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This race is held by the Lakeland Runners Club, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to promote running and fitness for people of all ages and abilities in the community.
The Summer Sunrise Watermelon Race Series was born out of a desire to have low-cost local races during the hot summer months when it can be hard to stay motivated. The series has become an established venue for competition and an annual celebration of fitness. It continues to be popular with both experienced and casual runners alike. Many of the local high school cross country teams use it as a tune-up for their season. The series is comprised of three 5K (3.1 mile) races, each race hotter than the last. All are run around Lake Hollingsworth, which is flat and conducive to fast times. In 2011, the LRC used the proceeds from the series to award one scholarship to a Polk County high school senior. The annual fund has grown with the race and since 2012 the club has awarded a total of $100,000 in scholarships. Join in the fun and #getsweatyforscholarships!
These are LIVE, in-person events. There are no virtual options.
RACE START: The race starts at 7:00 AM @ Lake Hollingsworth.
REGISTRATION: You can choose between running the series or any individual race. All finishers will receive medals, but only series entries will receive shirts and are eligible for age group awards. The 3 Race Series registration will close on June 8th. Walk-up registration will be available during packet pick up Friday and Saturday. Shirts are not guaranteed for anyone registering after the start of the first race.
PACKET PICK UP: Early packet pickup will be on the Friday prior to each race from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM at the Cleveland Heights Golf Course Club House, 2900 Buckingham Ave, Lakeland, FL 33803. Race day pickup will be 5:45 AM to 6:30 AM in the parking lot at Lake Hollingsworth.
COURSE MAP: The first 1.25 miles of the 5k is on Lake Hollingsworth Dr. The course then transitions to the running path around the lake, before returning the street for the finish. The start will be on Lake Hollingsworth Dr at Jonila. SEE MAP
AWARDS: Awards will be based on the cumulative time over the three races based on your age at the first race. If you miss a race, you are not eligible for awards. Overall male and female awards are based on gun time, all other awards are based on chip time: the elapsed time between crossing the start and finish timing mats. Awards will be presented ~ 8:45 AM at the August 5k.
SAFETY: For everyone’s safety – NO bicycles, roller skates, in-line skates, and dogs will be allowed on the course. The use of headphones is discouraged. Strollers need to start at the back of the race, and because the path is narrow passing is discouraged for the safety of the rider and other participants.
REFUND POLICY: If the Lakeland Runners Club would need to cancel the race, participants will be refunded their race entry fee.
The Summer Watermelon 5k is run on a certified course (FL21019JK). Races are chip-timed. Cumulative results from the three races are used to determine official results.
The first Summer Sunrise Watermelon Series was held in 1996.
Finisher medals are given at the finish line of each race. Shirts are for series entries only and are distributed at the August 5k.
If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.
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