The Athens Twilight 5K Walk/Run is a fun event, and many sign up because they love running and competing. But for a select few, it's not just the race that's rewarding, it's also the possibility of winning a monetary prize.
In the 2010 5K race, the top male runner ran the route in 15:31. The top female runner accomplished it in 18:15. All runners and walkers who participate in the race each year receive a free T-shirt, and the top 15 men and top 15 women go on to participate in the "$1000 Mile" (a one-mile race) later that same evening. As the name implies, the prize is $1,000, which is divided up by gender and age category. The 2010 male winner completed the $1,000 mile in 4:18.3. The female winner finished it in 4:56.5. Results of previous years' races fall roughly in the same range.
The runners who win the Twilight 5K and corresponding "$1000 Mile" race aren't the only champions. The biggest winner is the town of Athens, which sees a boost in its economy due to the Twilight Criterium and related events like the 5K run. The Athens Twilight Criterium is one of the oldest and most popular criterium races in the United States, and since its beginnings in 1980, it has grown from a simple bike race to a local weekend festival. Past estimates have suggested the weekend brings more than $1.2 million into the local economy [source: Dixon]. Many downtown business owners acknowledge that their highest sales of the year come during the Twilight festivities, which usually attract between 20,000 and 40,000 spectators and tourists.
If you'd like to learn about events similar to the Twilight 5K and Criterium or know more about training for a 5K, we have lots more information on the next page.