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Trinity 5000 Summer Series: Test yourself in the heat

The Thursday night runs, presented by Cox Racing Services, are now in their 39th year.

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The runners prepare to get rolling on a Thursday night across the bottom of the Tarrant Community College hill in downtown.

Photo courtesy of Cox Racing Services

Imagine running for four decades. Okay, so not continuously like Forrest Gump, but annually during the Trinity 5000 Summer Series.

For the last 39 years, the summer running series hosted by Cox Racing Services has brought Fort Worthians together to hit the Trinity Trails every Thursday — which is typically followed by a post-run beer. This year’s series is already running and will continue through Aug. 29. The course is (somewhat) shady and largely flat. Your race options are:

  • 1K fun run/walk: Departs at 7:15 p.m.
  • 5K run: 7:30 p.m.

Runners leave from downtown, across the bridge from the bottom of the Tarrant County College hill (referred to sometimes as Mile Marker Zero for the Trails system), and run to the Mark Twain statue on the Trinity Trails and back.

Costs

Online pre-registration is encouraged. A single 5K run would cost $20 ($30 with a custom t-shirt), but you can also register for all races at $200.

The origin story

The series is the brainchild of Ricky Cox, who discovered a passion for running his senior year at O.D. Wyatt High School in 1978. A natural athlete, he won the Cowtown Marathon in 1981, 1982, and 1986. Now, he runs Cox Racing Services with his son Demery, and they put on the majority of road races along the Trinity Trails annually.

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Ricky Cox captures one of his three Cowtown Marathon titles in the 1980s.

Photo courtesy of Demery Cox

A personal reflection

City Editor Ted, here — I did the 5000 series in 2017. I paid for all 12 events, but only ran eight. It’s absolutely brutally hard, and very hot some nights, but you meet awesome people. I still have some friends and acquaintances around town from that summer.

Participating in the event brings a sense of accomplishment and a fun way into an active community. Believe me, I’m no runner and I got through it.

The series is billed as “the summer place for active people.” Skill levels vary (I was about a 13-minute mile), but most 5K runners finish by 8:20 p.m. Afterwards, informal groups gather under the trees on the Trinity Trails, and some groups bike to Woodshed Smokehouse, Flying Saucer, or HG Sply for a beer.

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