Entering "fun" runs

When I enter races here in Germany there nearly always shorter "fun" runs attached to the main event - usually the "fun" run would be a 5k. The description of these events is basically that everyone can take part.

I have only ever run a 5k race once but would like to run some next year - but if I run these events I have a fair chance of winning (or at least placing in the top 3).

Questions are:
1. Is it ethical for me to enter these races and (potentially) walk off with a prize that would more rightfully be awarded to one of the more deserving participants?
2. At what point did I cease to become a fun runner and therefore exclude myself from the field? i.e. I like running and think its fun....ergo...?
3. Even if you think its unethical should I do it anyway because I'm surrounded by Germans?


  • Somebody has to win every race - why not you?
    P.S. it is ethical as long as you wear a replica Michael Owen shirt.
  • MartinH
    Come on mate. It's your duty to give our teutonic chums the opportunity to eat british dirt by trouncing them in whatever way you can.
    Just look at it like placing your poolside towel on the winners prize.
  • The Flora Light Challenge for Women is promoted as a fun run to encourage women of all abilities to take part. Last year it was won by Paula Radcliffe, this year by Sonia o'Sullivan (I think)

    Go for it and make sure the Germans know you're a Brit!
  • I showed my mother this thread - her being german and all - and she said go for it! Any of the 'fun' runs I have taken part in I have not expected to win, always thought there would be a whippet like yourself crossing the line well before me. Of course you do realise you HAVE to win now, don't you?
  • Interestingingly - I followed up the thought and looked at the results of the race I did last weekend.

    I finished the 10k in 39:00 minutes. In the "fun run" 5k there were about 120 runners. The winning time was actually 16:15 errrr.......so maybe I wouldn't have won. But based on my 10k I think I probably could have run about 18:30 for the 5k which would have placed me 8th overall and first in my age group.
  • So with those times, it's no longer a fun run. It's a matter of national pride. I say do it.
  • To pump yourself up watch 633 squadron, Reach for the Sky and the Great Escape the night before!

    (Read the next bit in a Winston Churchill accent with the theme from Dambusters playing in the background...)

    "Never before in the field of human fun running has so much been wanted by so many by so few for so long....blah blah blah "
  • Wear a shirt with a great big Union Jack on it so they are in no doubt as to who you are and where your from.
    Who dares wins and all that..
  • It has been suggested that this type of xenophobia is what gives us Brits a bad name abroad.

    I say stuff em.

    Get a good 50m lead and then goose step over the line in a John Cleese kind of way(turn on the spot will be optional).

    As the Germans are well known for their sense of humour,you will proberbly make lots of new friends.

    May I suggest introducing a few strides into your training just in case.
  • You've obviously never watched the begining of a Race for Life, it's elbows at the ready at the start, there's alot of jostling at the front, and tell me its a fun run.
  • As someone who intends to enter a fun run in a couple of weeks time, I thought I might offer some comment from the field of "fun" runners that Martin proposes beating.

    I've never raced before, but I've been training. I hope to do reasonably well because I know I can beat those people who haven't trained at all, and in a fun run I imagine there'll be a few of them. But if I found myself leading the race I think I'd be terrified. I expect, and indeed hope, for faster runners who will win. I'm also hoping those faster runners will lure the naive untrained fun runners into starting too fast so I can puff my way past them by halfway!

    I can't imagine that people will get upset at you running too fast. If there's a prize for coming first, then it's a race. It's there to be won.
  • Go for it, Martin. Apart from the mass participation events where people just go along for a walk and a giggle, 5K "fun runs" are races. I don't know what the rules are in Germany, but I don't think under-12s are permitted to enter them here so the pushchair brigade won't be in your way, and some of those teenagers will make you race for your trophy!
  • Good luck Martin, we're counting on you.

    BTW I'm the only marathon runner I know of in my village. Came last in the 'Ladies' 50 m sprint on village Sports Day.
  • V-rap, you have a very good point (about the teenagers), for the race I referred to above 6 of the first eight were under 25 and of those four were under 20.

    Personally, I think I should do it because I want to improve my speed for other races but more importantly my kids would be thrilled to see their dad win something (after all they have little concept of the significance of speed - what matters to them is who won!).

    But, DannyM (thanks for the huge laugh this morning) if it does happen and I do win then I think it might be better to exercise a little more restraint.....tempting as it might be!
  • At the risk of appearing to fall in with some of the knee-jerk responses (just a touch of xenophobia there perhaps?) that have gone before, I have to say (having lived in Germany, not too far from where Martin is, some 14 years ago) that the idea of a German "fun run" strikes me as, well, oxymoronic. Oh dear, now I've said it.

    In any case, I've never come across a "fun run" over here that didn't include a significant number of participants either trying to win or else finish as high up the field as possible. Witness the recent Hoylake 10K - yes, I was one of them!

    By all means have a go Martin - it's a great distance to race over. The only thing I find slightly curious is that you can't find a "serious" 5K race in its own right over there. If I found myself living in Walldorf once more, the absence of a regular opportunity to race over that distance would rather p*ss me off.
  • The local race in my home town used to be called a "mini-marathon", then was a "road race". It is now called a "fun run" because calling it that means the organisers don't have to pay a fee to the SAF to run it. Every event where runners of any abilities come together to get from point A to point B in the shortest time is a race, and all is fair in love and war.....

    Go for it Martin - and kick anyone who dares get in your way.......
  • Mike - It could be something to do with the description which is not really fun run as such, in fact they call it a "Jedermannlauf" which effectively means everyone can take part (as opposed to the main event of the day which is called the "hauptlauf").

    There are some races (like the one in my own village) where it is specified that you shouldn't take part if you're going to run under 20 minutes - which really strikes me as bizarre as I have a vision of charging around the course, reaching the finish line and then loitering just before the line until the next person is almost at the finish before hopping (think bugs bunny in a loony toons fashion) over the line to the massed applause.

    I'm probably doing the "jedermannlauf" community a big disservice as now that the idea has entered my head I've been looking at the results of races for this year and most of the 5k's seem to be won in sub 17, but sub 18:30 will generally guarantee a minimum top 10 finish and usually top 3.

    I do seem to remember running a 5k some years ago (in my prime!) at about 17:30 or so - and remeber it as being one of the toughest experiences of my running life - still a good chance to perfect my anal breathing!
  • ... or just run and have fun, simple really
  • Martin,
    Just to refer to my last post.You could claim that it was a stretching exercise.

    Just make sure you don't put your finger across your top lip.
  • The bbc are always telling us about the fun runners in the London Marathon so surely that's a fun run too? And they let fast people in.....
  • Your fun run certainly sounds competitive, so go for it!
    Interesting point in general though. A lot of the races I’ve been to (tend to be 10ks) have fun runs which are run almost exclusively by kids and was imagining the silence and stony glares I’d get at the finish line from the parents of all the twelve year old competitors I’d beaten. I think it depends very much on the nature on the particular fun run in question.
  • ...........and very much on how many of the kids you have to push over to get to the finish, Santa
  • .. the ones I've seen I couldn't catch the little treasures let alone push them over
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