The spring running season is here, and there is no shortage of 5K races to run in Mercer County.
According to Runners World, the 5K is the most popular race in America, with more people signing up to run the 3.1 miles than any other distance, and it’s easy to see why. The 5K is the ideal distance—long enough to be a challenge, but short enough to jog or walk the course with a few friends.
While longer races are often organized by running and pacing companies, 5K races are typically sponsored by local organizations or families looking to make a positive impact or give back to their community. For everyone from local YMCA chapters to organizations offering student scholarships, 5K’s are a good way to raise money for the community and town you’ll be running through.
The following 5K’s—listed in order by date—are being held this June throughout Mercer County. Whether you’re a running looking to get a PR or just looking to walk for a good cause, these are the community races you won’t want to miss.
9Princeton YMCA 5K and 10K
Saturday, June 3
This race, held at the ETS Campus in Princeton, is notable because it has a little something for everyone. For those who want to take a more casual, morning stroll around Princeton, a one-mile fun run will start the day at 8 a.m.
For people who are looking to go the “extra mile,” a 5K and 10K will begin at 9 a.m. People can run or walk the course, but awards will be given out to the top finishers, broken down by age group. This is also one of the only races in the area to offer a 10K race, which is ideal for runners who are looking to put their distance running skills to the test.
The one-mile walk/run is $15, and both the 5K and 10K are $30. Proceeds from the races will benefit the Princeton YMCA’s healthy living programs. For more information, visit the Princeton YMCA’s website.
8TOPAC Run/Walk to Recovery
Saturday, June 3
The Overdose Prevention Agency Corporation — TOPAC — is hosting its first ever run/walk on June 3 in Hamilton’s Veterans Park. TOPAC’s mission is to maximize the benefits of The Overdose Prevention Act, which aims to help those battling addition. It was founded by Hamilton resident Paul Ressler, a longtime advocate for addiction prevention, recovery and treatment.
All proceeds from the run/walk will be used for education, training, the purchase and distribution of naloxone and treatment assistance.
The 1-mile walk will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K run will begin 30 minutes later. For more information, visit the race website.
Sunday, June 4
If you can’t make it to Veterans Park on Saturday, another race will be held in the park on the following day. The Robbinsville Hamilton Rotary Club is hosting their Rotarun 5K Fun Run and 1-Mile Walk on Sunday, June 4.
The race begins at 9 a.m. and benefits the NJ National Guard State Family Readiness Council, an organization that assists New Jersey National Guard families. For more information, visit their race website.
6Q&A 5K Memorial Scholarship
Saturday, June 10
Robbinsville High School’s Annual Q&A 5K Memorial Scholarship Event will raise money for current students while remembering the lives of two former students.
In 2010, two Robbinsville brothers, Qasim and Ahad Muzaffar, died of carbon monoxide poisoning while vacationing in Pakistan. The Annual Memorial Scholarship, which will be awarded to Robbinsville High seniors, has been established to celebrate the lives of Qasim and Ahad.
Registration for the June 10 races opens at 7:30 a.m. at the high school, and the race starts at 9 a.m. The entry fee is $20. For more information, visit the race website.
55K Walk/Run For Women’s Athletics
Saturday, June 10
Runners will gather at Rider University on June 10 to raise money for other runners. Proceeds from the 5K will go toward Rider University’s women’s athletics programs.
The race will begin at Rider’s alumni gym/campus mall in Lawrenceville at 10 a.m. and awards will be given to the top finishers at 11 a.m. For more information, visit their website.
4CASA Kids Superhero 5K Run
Sunday, June 11
The thrill of finishing a race can make you feel like a superhero, so why not dress up like one too? The CASA Superhero 5K Run encourages participates to dress up like their favorite superhero as they raise money for CASA for Children of Mercer and Burlington Counties, an organization that helps children who have been removed from their homes, typically due to abuse or neglect.
While dressing up as a superhero isn’t mandatory is it encouraged, as the race’s slogan is “Every child needs a hero, but abused and neglected children need a superhero.”
The June 11 superhero race will be held at Washington Crossings Park in Titusville. A one-mile fun run begins at 8:45 a.m. with the 5K starting 15 minutes later. Visit the race website for more information.
3Jersey Capital 5K
Thursday, June 15
The Corporate FunRun 5K series hosts events up and down the East Coast every year, with 352 company teams and 4,300 team members participating in 2016. The goal of the event is to introduce or strengthen the role of health and fitness at companies across the United States.
This year’s Jersey Capital 5K Corporate FunRun will benefit Tackle Kids Cancer, an organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for pediatric cancer patients. Participants can run or walk the course. The race will begin on June 15 at 6:30 p.m. in Mercer County Park and a post race party will be held until 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit the race website.
2Jim Hegedus Memorial 5K Run
Saturday, June 17
The annual Jim Hegedus Memorial 5K Run will once again held in Hamilton’s Veterans Park, with registration opening at 8:30 a.m. and the race starting at 10 a.m. The race honors Jim Hegedus, a former Steinert High School track athlete who was killed in a car accident in 2006.
Hegedus’ family said he must have ran through Veterans Park well over a thousand times, making the race extra special for his friends, classmates and fellow runners who attend the race each year.
Race registration is $20, and benefits a local charity or scholarship given in Hegedus’ name. For more information, visit the race website.
1Run for Dad
Sunday, June 18
Spend this Father’s Day running through Mercer County Park while raising money for prostate cancer at the American Cancer Society’s Run for Dad 5K. This is one of the biggest races in the area, and as of May 19, 33 teams and 161 participants have raised $89,674 for prostate cancer research, according to the American Cancer Society’s website.
Registration opens at 7:15 a.m. and the race starts at 8:45 a.m. For families with smaller children, a kids race will immediately follow the conclusion of the 5K. There is a $23 registration fee, and each person is asked to set an additional fundraising goal. For more information, visit the race website.