The best 5k races to sign up for this summer around Ireland

Hannah Hillyer is training for her first marathon this year- even though she hasn’t got a ticket yet and can barely run 5k without stopping for a break. Read her weekly running diary here on where she'll be taking you on her journey to find the perfect sports bra, the best running apps as well as discussing all the pains and gains that come with a vigorous training program.

If, like me, you've been consistently running now for a few months, the motivation you had at the beginning may be ebbing away. One of the best ways to keep propelling yourself through your neighbourhood week on week is by signing up for a running event, as you have something to aim for. Not everyone is running so they can get competitive, beat personal bests or start collecting medals. But even signing up for a charity 5k or a fun run with friends can be that extra boost you need when your running regime is feeling stale.

For myself, I should already have all the motivation I need with a marathon looming before me in October (is there a difference between motivation and terror!?). However, as I've never really participated in a big race before, I'm going to sign up for some smaller runs between now and the big day.

It's also a great excuse to book a weekend away, as there are plenty of races around the country to sign up for!


Glendalough Lap of the Gap: May 25

Need some distraction to get through the miles? With the beautiful Glendalough scenery, you'll breeze through the shorter 3 mile run (which is almost 5k but we couldn't not add this gorgeous route to our list). If you're in the mood for something more challenging, they also have a 1/2 marathon and a full marathon too. Entries are €45 and places are limited given the small country lane-ways, so we expect this one to sell out fast!


Colour Dash for the Irish Cancer Society: June

I've always wanted to do a colour dash run, as they look so much fun (and will look great on Instagram too). At different parts of the route, powdered paint is thrown over runners, so by the end you'll not only be sweaty, but covered in a very unique runner's rainbow. Each kilometre of the 5k course represents a different type of cancer; yellow is lung, green is bowel, purple is cancer survivorship, blue is prostate and pink is breast. With events this June in Galway (9th), Limerick (15th), Cork (16th) and Dublin (23rd) there are a few locations to sign up for. Registration is €30 per person and don't forget to wear white for maximum impact.



Jump Juice Summer Park Race Series

This is a series of race events, held in two of Dublin's most beautiful parks over the summer. Both will be offering a 5k and a 10k route, with the first in St Anne's Park, Raheny on June 29 and the second in Malahide Castle Park on the July 28. Places are strictly limited to 500 per race and with tickets just €18, it's sure to sell out. If fancy doing both, you can also buy a saver ticket for €40.


Portumna Forest Park 5k/10k Trail Race: July 21


Slightly more challenging than your average 5k run with its single trail tracks, but if you're pounding out 5k a few times a week, you may want to up your game. At noon on a Sunday, it could be the perfect way to finish up a weekend away in Galway. Organised by Portumna GAA Club, entries are €10.


Black Pig Festival, Enniscrone: July 25

The Black Pig Festival in Enniscrone has a range of activities over the few days, ending with a 5k and 10k run. Make a weekend of it and take part in their morning yoga (great for tired runner's legs), silent discos as well as food, live music and a treasure hunt to boot. Registering for the runs is only €10 and is a great way to burn off all the great food you'll undoubtedly tuck into whilst you're there.


Dublin Rock N'Roll 5k: August 10


Run through Dublin's Phoenix Park with a soundtrack that isn't your own. A race that started in San Diego is now held in different cities around the world, with live bands playing rock music throughout the course. This is a fun one to sign up to with friends, as you'll get to enjoy the headliner act at the finish line with a pint. Entries for the 5k are €20 until the price increases on May 1.

Amendment: An earlier version of this article stated that the Black Pig Festival is in Enniscorthy. It is in Enniscrone. The article has been amended to fix the error.

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