Jun 10, Jul 8, Aug 12, 2023 | 7 AM | Lake Hollingsworth Lakeland, FL 33803 US Directions


3 Race Bundle - Series Awards Eligible

3 Race 5K Series

see important dates below for price increase and registration cutoff dates
Open to ages 5+.
Single 5k - No Age Group Awards

June 5k

June 10 Only
Open to ages 5+.
Single 5k - No Age Group Awards

July 5k

July 8 Only
Open to ages 5+.
Single 5k - No Age Group Awards

August 5k

August 12 Only
Open to ages 5+.

Stroller Rider

separate registration required for all stroller riders
Open to ages 9 and under.
Volunteers Help us Run!


70 volunteers make this race possible - join the fun and support the runners.


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.

Summer Sunrise Watermelon Series

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 $107,500 in scholarships. Join in the fun and #getsweatyforscholarships! 

Walkers are welcome at this event. The Watermelon 5k is held on a USATF-certified course (FL21019JK). The race is chip-timed.

Jun. 10 - Last date to register to guarantee shirt selection
May. 26 - Series price increase from $45.00 to $55.00
Jun. 7, Jul. 5, Aug. 9  - Online registration closes at 5:00 PM
Jun. 8, Jul. 6, Aug. 10 - Race Instructions Emailed
Jun. 9, Jul. 7, Aug. 11 - Walk Up registration opens at 4:00 PM, $55.00 (series, June only), $20 (single 5k) cash or credit

• Race Start •

The race starts at 7:00 AM on Lake Hollingsworth Dr at the intersection of Jonila Ave.

• Registration •

Online registration is available through the Wednesday prior to each race. The online system will close and will reopen for onsite registration (cash or card) during packet picket on Friday and again on Saturday from 5:45 AM to 6:30 AM. 

You can choose between running the series or any single 5k race. All finishers will receive medals, but only series entries will receive shirts and are eligible for age group awards. 

• Packet Pick Up •

Early packet pick up will be held Friday before the race at the Cleveland Heights golf course clubhouse and on race day at the Lake Hollingsworth parking lot.

Friday from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM 
Saturday from 5:45 AM to 6:30 AM

Cleveland Heights Golf Club - 2900 Buckingham Ave, Lakeland, FL 33803
Lake Hollingsworth Lot - 920 Lake Hollingsworth Dr, Lakeland, FL 33803

There is limited parking near Lake Hollingsworth! Allow extra time to find parking and walk to packet pick up if you wait until race day.

• 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 to the street for the finish.


• Awards •

Finishers will receive a participant's medal as they finish each race.

Series awards will be based on the cumulative time over the three races based on your age at the first race. You must register for the series, and if you miss a race, you are not eligible for awards.

Overall male and female will be based on gun time. All other awards will be based on chip time. In addition to overall male and female, the LRC will recognize masters male and female (fastest runners over 40) and grandmasters male and female (fastest runners over 50).

The LRC will recognize male and female 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placements in these age categories: 9 and under, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85+

Overall, masters and grandmasters winners will not be eligible for age group awards, and there will be no double dipping in the overall, masters & grandmasters award categories.

Awards will be presented after the final finisher at the August 5k, ~ 8:30 AM at Lake Hollingsworth park.

• Safety •

For everyone’s safety – NO dogs, bicycles, roller skates, or in-line skates will be allowed on the course.

The use of headphones is discouraged. Strollers need to stay at the back of the race.

• Refund Policy •

If the Lakeland Runners Club needs to cancel the race, participants will be refunded their race entry fee.

If you can't attend the race, please initiate a registration transfer instead of just giving your bib to someone else. Giving someone a bib registered in your name creates inaccurate race results and can prevent registered and deserving individuals from being properly recognized in their age group, and creates a risk in the case of emergency when EMS is not able to identify the person by their race number. 

You may transfer your registration to another runner (officially give it to someone else) under Manage Your Registration until one week before the race. 

The LRC is not responsible for identifying individuals for the exchange.

• Race History •

The first Summer Sunrise Watermelon Series was held in 1996.

Shirt & Finisher Medal

Watermelon 5k Series Shirt & Individual Finisher Medals

Shirts and medals are guaranteed for participants meeting specific registration cutoff dates (see important dates above). Availability, styles, and sizes are not guaranteed after the order is placed.

Youth sizes are short sleeves. The women's cut is a racerback tank top. The men's (unisex) cut is short sleeves. 

Shirts for the Watermelon Series are soft, tri-blend fabric, are for the three race series registrations only, and are distributed at the August 5k.

All runners and walkers completing the 5k course will receive a finisher medal.


Race Contact Info

If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.


920 Lake Hollingsworth Dr
Lake Hollingsworth Parking
Lakeland, FL US 33803




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