festivities. After completing the 5K course, runners can gather in the Cobb Atrium to watch the parade on the big screen.
Shamrock RunPortland, Ore.; 2014 Finishers:10,396 7 of 11
This 5K is the largest running event in Oregon and the second largest on the West Coast. The course features eight live bands, and the post race party includes a complimentary 12-ounce beer and a serving of smoked salmon chowder. The race sells out year after year, so register now and get your green ready.
McGuire's St. Patrick's Day RunPensacola, Fla.; 2014 Finishers: 9,452 8 of 11
Run in Pensacola, Florida, this 5K features an out and back course that starts and finishes at McGuire's Irish Pub downtown. Interestingly, the race is a 5K "prediction" run. Winners are not picked based on who finished first, but on who finished closest to the time they predicted on their registration sheet. Watches or other timing devices are prohibited on the course.
B.A.A. 5KBoston; 2014 Finishers: 8,641 9 of 11
Held two days before the Boston Marathon, the Boston Athletic Association 5K gets runners into the race-day spirit before Marathon Monday. The course begins on Charles Street by Boston Common and even passes over the famous marathon finish line as part of the course. All 5K runners receive a finisher's medal.
Photo Credit: FayFoto/Boston
Girls on the Run 5K St. Louis: SpringSt. Louis; 2014 Finishers: 7,926 10 of 11
This spring race is organized by Girls on the Run St. Louis, an organization that aims to empower girls for a lifetime of healthy living. Their program targets girls in the third through eighth grades and combines training for a 5K running event with lessons that inspire them to become independent thinkers, enhance their problem solving skills and make healthy decisions. The race is run through downtown St. Louis, and a portion of the proceeds goes to the Girls on the Run Scholarship Fund.