What is the “Mayor’s Challenge 5K”?
The challenge is to participate in and complete the 5K event on Sunday, Nov. 9. A free six-week training program leading up to the 5K walk/run is available to help you prepare, no matter your fitness level.
When and where will it be held?
The Mayor’s Challenge 5K Walk/Run and Kids’ Fun Run will take place on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, starting at Public Square Park, outside the historic Metro Courthouse. The course routes will take participants through the streets of Downtown Nashville. Activities on the Public Square will begin at noon. The Kids’ Fun Run begins at 2 p.m. The 5K begins at 2:15 p.m. Participants are encouraged to arrive at least one hour before their start time.
How do I participate?
Advanced registration online is highly recommended but not required. On-site registration will be available at the event on Nov. 9, so walk-ups are welcome. The 5K is open to all ages and fitness levels. The Kids’ Fun Run is for children age 12 or under. Minors will need the help of a parent or guardian to complete the registration process. You can register online as an individual or a team. All types of groups are encouraged to form a 5K team—friends, families, churches, businesses, or social clubs. Participating as a group will help you stay on track with training and make the event even more fun. To prepare for the 5K, you can train on your own or participate in the free, six-week training program offered by Metro Parks. The training schedule and regimen is available on this site.
How much does it cost?
Free! Mayor Dean wants everyone to be able to participate, so there is no charge for the training sessions or to register for the 5K or Kids’ Fun Run. Also, MTA offers free transportation to the 5K on all Nashville bus routes. Just tell the bus driver on Nov. 9 that you’re headed to the Mayor’s Challenge 5K event downtown and the fare will be waived. 

Event costs are supported by in-kind contributions from community partners and from generous donors to The Footprint Fund at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
Will I receive a 5K t-shirt?
Purchasing a t-shirt is optional. T-shirts are $15. Adult sizes are made out of a polyester sports tech fabric. Youth sizes are 100% cotton. T-shirts can be purchased through November 3 and will be available to pick-up at Early Check-in locations on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 and on event day Nov.9. T-shirts will not be available to purchase on event day but will be available to purchase again on this website after the event starting November 10.

Free 5K t-shirts are available to anyone who completes the Mayor’s Challenge 5K training program. Completing the program requires training once a week for six weeks from Sept. 29-Nov. 7 (or 6 sessions altogether) at one of the official Mayor’s Challenge 5K training sites. Participants are encouraged to train at other times during the week. To be eligible for the free t-shirt, track your attendance at the official Mayor’s 5K training sites on NashVitality. Participants simply create a personal profile then register to attend each training session. Learn more about the training program
Do I have to register in advance?
No, but it’s strongly encouraged. On-site registration will be available at the event on Nov. 9, but the lines are always long. The registration process will be easier for you if you take advantage of the online registration. Packet pick-up and walk-up registration is also available on the Friday and Saturday before the event date - more info available on our registration page. Please note online registration will close at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6 to allow us to prepare for participant check-in. Also, all on-site registrants will need to individually sign a waiver form. A parent or guardian will need to be present to a register a minor on event day.
What happens if I register but don’t show up?
While we hope you can set aside time on Sunday, Nov. 9 to participate in the event, we certainly understand if a last minute conflict comes up. There are no penalties for registering and not showing up, and there is no need to cancel.
If I register online, why do I need to arrive one hour before my start time?
Every participant needs to check-in when they arrive for the event so we know who is in attendance and to give you a bib (race number) and a free goody bag from our sponsors.
If you want to avoid the long check-in lines on Nov. 9, there will be early check-in opportunities on the days preceding the event at the following times and locations:
Friday, Nov. 7
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Public Square Park, 1 Public Square
4 p.m. – 6 p.m. at East Park Community Center, 600 Woodland Street

Saturday, Nov. 8
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at East Park Community Center, 600 Woodland Street

Even if you take advantage of early check-in, you are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your event start time to give you time to find the correct corral (place at the start line) based on your estimated finish time.
If my entire team registers online in advance, can I pick up their bibs and goody bags?
Yes. The online registration process includes an electronic waiver form, so “team captains” can check in for an entire team and receive the bibs and goody bags to distribute to the other team members.
Can I bring a stroller or my dog?
Yes, you are welcome to bring a stroller or your dog. But please note participants with strollers will be in the second to last starting corral. Participants with dogs will be in the very last starting corral (and please remember to clean up after your pet!).
How do I know my young child will be safe on the Kids’ Fun Run?
Volunteers will be placed all along the Kids' Fun Run route to provide complete adult supervision of the course. Or if you choose, you can run alongside your child. You will need to be registered for the 5K in order to do this to ensure we have a signed waiver form for every walker / runner.
Do I have to participate in the training program to attend the 5K event?
No. You can choose to register for the 5K without participating in the free training program. However, the free training program is an opportunity to improve your overall health and be prepared to do your own personal best at the 5K.
What’s the benefit of following the training program?
The Mayor’s Challenge 5K training program was designed by fitness professionals to maximize your performance. By taking advantage of the training classes, you can build your strength and endurance.

For encouragement, the first time you attend a 5K training session, you will receive a free, one-day pass to a Metro Parks community center and a discount to Fleet Feet Nashville.

Also, if you complete the Mayor’s Challenge 5K training program by training at least once a week for six weeks at one of Metro Parks’ official 5K training sites, you will receive a free 5K t-shirt! Learn more about the training program
When and where are the training sessions?
Training sessions will be held at several times throughout the week at Metro Parks’ six regional community centers and the Centennial Sportsplex. The training schedule and regimen can be found on this site. On-line training sessions are also available at NashVitality where participants can track their training and receive reminders throughout the training period but may be asked to move to the sidewalks for your safety as the course re-opens to vehicles.
I’m not very fast. How long will the course be open?
We understand that everyone will have their own pace. The course will be open until the last walker / runner is able to complete it.
Will there be water available along the routes?
Yes. Hydration is important during exercise. There will be water stops dispersed along the route. There will also be water available at the Public Square for you to hydrate before and after the event.
Will there be portable toilets along the route?
Yes, portable toilets will be available at the Public Square for your use before and after the event, and at each aid station.
Will there be food at the end of the course?
Yes. Healthy snacks will be available on the Public Square for walkers / runners who finish the 5K course or Kids’ Fun Run.
What are corrals?
When you select your position at the start line for the Mayor’s 5K, you should first consider how long it will take for you to complete the 5K. Based on your estimated completion time, you should select the corral (or place at the start line) with other runners and walkers who expect to finish at the same time. You will see signs with various finish times to direct you to the appropriate location. Faster runners will be at the front with walkers in the back to ensure a smooth start to the event.
Will there be timing chips?
No. Although we want everyone to do their personal best, this event is not about being the fastest runner. It’s about the community coming together to celebrate active and healthy living, and giving everyone – no matter their age, income or fitness level – the opportunity to set and achieve a new health-related goal.
Is this a rain or shine event?
The event will only be cancelled in the event of severe weather. Please watch this website, along with our Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates.
Is free parking available anywhere?
Race participants can park for free in parking Lot F, “Metro employee parking lot”, located at the northwest corner of Woodland St and South First Street, across from LP Field. Simply walk across the Woodland Street Bridge to the event. See map below:

Event Parking map
MTA Transportation
Free transportation is available to the 5K and Fun Run on Nov. 9 on any MTA bus – just tell the driver you’re headed to the Mayor’s 5K.