Princeton 5K

Runner’s Experiences and Advice:

“Eat something filling, but not heavy. Make sure you know what you’re eating, don’t try something new [the day of the race].” —Will Hare ’18, Cross Country and Distance Track Runner.“Eat something filling, but not heavy. Make sure you know what you’re eating, don’t try something new [the day of the race].” —Will Hare ’18, Cross Country and Distance Track Runner.

“My teammates on the track team … [and I] were all running at the same pace … and there are little electronic tags on your shoes so we crossed the finish line at the same time and we swung our shoes forward so we got the same times exactly. And I had the lowest [alphabetical] middle name so I won and I got a medal and they didn’t.”—Aidan Donahue ’16, Cross Country and Distance Track Runner.

5k copy

Graphic by Nina Zhong

“[The Princeton 5k gives a] sense of community to the track team …  because it’s such a big team … [its] hard to … comes together … With the Princeton 5K the whole team coalesces around one thing and it allows us to fund our program and get equipment.” —Jeremy Cohen ’16, Track Runner.  

“The Princeton 5K is our big fundraiser for the year [and] it covers a lot of the secondary costs … like the end of the year banquet, the awards, and buses when it’s something the district wouldn’t pay for. A lot of our competitions are outside of the county so that incurs additional costs. Our goal is getting as many athletes competing as often as possible in a team of 100 plus athletes, [and] there are expenses to that.”—James Smirk, Head Distance Coach of the track team.

General Information

The race is on Sunday, May 15, 2016 and starts at 8:30 a.m.

Pre-Race Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. the day of the race. Cash, Check, or Credit Card are acceptable forms of payment.

–Cost to participate is $35 for everyone and $25 for PHS athletes.

–Parking is available at Princeton High School and at John Witherspoon Middle School.

–If you are driving, it is especially important to arrive on time because the police will close the roads at 8:15 a.m.

–Runners will meet at the front of JW.

–The course is relatively flat and is located around Princeton High School.

–A portion of the proceeds will be going to the PHS Cross Country and Track and Field teams.


Graphic by Ben Chao

There will be awards given to:

–1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall male and female runner

–1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each age group (ten-year increments)

–1st place boy and girl on the Princeton High School Cross Country or Track and Field teams

–The fastest team

–The largest team

Race Etiquette: the Don’ts of a 5K

DON’T: show up and run the race unregistered

DON’T: stop in the middle of the course and block other runners

DON’T: cheat by cutting through the designated course or by taking someone else’s number/racing bib

DON’T: bring dogs or other animals that could interfere with the athlete

Race Etiquette: the Do’s of a 5K

DO: step off the course if you have to stop running

DO: thank the water aids

DO: be aware of your surroundings. Avoid having earbuds and playing loud music

DO: line up at the back if you’re not planning to race all-out

DO: throw away cups in an area you know the water aids will see them and be able to pick them up

How to train: Two weeks before the race

–Find some friends or family members to run with and register together! There are prizes given to the fastest and largest groups. Sign up on the website:

–Maintain a consistent diet so that you eat what you usually would on the day of the race! Aim for something that is high in energy and easily digestible, like fruit, toast, oatmeal, or whole-grain cereals.

–Stay hydrated while you train! Make sure to drink water in moderation throughout your workouts and on the day of the race.

–Know that you do not have to run the entire race. You can definitely walk the course if that is more comfortable.


Graphic by Nicole Ng

–Be aware of your fitness level. If you’re a veteran runner, stick to your training schedule. For newer runners, it won’t hurt to go out for a run in the lovely May weather! Start out with short and achievable distances and try to slowly build up to longer distances. Don’t run too much in one day without sufficient conditioning, and let your body accommodate to the change in exercise.

–Get lots of sleep and rest—especially in the days before the race. In fact, finds that the amount of sleep you get the night before the race has a smaller effect than the quality and quantity of sleep you get the days before!  

–Run the course a few days before the race to get a feel for what it’s like. To find the course map go to:

The Day before the Race:

–Train lightly. recommends a short 20-minute jog. Don’t push yourself too hard or injure yourself the night before.

–Get lots of sleep. Don’t be too anxious about this race, it’s just a community 5k!  

–Eat what you normally eat, but filling up on carbohydrates won’t hurt.

The Day of the Race:

–Eat a healthy and normal breakfast preferably two hours before the race.


Graphic by Nicole Ng

–Remember to hydrate before the race. Don’t drink too much water before running or you’ll experience waterbelly, where you can feel the water sloshing in your stomach.

–Be sure to get to the race location early. If you haven’t registered, be sure to do that now. Otherwise, get ready by securing your race bib on the front of your shirt and warming up. recommends you start warming up 25 minutes before the race with an easy jog. Head Coach Smirk suggests dynamic stretches and exercises to get your heart pumping and ready to race.

–Pace yourself. You don’t want to go all out in the beginning of the race and use up all of your energy.

–Walking is allowed. Don’t be scared of taking a small break and walking portions of the race.

–There will be water stations along the way! Pour a cold cup of water on your head to get refreshed and be sure to hydrate.

–Have a strong finish and begin to run faster when you see the last quarter mile marker.

–Have lots of fun! Meet more people within your community, and be prepared for ugly race photos at the end!

finishline copy

Photo by Nina Zhong


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