Why the 8k is the best race distance

Math. 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:

  1. You can run a 12-minute mile pace and still break an hour
  2. You generally won’t need hydration or nutrition unless it’s really hot
  3. You can figure out your per mile split as soon as you cross the line by just dividing your finish time by five
  4. If you’ve never run one, just cross the finish and you have an instant PR
  5. It’s long enough to create cool routes
  6. It’s short enough to stay within certain parks, with a little creativity
  7. Non-runners will be impressed by the distance, which just sounds cool
  8. 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.

About Kelly Barten (1152 Articles)
I started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because I felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. I also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support LOCAL race organizers. I'm a Creighton Bluejay (undergrad) and an Oregon Duck (Sports Marketing MBA), and I live in Tigard with my husband and two kids. My "real job" is working for an incredibly awesome math textbook company doing marketing and production.
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