Team-based running is the name of the game for the April 27 run at Ellis-Methvin Park.
Have you ever signed up for a 5K or 10K and wished you didn’t have to go it alone? If so, April 27 is a day to keep an eye on.
That’s when U.S. Road Running’s Best Friends 10K series, which is now popping up all around the United States, will come to Plant City. While the race series does allow solitary runners to sign up and hit the trail around the Ellis-Methvin Park pond, it’s mainly for teams of two to tackle in a relay-style format. Whether your partner is your friend, spouse or a random pairing, your team of two tackles the trail one leg at a time.
“It’s not a typical relay race,” race manager Missy Darrin said. “You do part of a loop, high five your team member and then they do their part of the loop. You keep doing this until you finish the 10K.”
Each team member logs 3.1 miles — 6.2 when combined — by the race’s end.
U.S. Road Running started up the series late last year as a creative way to promote healthy living, Darrin said. The group promotes the race on social media and in emails and picks locations based on user interest. If someone wants a race to come to their state and city, they can offer to be that race’s director and set up the event themselves while making some money on the side for their efforts. Right now, Darrin said, the Best Friends series is coming up on 10 states visited and the group’s goal is to eventually have hosted a run in all 50.
The team medal is also unique for the race. Each member of a team will get a heart-shaped medal split down the middle that they can combine to make whole, not unlike the popular “best friends” style necklaces. Singles competitors can also get medals, though they aren’t the split ones.
“It’s basically to make the whole running experience fun,” Darrin said. “We just try to encourage everybody to come out.”
All runners and walkers who finish will get a free U.S. Road Running hat. Food and refreshments will be served after the race. Awards will be given out for top co-ed, male and female relay teams, top male and female 10Ks and for the best team costume.
The race will begin at 8:30 a.m. The cost to register is $40 per team and $50 for single runners. Sign up online at runsignup.com/Race/FL/PlantCity/BestFriends10KRelayand10KIndividualEllisMethvinPark. For more information or to get help finding a running partner, contact Darrin at email@example.com or 717-885-6864.