Aurora Colony Days 5K (recap of the 2015 race)
It’s a double loop course with minimal turns, allowing runners to hit long stretches of straight. There is a short climb right at the very beginning when runners are fresh, and which is skipped when heading out for the second loop. Additionally, you get to head down it to the finish. There is also a short climb at the far end of the loops, but that evens out and allows runners to cruise on a gradual downhill the second half of loop 1, and then again all the way to the finish. Nike+ on my phone measured it at 3 miles even last year though…
Freedomthon 5K (recap of the 2016 race)
The course is about as flat as Kansas, and it’s basically a straight mile, 90 degree turn right, straight half mile, turnaround, straight half mile, 90 degree turn left, and straight mile. I’ve never actually run a PR in three tries, but I’ve had consistently fast times.
Both races are very flat out-and-back courses along parade routes, with good crowds of spectators. They are well-organized and well-supported small town events. And I ran a high percentage of my sub-16:00 5Ks at these races.
Readers, any other fast races you’d like to discuss?