- What is the “Mayor’s Challenge 5K”?
- The challenge is to participate in and complete the 5K event on Sunday, Nov. 18. A free eight-week training program leading up to the 5K walk/run is available to help you prepare, no matter your fitness level.
- When and where will it be held?
- The Mayor’s Challenge 5K Walk / Run and Kids’ Fun Run will take place on Sunday, Nov. 18, starting at Public Square Park, outside the historic Metro Courthouse. The course routes will take participants through the streets Downtown Nashville. See a map
Activities on the Public Square will begin at noon. The Kids’ Fun Run begins at 2 p.m. The 5K begins at 2:15 p.m. Participants are encouraged to arrive at least one hour before their start time.
- How do I participate?
- Start by registering for the 5K or Kids’ Fun Run online. The 5K is open to all ages and fitness levels. The Kids’ Fun Run is for children age 12 or under. Minors will need the help of a parent or guardian to complete the registration process. You can register as an individual or a team. All types of groups are encouraged to form a 5K team – friends, families, churches, businesses and social clubs. Participating as a group will help you stay on track with training and make the event even more fun. To prepare for the 5K, you can train on your own or follow our training program and attend free training sessions at Metro Parks’ regional community centers and the Centennial Sportsplex.
- How much does it cost?
- Mayor Dean wants everyone to be able to participate, so there is no charge for the training sessions or to register for the 5K or Kids’ Fun Run.
Event costs are supported by in-kind contributions from community partners and from generous donors to The Footprint Fund at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
- Do I have to register in advance?
- No, but we strongly encourage it. On-site registration will be available at the event on Nov. 18, but last year the lines were long. The registration process will be easier for you (and us) if you take advantage of the online registration available through this website. Please note online registration will be shut down at least 72 hours prior to the event to allow us to prepare for participant check-in. Also, all on-site registrants will need to individually sign a waiver form. A parent or guardian will need to be present to register a minor on event day.
- What happens if I register but don’t show up?
- While we hope you can set aside time on Nov. 18 to participate in the event, we certainly understand if a last minute conflict comes up. There are no penalties for registering and not showing up.
- If I register online, why do I need to arrive one hour before my start time?
- Every participant needs to check-in when they arrive for the event so we know who is in attendance and to give you a bib (race number) and a free goody bag from our sponsors. If you want to avoid the long check-in lines on Nov. 18 (and postpone your arrival time slightly), we will have early check-in opportunities on the following days and times:
Friday, Nov. 16, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Public Square Park
Friday, Nov. 16, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. (location TBD)
Saturday, Nov. 17, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (location TBD)
Even if you take advantage of early check-in, we ask you to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your event start time to give you time to find the correct corral (place at the start line) based on your estimated finish time.
- If my entire team registers online in advance, can I pick up their bibs and goody bags?
- Yes. This year our online registration process includes an electronic waiver form, so “team captains” can check in for an entire team and receive the bibs and goody bags to distribute to the other team members.
- Can I bring a stroller or my dog?
- Yes, you are welcome to bring a stroller or your dog. But please note participants with strollers will be in the second to last starting corral. Participants with dogs will be in the very last starting corral (and please remember to clean up after your pet!).
- How do I know my young child will be safe on the Kids’ Fun Run?
- Volunteers from Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt will be placed all along the Kid’s Fun Run route to provide complete adult supervision of the course. Or if you choose, you can run alongside your child. You will need to be registered for the 5K in order to do this to ensure we have a signed waiver form for every walker / runner.
- I’d like a t-shirt, but can’t afford to buy one. Do you have any to give away?
- Because this is a free event supported by donations, our budget does not allow for free t-shirts. If you have a group of participants who can’t afford team t-shirts, consider asking an organization in your community to support your effort and cover the t-shirts’ cost.
- Do I have to participate in the training program to attend the 5K event?
- No. You can choose to register for the 5K event on Nov. 18 without participating in the free eight-week training program. But we encourage you take advantage of this free opportunity to improve your overall health and be prepared to do your own personal best on race day.
- What’s the benefit of following the training program?
- The Mayor’s Challenge 5K training program was designed by fitness professionals to maximize your performance. The training module uses intervals of walking and running to build your strength and endurance. The goal of the training plan is to be able to complete the Mayor’s Challenge 5K in 45 minutes or less. By taking advantage of the training classes at Parks’ facilities, you will have free access to fitness professionals. Plus, Mayor Dean will be attending periodic training sessions when possible, so you’ll have the chance to train alongside him.
- When and where are the training sessions?
- Sessions will be held at Metro Parks’ five regional community centers and the Centennial Sportsplex. Click on the “Training” tab at the top of this screen for specific days and times.
- I’m not very fast. How long will the course be open?
- We understand that everyone will have their own pace. The course will be open until the last walker / runner is able to complete it.
- Will there be water available along the routes?
- Yes. We believe hydration is important during exercise. There will be three water stops dispersed throughout the course. There will also be water available at the Public Square for you to hydrate before and after the event.
- Will there be portable toilets along the route?
- No, but portable toilets will be available at the Public Square for your use before and after the event.
- Will there be food at the end of the course?
- Yes. Healthy snacks will be available on the Public Square for walkers / runners who finish the 5K course or Kids’ Fun Run.
- What are corrals?
- During registration, you will be asked to estimate how long it will take for you to complete the 5K. Based on this estimate, you will be placed in a numbered corral with other runners and walkers who expect to finish at the same time. Faster runners will be at the front with walkers in the back to ensure a smooth start to the event.
- Will there be timing chips?
- No. Although we want everyone to do their personal best, this event is not about being the fastest runner. It’s about the community coming together to celebrate active and healthy living.
- Is this a rain or shine event?
- The event will only be cancelled in the event of severe weather. Please watch this website, along with our Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates.
- How hilly is the course this year?
- Last year several 5K participants commented on the uphill start and finish, so we have reversed the route to address that issue. The 5K will now start going down 2nd Avenue and finish coming down Deaderick. It’s impossible to route a course through Downtown Nashville without hills, but we did our best to make this course friendly for our first-time 5K participants. You can see the exact elevation on these interactive route maps:
Kids’ Fun Run route
Mayor’s Challenge 5K route
- Pre Event Packet Pick-up
- Prior to the event, you can pick up your bib number and event goodie bag at the following times and locations:
- Friday, Nov. 16: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Public Square Park, 1 Public Square
- Friday, November 16, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at East Park Community Center 600 Woodland Street
- Saturday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m. to noon at East Community Center, 700 Woodland Street
- Sunday, Nov. 18, noon to 2 p.m. at Public Square Park, 1 Public Square
5K registration is also available at these locations and will be available on-line at MayorsChallenge5K.com until midnight on Nov. 15.
- Event Parking
- Race participants can park for free in parking Lot F, “Metro employee parking lot”, located at the northwest corner of Woodland St and South First Street, across from LP Field. Simply walk across the Woodland Street Bridge to the event. See map below:
- MTA Transportation
- Free transportation is available to the 5K and Fun Run on Nov. 18 on any MTA bus – just tell the driver you’re headed to the Mayor’s 5K.
- Second Harvest Food Drive
- Since the 5K is free, participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. Look for Second Harvest Food Bank boxes set up near the registration tables on event day
For more race information, check out Event Day Details