“It’s just a 5k!” says the really stupid person next to you at the start line of a race, “How hard can it be?” The stupid persons asks their friend. I know that you’re all smart enough to know that it’s never just a 5k. IT’S NEVER JUST A 5K.
It’s never just a 10k.
It’s never just a half marathon.
It’s never just a marathon.
But it’s really never just a 5k.
The likelihood of hearing the “just” qualifier diminishes as the distance gets longer, but let’s set the record straight and say that the 5k has the power to be more grueling, more miserable, and more painful than a marathon. And if you tell me that this is impossible, that a 5k could never ever in a million years feel worse than a marathon my response to you is the following: you’re probably 5k-ing incorrectly.
So the next time you’re at the start line of a 5k, please take a moment to turn to your fellow runner and instead of saying, “it’s just a 5k,” I would like you to instead, and with no intonation to indicate that this is a question rather than a statement, state unequivocally, “this is going to hurt.”
This message brought to you by the Clarendon 5k/10k double header. Never, ever, ever run a double header because it’s a bad idea. It’s a really, really, really bad idea.