The Around the World 5k has been described as the largest embrace of the concept of participation trophies ever. With a stated goal of connecting across countries, encouraging participation and fitness, and cheering every success, we accept and encourage this description. The eighth annual virtual race will be held this April. Participants around the world will run, walk, bike, or crawl through a 5k and share their success on the Around the World 5k Facebook page or the AroundtheWorld5kracewalk Instagram page.
Each year dozens of cities worldwide participate with teams that range from one individual to groups of up to 100. In 2019, over 500 people participated in the race and the 2022 goal is to break that record. Signing up is easy, simply visit the website at www.aroundtheworld5k.com and click on the sign-up tab.
The best part of joining the race? We have so many prizes and gifts to give out through the month of April. We work with different small businesses — the majority of which have ties to our foreign service community – to create giving opportunities and everyone has a chance to win. Most of our winners are selected through random drawings. Traditionally, we have also had easy contests such as best photo, largest team, or the funniest running story. Each year we have new fun and easy contests to encourage participation. Last year our sponsors included DiploDash,Team RunRun, RNG International Education Consultants, Epiphany Pilates, Fierce After Forty-Five, Tales from a Small Planet, and AFSPA. Prizes included running coaching sessions, gift baskets, handmade mugs, gift cards, and t-shirts.
We love picking a different charity to support each year. Donating is completely optional and not a required part of participation. However, we have raised up to $5,000 for different causes throughout the years. This year we will support the Free to Run charity. This fund provides support and training in leadership for females living in conflict zones. This feels particularly important in light of current events. Our goal this year is to raise $5,000 for Free to Run.
The last two years have been challenging for our team-based program. Runners were not deterred by Covid, ordered departures, and lockdowns and managed to get their 5k’s in despite the challenges. One runner under lockdown ran circles on her patio, another in the embassy parking lot, and a third ran up and down the alley behind her house. A few teams did come together for masked and distanced runs, especially in the DC area. Families have been able to run together in smaller and tight-knit teams. We have seen an increase in four-legged teammates as our runners and walkers find ways to get active and bring along a furry friend.
We welcome everyone to join us. If you like to run or walk or just connect with different people from around the world, then this race is for you. It is open to everyone, regardless of fitness level or location. For more information, visit our website or our Facebook page.