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Friday 5k Fun Runs Return to Crystal City

Racers from last year’s Friday 5k take ro the streets of Crystal City. Event organizers expect 1,000 participants per event during this year’s spring run series.

Racers from last year’s Friday 5k take ro the streets of Crystal City. Event organizers expect 1,000 participants per event during this year’s spring run series.

Friday 5k fun runs will return this spring as racers hit the streets in Crystal City. The events take place every Friday in April, and offer a chance to push personal bests, meet new people and enjoy the spring weather.

Event organizers with the Crystal City Business Improvement District and Pacers expect upwards of 1,000 people to attend each of the 5ks, and the increased attendance from previous years is a strong measure of success now that the spring 5ks are in their fourth year running.

"It’s gotten a great following, there’s a diverse mix of office workers, residents and visitors from across the area," said Angela Fox, president and CEO of the Crystal City BID. "The races have a laid back feel, we had a guy who juggled the whole way through."

A relaxed atmosphere and convenient location make for a perfect way to jump-start the weekend. The 5ks are open to all levels of runners, from the pros to those just getting started.

"The 5k is an accessible distance to train for and accomplish something," said Dustin Sweeney, manager at Pacers in Clarendon. "It’s good for people who are starting out, you can do it even if you’re a couch potato."

Shoes are the only necessary equipment for the races, yet runners should avoid cotton shirts as the fabric clings to sweat and causes chaffing. Hydration is a must when running, and water stations are available at the midway point and finish line.

Runners receive a racers bib with a tracking chip that marks completion times. For those who participate in multiple events, the system is a convenient way to check progress from week-to-week and note their improved time.

Crystal City 5k runs are every Friday in April. The event starts at 6:30 p.m., and begins at 2121 Crystal Drive. Racers must be able to complete a 5k under one hour. Each event costs $20, with a discount if attending all four races. Register on site prior at the race, or online at: http://pacersevents.com/crystalrun5kfridays/index.html\

Although the race location is perfect for runners, Crystal City commuters should be aware of road closures along Crystal Drive and Potomac Avenue.

"It’s good for people who are starting out, you can do it even if you’re a couch potato."

— Dustin Sweeney, manager at Pacers in Clarendon

Parking will also be impacted by the race, as approximately 13 local garages along the race route will be affected.

Despite the temporary inconveniences, organizers are excited to welcome old hands and newcomers alike. "We recognize road closing can be difficult, but the Arlington police do a great job," said Fox. "The runs are great, if you’ve never done one before come and try it