Learning to Like Exercise: Nerd Themed 5ks

I am not a runner. In high school I actually got kicked out of my gym class because I couldn’t do the running portion of the class.
I dislike running.
A lot.


However, I’m trying to find a way to learn to run and not feel like I’m dying. I started this quest last year when I signed up to run in the 2nd annual Potter Run in my city, hosted by Geek’s Out Events. That’s right, a HARRY POTTER THEMED 5k I found out one of my friends was going to do it with me, and warned her that I hadn’t run in a very long time so I would be slow.

The day arrived at the 5k to people dressed in robes, as snitches, and a surprising amount of Dobbys. I finished the 5k (mostly walking) in under an hour and while it was absolutely a respectable finish time, I wanted to do better.


A post shared by Anna (@nerdyalerty) on

nerd 5ks
not mine. found somewhere pn tumblr.

Fast forward to a few months later when I then participated in the Hero Dash/Zombie Run (a superhero and zombie themed 5k). At this point I discovered that the key to getting me to do these things was to make them themed in something fun. Despite the poor organization of the Hero Dash, it was fun to see everyone come in costumes to run in it kept me distracted from the fact I was about to run a 5k. I beat my Potter Run time by about 2 min at the Hero Dash. Not a lot, but you have to start somewhere.

All decked out for my Superhero/Zombie 5k today!!

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Since these two 5ks I’ve been forcing myself to work out a bit more than usual. Yoga and the elliptical have been my best friends recently. The Geek’d Out Running Club (a club started from the Potter Run creators) announced their next line up for 5ks in the 2015 year. I signed up immediately! Not only am I very impressed with the organization of these events, but I love the charities that they are promoting.

This year I’ll be running in four geek themed 5ks.
May 2nd: May the 4th be with You 5k (Star Wars Themed) | Supporting: The Adoption Exchange
August 1st: The Potter Run (Harry Potter Themed) | Supporting: Hope Kids
September: 19th: The Time Lord Run (Doctor Who Themed) | Supporting: ACCO
October 3rd: Super Secret Qualifying 5k (SURPRISE THEME!!!!) | Supporting: SURPRISE

As amazing as the 5ks are to run in person, Geek’d Out Events has created a way for you to participate even if you don’t live in Utah, or can’t make the dates in question. They offer a Virtual Run where you still get all the fun stuff (shirts, medals, and a racing bib) but you can do the race on your own time.

My goal with all of these 5ks is to beat each previous time. Right now the time to beat is 54 min, Plus, now I get to make new running shirts for each run now! YAY Crafting!!!

Do you enjoy running? What are some things that help you want to exercise?

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  • Love this. Following all the organizing groups. I want to do nerdy sports 😛

    • Yay!!! I’m very impressed with the organization that Geek’d Out Events has. Plus they are such fun themes and such amazing charities!!

  • I could certainly see myself doing a Zombie 5K 🙂 If i actually had a bunch of zombis chasing me I would be the fittest person alive.

    • It was a lot of fun. The mix of Zombies and Superheroes was a sight I will not forget. 🙂

  • I use HabitRPG for a lot of things, including exercise. I also follow the Walk to Rivendell plan. (It’s called “Walk to Rivendell” but it has mileage counts for the entire LotR, don’t let the name fool you!)


    So you can have something to work on all year. 😉

    All exercise you enjoy is good, but the only way to get better at running is….to do more running. (This is assuming that you want to eventually run these 5Ks instead of walking them.) I would try using the Couch to 5K plan (and being gentle with yourself). I gave it three separate tries before I decided that I just hated running—now I get my cardio on walks and on the exercise bike.

    • Thanks for the rec! I will definitely have to try my hand at walking to Rivendell (do I get to meet Aragorn when I get there? Is that my prize?)

      My goal with the 5ks is to run SOME of it. I know myself well enough to know that I may never be able to run a whole 5k (and still enjoy it). But I’d be happy running even a quarter of it and it’d get my time down to respectable time so that I could be proud of myself in trying it.

      But lets be real, I’m just excited to see al the costumes people come in. 😉

  • Just looking at your photos made me click on the link for more information. Themed runs are a lot of fun, especially the ones you can cosplay in. We’re looking forward to Disney’s Avengers Half Marathon this year.

    And I agree with Kokoba, the Couch to 5K program is a great place to start. I can say from experience that it works.

    • I’ve heard the Disney marathons and half marathons are a lot of fun! I’ve always wanted to go.

      I’ll definitely have to check out he Couch to 5k program. Thanks for the idea!!!

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