How the Edison Festival of Light 5K Works

Edison Festival of Light 5K Route

With more than 1,300 people participating in the 2010 race, it's clearly a popular way to spend the Saturday afternoon of the festival [source: Fort Myers Track Club]. The race starts in downtown Fort Myers, just a few blocks away from the Edison Bridge in Centennial Park. The start of the race follows the Caloosahatchee River for several blocks before making a loop around Cleveland Avenue. After the loop, racers return to the downtown area and the finish line at the opposite end of Centennial Park.

If you think that sounds like a lot of running, you're right -- the race takes an average of 26 to 31 minutes to complete, with the fastest runner in 2010 clocking in at 14 minutes and 42 seconds [source: Fort Myers Track Club]. The race starts collectively at Centennial Park, with your start time being triggered when you pass the starting line. It might sound a bit chaotic, but the wide lanes and generous spacing allow adequate room for everyone, and the racers space out from one another over time.

Once you start running, you'll be treated to water stations and medical help, if needed, throughout the course. You'll also have about 200,000 spectators cheering you on from sidewalks and store windows as you make your way through the city [source: Florida Running and Triathlon].

As you run past the spectators, your feet will be treated to an asphalt surface -- which offers consistency and padding where other surfaces might not -- and an occasional stretch of concrete [source: Eyestone]. You'll also pass by hundreds of local businesses in a variety of districts before looping back around after reaching Lee Memorial Hospital. So, by the end of the race, you'll have seen a good chunk of the city.

Once you finish the race, you'll probably want to know how well you did. We'll take a look at how the results are tallied, as well as the prizes and rules, in the next section.