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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. Your mission is to get faster with each race. So ask yourself: #CanYouBeatTheHeat
The Summer Watermelon 5k is run on a certified course (FL15070EBM). All races are chip timed. Cumulative results from the three races are used to determine official results.
The first series was run in 1996.
Proceeds from the Summer Sunrise Watermelon Series go toward scholarships for Polk County graduates administered through the Polk Education Foundation. The Lakeland Runners Club has contributed to the PEF since 2012, and funded ten $1,500 scholarships for May 2019 graduates. Lakeland Runners Club, Inc. has donated $67,000 for scholarships since 2012.
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 stay at the back of the race.
Walker Friendly Events
Our mission is to promote running, walking, and general fitness in group settings. Walkers are encouraged to participate in all races.
Children Under 12 (runners OR walkers)
For their safety, children under 12 are strongly discouraged from lining up with the elite runners at the start line.
• Stroller/jogger operators must start behind ALL runners. Our events are chip timed races so your official time will start when you go over the race mat not when the gun goes off.
• Stroller/jogger operators must yield the right of way to runners.
• Stroller/joggers can tip easily and cannot turn quickly. Please do not weave through packs of runners.
• Participants in strollers are not eligible for age group awards.
To provide the safest races of the highest integrity, the Lakeland Runners Club offers race number transfers.
There are no refunds for this race. If you can't make 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 within a specific date range. The LRC is not responsible for identifying individuals for the exchange.
It's fun to have friends or family join you in an event - please remember everyone needs to Pay to Play. Participants without bibs are called bandits and in case of an emergency, unregistered runners may not be able to be identified. Bandits take resources designated for those who have trained, paid the entry fee, and earned the right to participate:i.e. parking spaces, port-o-johns, space on the course, medals and finish line amenities. Everyone around you at a race should have a race number (bib).
The safety of our participants is our highest priority. The LRC works closely with local city officials to plan and stay up-to-date.
Races will be held rain or shine and will not be canceled except for cases of severe weather or unsafe road/trail conditions. Less threatening conditions may cause alterations of the course or post-event activities to ensure participant, volunteer, and community safety.
This event is held in a month with warm weather and high humidity, stay well hydrated prior to the race by alternating water and electrolyte-based hydration options. Choose light clothing for your race, and ensure any headwear is breathable and allows heat to escape. If you are not heat-acclimated or are prone to heat illness, be conservative with your pace as to not overextend yourself. This may not be the event to attempt your personal best. Slow down at any signs of heat illness, including dizziness, light-headedness or nausea.
If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.Questions?