That’s why. 8 kilometers is 4.97 miles. Add in the margin of error for road races, and you’ve got yourself a nice, clean 5-miler; but 8k sounds cooler. And to those who don’t run, saying you ran a 40:08 8k sounds faster than 40:08 for five miles.
8ks are pretty rare; 5-milers are too. The Double Five & Double Five Challenge (scheduled for April 9, 2016 in Lake Oswego – registration opens October 1) is one such race; it revived parts of the old Red Lizard Five Miler. The Columbia Gorge Running Club also puts on a great 5-miler, the Pumpkin Run 5 Mile Trail Run, scheduled for Halloween this year. Check it out – it starts at 9a at the North Bonneville Sports Park and is only $2 for non-members.
There are other great things about the 8k which need to be pointed out:
- You can run a 12-minute mile pace and still break an hour
- You generally won’t need hydration or nutrition unless it’s really hot
- You can figure out your per mile split as soon as you cross the line by just dividing your finish time by five
- If you’ve never run one, just cross the finish and you have an instant PR
- It’s long enough to create cool routes
- It’s short enough to stay within certain parks, with a little creativity
- Non-runners will be impressed by the distance, which just sounds cool
- It definitely burns enough calories for a pint of beer after the race
So if you haven’t ever run an 8k, you might want to give it a try. And if you don’t like it? Hey, at least it’s not a 10k.