In the college world, summer is all about lighter course loads, sleeping in and relaxation. In the running world, summer is the season for early morning and night time runs. It is the perfect season to set a beginner pace or push yourself if you are already a runner.
Test out your running abilities this summer by signing up for some summer 5ks! Worried about the heat? The majority of summer races are at or after sunset, so the weather will be cool and the running will be fun!
Check out my top 10 choices for the Tampa Bay area:
A Dash for Cover
May 17, 8:00 am; Al Lopez Park, Tampa, FL – 20 minute drive from USF campus.
This race is in memory of Captain Joe Billek who was a member of Tampa Fire Rescue, and it includes a 5k and 1-mile Family Fun Run. All proceeds go to the Captain Billek Foundation, which supports melanoma education, awareness and research. The course is run through the shady and wooded trail at Al Lopez Park.
Pre-Registration Price: $30; Race Day Registration: $35. Register here.
Get Moving Tampa Bay
May 31, 8:00 am; Al Lopez Park, Tampa, FL – 20 minute drive from USF campus.
This race is all about promoting physical activity for all fitness levels! Post-race enjoy hours of planned activities at the park. Check them out on Facebook for more info and tips on getting active in Tampa Bay.
Registration Price: $35. Register here.
Picnic Island Adventure Races
June 5 & July 10, 6:45 p.m.; Picnic Island Park, Tampa, FL – 40 minute drive from USF campus.
This race is a little over a 5k and will definitely push your limits, so I would not recommend it for a beginning runner. It is a 3.6 mile off-road run that includes crawling, beach running, and obstacles like hurdle jumping. Sound intense? Don’t worry you’ll be rewarded with a gorgeous sunset finish along the water complete with a post-race feast.
Pre-Registration Price: $31; Race-Day Registration: $35. Register here.
The Great Father’s Day Race
June 21, 7 a.m. registration & 8 a.m. start time; Al Lopez Park, Tampa, FL – 20 minute drive from USF campus.
Create a lasting family memory this Father’s Day! Get active and enjoy this competitive and fun family race at the shaded Al Lopez Park course. Dri-fit t-shirts and snacks will be awarded to all runners. Can’t make it on race day? Race anywhere with the virtual 5k option for $25. Check it out here.
Pre-Registration Price: $35; Race-Day Registration: $40. Register here.
July 3-4, 9:30 p.m. – 3 a.m.; 2602 Bayshore Blvd, Tampa, FL – 30 minute drive from USF campus
Bring in Independence Day with a late night/early morning run and post-race party! What better way to beat the heat by racing under the cool moonlight near Tampa’s honeymoon island. This run offers a variety of races for all types of runners. You can choose between a 1-miler, 5k, or 10k, or if you’re feeling up to it you can combine two or all three of the races. The 1-miler begins at 11 p.m., the 5k at 11:25 p.m., and the 10k begins at 12:15 a.m.
Check out registration prices and register here.
Lutz Independence Day Run
July 4, 8 a.m.; Lutz Community Center, 101 First Avenue N., Lutz, FL – 15 minute drive from USF
Enjoy this local race and celebrate the USA! It is sure to be a hot one, but residents often leave out sprinklers for a quick cool off. Dress to impress in red, white and blue costumes.
Price before June 1: $20; Price after June 1: $25. Register here.
Zoo Run Run 5k
August 23, 7:30 a.m.; Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa, FL – 15 minute drive from USF
RUN WILD! Enjoy a 5k that runs through the zoo in Lowry Parks 13th Annual Zoo Run Run. Get a great workout and a behind-the-scenes look at the zoo.
Registration info coming in June.
5K Series Races:
Fit2Run Fun Runs
Every Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.; Fit2Run at International Plaza – 20 minute drive from USF
Price: FREE! Open to all fitness levels with longer run options and occasional shoe demos. Calendar here.
St. Pete Beach 5k Series
Dates TBD, 7 p.m.; The Hurricane at Pass-a-Grille, 809 Gulf Way, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 – 50 minute drive from USF
Sunsets at Pier 60 5ks
May 29, June 12, July 17, & August 14, 7 p.m.; Clearwater, FL – 50 minute drive from the USF