Set a Running Goal for One of These Phoenix-Area Races

No matter your current stage as a runner—whether you have just “gotten off the couch” or have been consistently hitting the trails on your own for a while now—we feel it’s well worth trying at least one running event.

We have a few good reasons for this:

  • It sets a date on your calendar. Having a day circled on your calendar can serve as a good foundation for planning out realistic and safe training goals. It can also be a great way to stay motivated to stick to the plan.
  • It connects you with a community. There is plenty to love about setting personal goals and getting away from it all while running. However, there can also be a huge positive rush when you occasionally meet up with a ton of people who have goals just like yours.
  • You can see the region in ways you haven’t before. Races are a great way to find favorite new locations, or simply get a chance to run through a downtown area in a way you never have before. And perhaps you’ll do it surrounded by people in costumes, too! Each race is a different experience, and some runners end up wanting to explore them all.

One of the best parts of joining a race, however, is that you don’t have to be elite. There are plenty of events that can fit the skill levels of runners wherever they may be, and the act of participating in itself is a huge reward!

You can set a goal for running a race that does not involve pushing your body too hard in training and potentially giving yourself a painful sports injury. In fact, we have a free guide for people who wish to get started running that explains this further, but it is very important to repeat: do not use a race as an excuse to push your body harder than it can go. Be patient with yourself and take in the experience of your first races over a desire to place at the top of the leaderboard.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the races in the Phoenix area, starting with some annual events with 5K options. These can be ideal for runners who are just getting into the groove.

The Arizona Sunrise Series

The Sunrise Series consists of seven events scheduled from May through August, but you do not have to register for all them. Each one you do earns you a different add-on for your medal, though, which is pretty cool.

5Ks in this series include paths along the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert, Rio Vista Community Park in Peoria, and Foothills Regional Park in Glendale.

Once again, if you are just starting out in running, signing up for a whole 7-part series might not be in your best interest at this time. If you have doubts, you should absolutely consult with us or your primary care physician. Never hesitate to seek clearance or clarification if you feel you might be biting off more than you can chew at a certain point in your running journey.

Phoenix Turkey Trot

If you are getting into this whole running thing, then the thought of a Turkey Trot will inevitably enter your mind. The oldest continual trot is said to be in Buffalo, NY, and we probably have a decent share of runners who have since moved here and kept up their streaks!

This Thanksgiving morning tradition is hosted at Wesley Bolin Plaza and features a 5K or 10K run through downtown Phoenix. (And, if you prefer something shorter, there’s a 1-mile dash as well.)

You can expect to see plenty of festive Thanksgiving flair on this run, as well as some aid stations serving up pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. However, do not take these added features or an upcoming Thanksgiving feast as an invitation to changing your usual pre-race diet! You still want to have the proper energy to run before you feast—and eating anything different the night before a race can sometimes lead to bathroom troubles when you absolutely don’t want them.

The Superhero 5K

Superhero runs are nearly as popular as turkey trots, and for good reason. They allude to the noble and charitable nature that running events often champion—and you can run while wearing a cape!

The first Superhero 5K at Steele Indian School Park took off in May, and they expect to be back for an annual event! Proceeds from this run and other events benefit Put on the Cape, a foundation that supports children who have suffered from forms of acute abuse.

Use running events to work on your personal bests, but you can also benefit your community through it, too.

Keep Yourself Running

Whatever the reason you wish to run—improving fitness, challenging times, participating in charitable events, or all of the above—you should pursue your goals in the most effective and safest ways possible.

At Foot & Ankle Clinics of Arizona, our specialists understand running’s effects on the feet and ankles, and can provide you the advice and treatments you need for increased comfort and the lowest risks of sports injuries.

And if you do happen to suffer an injury, we have treatments including MLS laser therapy to get you back on the path as quickly and safely as possible.

We have offices in Phoenix, Gilbert, Tempe, Maricopa, Casa Grande, Chandler, and Queen Creek, all ready to serve you and your family. Call us at (480) 917-2300 to schedule an appointment with us or, if you prefer, send questions or appointment requests our way via our online contact form.

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