The 5K run is a long-distance road running competition over a distance of five kilometres (3.1069 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 withoutendurance 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 aphysiological perspective, five kilometres is towards the low end of endurance running.
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 an umbrella grouping of free-to-enter, volunteer-led races recurring each weekend
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).