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Couch to 5K
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Race for Life: Runner or Jogger?

A question for those of you who have done the Race for Life.

I’ll be taking part in this for the first time in a couple of weeks (which is the reason I have been doing C25K!). I know that there will be three different starting points depending whether you are a walker, jogger or runner. I have been running 5K for a few weeks now and generally do it in about 31 to 32 min. Should I start with the runners or the joggers? I think someone said in another thread that lots of people who start with the joggers only manage to keep running for a little while and then slow down and walk, getting in the way of those who are still running, so as I will be running the whole course would I therefore be better off with the runners? Or at 32 min am I too slow to be classified as a runner?

I did phone the organisers and ask, but the man didn’t really understand the question and just kept saying you can do it as fast or slow as you like.

10 Replies

If you are comfortable doing 5K I would go with the runners. If there are a lot doing the event it may well take you about 5 minutes to get across the starting line otherwise. All the best be sure and tell us how you get on.


I did RFL last week and went with the joggers (my 5K time is usually around 34mins). I did get frustrated a few times at the start as the course was narrow in parts and people were walking or going quite slow but once I got past them and got going it was fine. I managed to finish in just over 31 mins so it obviously didn't affect my time! I was running with my 12 year old daughter and friends (who I lost straight away as they shot off!) otherwise I might have gone at the back of the runners. I think it's a confidence thing really - don't doubt that you ARE a runner!! You can always go at the back of the runners which will put you at the front of the joggers if that makes it more comfortable for you. Enjoy the race!


At the one I did on Sunday, there wasn't a joggers section! Just runners and walkers - I take around 45 minutes so went near the back of the runners.

Don't suppose that helps a lot! But as oldgirl says, getting over the start line takes ages, and it's still pretty slow for a while after that, until things thin out a little bit - don't worry about it, there's not much point trying to aim for a personal best anyway, and loads of people have no idea how fast they are likely to be, so it doesn't matter too much where you go really. But I'd have thought around 30 min would be in the runners section somewhere.

Hope you have a great time anyway. :)


I have gone at the back ish of the runner patch the last two I've done. Good luck.

I managed my 5 k in 39 minutes. Slower than normal but I don't normally do huge hills in 24 degrees! Lol


I did RFL last week. I was in the middle of the joggers and I also found that lots of folk were walking after the first bit of enthusiasm wore off. So if you want to jog/run all the way, I would think you would be best near the back of the runners or the front of the joggers. But if there are lots of ladies taking part, 'pinch points' round the course markers tend to be quite slow.


When I did Race for Life, they announced runners group must have been sub 30mins/5k to join the group, so I decided to go at the back of the runners, start of the joggers and that was just right.


You are a runner!

I did RFL the other week and took much longer than you.

Start with the runners or you'll be frustrated by having to get round the walkers at the narower ( or muddy) parts of the course.

Good luck and enjoy :-)


Runners definitely, and ignore them if they say you need to be able to do it in 25 min or less. Even in the running section there will be people who stop within 500m in my experience!


Thanks everybody. Think I’ll be with the runners then (albeit at the back!)


Hi running_joke, first of all, thanks for the question. I am doing RfL on 14th July in Oxford and aim to do it under 30 minutes, just for me to feel that I have achieved something. I have so far never run under 30 minutes, my personal best has been 31 minutes and 28 seconds. I had the same question, was wondering where to start the run, and like you, decided to start just behind the runners but in front of the joggers.

Good luck to you for the RfL!! AND, for all your future runs!


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