Once upon a very long time ago, a Greek soldier named Pheidippides was dispatched from the site of battle between the Greeks and Persians to bear tidings of victory to the leading Greek city of Athens. After running the entire distance without stopping, Pheidippides rushed into Athens and announced the Greek army's astonishing feat before keeling over stone dead from exhaustion. The site of the battle from whence came this tireless messenger? Marathon.
As many of you no doubt already knew, that's the story that is told to explain the origin of the modern marathon, a 26.2-mile endurance race that particularly fleet runners can complete in a little more than two hours. The story has been around for such a long time that even people who don't have the slightest inclination toward running (or history) could probably tell you that the first guy to ever run a marathon kicked the bucket at the end of his reckless display of fortitude and courage.
There is no single agreed-upon story that describes the origin of the less physically daunting 5K road race, probably because, come on, it's barely three miles. Do we really need a legend to explain who was the first guy to run three miles? Also, five is a nice round number, and most people in the world use the metric system, so there you have it. Before the first-ever 5K, a bunch of people were probably sitting around wondering how long to make the race and, well, five is good number.
Also, a "K" is shorter than a mile. So, hey, you can sound cooler while actually running less. If that isn't the very definition of a win-win, then we'll quit our day job and start schlepping pizza at Little Caesar's. We're thinking about the beauty of the 5K run today because all of us here at TestOut are about to participate in a local 5K road race. It's part of TestOut's Run Bike Hike, an annual ritual in which everyone runs a 5K, bikes 12 miles, and completes a hike, usually up a mountain.
Some people walk instead of running, everyone brings family members, and there's usually a company breakfast after the race. It's a great way to get a little exercise on a Saturday morning in June, build unity and familiarity between coworkers, and feel good about life. That's almost as cool as running 26 miles to announce a great victory on the field of battle right? And as an added bonus, nobody dies at the end of the race. If that isn't the very definition of a win-win ...