By Pete Williams
We’re changing the format of our Race of the Week, recognizing that it makes more sense to preview a race that’s the following week instead of one just a few days away. This way, athletes have plenty of time to register and adjust calendars accordingly. We’re also going to focus only on events that are not sold out and accept race-day registration.
This week’s focus is on the sixth-annual Valencia 5K, which takes place at the west campus of Valencia Community College in Orlando on Saturday, April 9 at 6 p.m. College-themed runs are becoming increasingly popular and the organizers of this race, recognizing that early starts don’t coincide with the sleep schedules of most college students, have moved this year’s event to an evening start time.
Name of Race: Valencia 5K
Location: Valencia Community College (West Campus) 1800 South Kirkman Road, Orlando, FL 32811
History: This is a sixth-annual event and the first in an evening timeslot, which no doubt will be more attractive to Valencia college students, who make up a large chunk of the field. Event proceeds go to Valencia CC scholarship funds.
Format: Single-loop course through Valencia’s west campus. Also a free run for kids 10 and under immediately following the 5K.
Schwag: Commemorative T-shirts guaranteed to pre-registered runners.
Signature Feature: Students race in their own division for awards.
Projected Turnout: 300-plus
Post-race: Refreshments, along with arts and crafts for kids.
Cost: $22 through April 3; $27 April 4-8; $30 day of race. Various discounts for Valencia students, alumni, and other school affiliated.
Sign-Up: Online via official site
Interesting twist: With the Muddy Buddy event at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports moving this from Mother’s Day weekend to April 9 (7:15 a.m. start) and the Valencia 5K moving to an evening time, athletes can enjoy a challenging day-night double-header in Orlando.