May Race Favorites

The month of May is jam-packed with great races in St. Louis. Check them all out on Big River’s handy race calendar (month view or list view). If you are looking for a recommendation, it just so happens that several of my absolute favorite races take place this month. Great causes, great courses, great post-race parties and more. Here are my favorite May races (in chronological order):

Let Me Run Grand Slam 5k – May 5
The basics: A 5K celebrating Let Me Run boys (elementary school aged boys completing a running and character building program) and benefiting Let Me Run – St. Louis scholarships.
The highlights: Course with a picturesque backdrop of the St. Louis skyline and Mississippi River that ends by crossing the finish line at home plate at GSC Ballpark!
Why I love it: How fun is it to take in a minor league baseball game after your race? And I’m a huge fan of empowering the next generation encouraging them to live active healthy lives.


Girls on the Run 5k – May 12
The basics: A community run benefiting the Girls on the Run scholarship fund and acting as the culminating event for the Spring Girls on the Run program.
The highlights: Being a part of the largest 5k in Missouri is pretty awesome! The dance party after the race makes for a fun, energetic environment.
Why I love it: Girl power! As a former Girls on the Run coach and now a mom, it’s emotional to see so many girls achieving a goal, crossing that finish line and gaining confidence.


Ferguson Twilight – May 19
The basics: An evening event offering a 5k, 10k and 1 mile fun run all benefiting nonprofit organizations in our community that support active living opportunities in North County.
The highlights: A beautiful course (think historic homes), excellent fan support along the route (think cheering fans, bands, etc.) and great post-party (think live music!).
Why I love it: I ran the 5k in 2010 (the very first year) and was delighted to run by beautiful houses, be cheered on by people in the neighborhood and hang out at some awesome establishments in downtown Ferguson that I had never been to before (Cork Wine Bar and Ferguson Brewing Company were my two favorites that year). I’ve run the 5k and 10k a couple of times over the last 8 years and everything has only gotten better.


Make Tracks Through the Zoo – May 20
The basics: A long-standing tradition (we’re talking 33rd annual!) Make Tracks Through the Zoo is a perfect race event for the whole family.
The highlights: This year, for the first time ever, participants get to run through the world-class Saint Louis Zoo!
Why I love it: It’s the St. Louis Zoo. What’s not to love? I love the different distances they offer for kids (1/4 mile, 1/2 mile and mile) and the unique age group awards … stuffed animals!


Festival of MilesFestival of Miles – May 31
The basics: A charity track meet with 2.5 hours of non-stop action including mile races for kids, some of the best high school 800m runners and milers, in addition to professional races. If you’re an adult, this is a spectating opportunity unless you’re a pro runner, but it’s not to be missed.
The highlights: Proceeds from the gate benefit an athlete in need. It always feel good to help someone. Spectators are treated to a full slate of races, but the night goes by quickly both because of the non-stop action and the speedy athletes!
Why I love it: It’s a national caliber event on one of our local high school tracks. It gives the opportunity for young kids to experience the excitement of racing and witnessing some incredibly talented runners at the junior high, high school and professional levels. The energy is second to none!

–Katie Helbig