First, I want to point out that this event happened pre-pandemic. There have been many attempts to do 5k’s at home during the pandemic. This is something entirely different. (It was also eerily prescient for 2020).
This event germinated in a discussion with my friend Kim during a nighttime glow 5k that we attended. The core idea is that the runners stand still while the people holding up signs (the supporters) run past them so that it looks like the runners are moving forward.
Unlike most of the other events in this series I felt like this one might actually attract a crowd. So I needed a place to hold it.
If I held at a park and drew a crowd, it would almost certainly require some permits. So instead I started asking businesses that might have enough space for our runners to not go anywhere.
I had been already talked to Live Oak Brewing Company earlier in the year when I looking for Giant Cornhole partners so I knew they had an area that would work great for the Stationary 5k. They were very generous and let us have it on a weekend afternoon. Plus the outdoor area of their brewery is AMAZING.
Below are the details and promotional video for the “Austin Stationary 5k” event as posted to the public.
Austin Stationary 5k
It’s like other runs except you stand in a line and run in place. And like other runs, there are supporters with signs. But they have to run down the line to make the runners feel like they’re going somewhere.
Things to know:
- This is for real.
- You can be a runner or supporter.
- If you want to be a supporter, bring a sign.
- Limited Tickets!
When: SATURDAY, January 11th 2019. Noon-3pm. 5K Starts at 1pm!
Location: Live Oak Brewing Company
Here’s the official promotional video:
This event required a lot of help. Kristine Tofte, the editor of the calendar would run the check-in table, my friend the amazingly talented Dan Smith would be the MC, the 12+ member band Ouiness (my band) was going to play afterward.
I had brought posterboard and markers for people to write their own signs. I even had some runners bibs made up for the event. And I brought some of my penguin, elf, and gingerbreadperson costumes for people to wear.
Dan did a spectacular job encouraging people to not go anywhere, commenting on their form and keep the energy high. People really got into the sign-making. And having a great day and beer on hand helped, too.
I’m particularly proud of the playlist I made for the event:
At one point my friend Emily and I loaded a folding table up with cups of water and ran around the course to hydrate the runners. This brought on more cheers than I had expected. However, due to our enthusiasm, we probably did a better job of hydrating the table. Thankfully none of the runners seemed to be suffering as a result.
Post-Event Wrap Up
This event was a winner, hands-down. And way easier than that Giant Cornhole nightmare event/project.
People really enjoyed the water-table gag and making signs and I was glad to see that so many people felt inspired to participate. I would love to do this event again and have some ideas on how we might make it even better next time.
Here’s some videos and photos from the event. Sadly very view people (including myself) documented the event. Next time I’ll make that a specific to-do list item.