Summer Sunrise Watermelon 5k Series
Saturday, June 8, July 13 and August 10
Presented by MIDFLORIDA Credit Union
Registration and race start near Lakeland Yacht Club Parking Lot
929 Lake Hollingsworth Dr, Lakeland, FL 33803
Race Start – 7:00 am
Stroller Start – 7:05 am

This event benefits the Polk Education Foundation – read more in the About section.

Series registrants receive a participant shirt and are eligible for series awards.   All participants receive finisher medals. #CanYouBeatTheHeat

Single race registration in Registration section below.

The Summer Sunrise Watermelon Race Series was born out of a desire to have low-cost local races during the hot summer months, when it can be hard to stay motivated. The series has become an established venue for competition and an annual celebration of fitness. It continues to be popular with both experienced and casual runners alike. Many of the local high school cross country teams use it as a tune-up for their season. The series is comprised of three 5K (3.1 mile) races, each race hotter than the last.  All are run around Lake Hollingsworth, which is flat and conducive to fast times.  Your mission is to get faster with each race.  So ask yourself:  #CanYouBeatTheHeat

The Summer Watermelon 5k is run on a certified course (FL15070EBM).  All races are chip timed.  Cumulative results from the three races are used to determine official results.

The first series was run in 1996.

Proceeds from the Summer Sunrise Watermelon Series go toward scholarships for Polk County graduates administered through the Polk Education Foundation. The Lakeland Runners Club has contributed to the PEF since 2012, and funded ten $1,500 scholarships for May 2019 graduates. Lakeland Runners Club, Inc. has donated $67,000 for scholarships since 2012.

3 Race Series Early Registration through May 24, 2019 – $40

June, July or August Single 5K  – $15

3 Race Series Late Registration – May 25, 2019 to Race Day (or until sold out) – $50
June Race Late Registration – May 25, 2019 to Race Day (or until sold out) – $20
July Race Late Registration – June 28, 2019 to Race Day (or until sold out) – $20
August Race Late Registration – July 26, 2019 to Race Day (or until sold out) – $20

No LRC member coupon codes will be accepted after May 25, at packet pickup or on race day. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Printed Lakeland Runners Club member race vouchers must be postmarked by May 24, and must be accompanied by the printed registration form. Include the $15 registration balance with your form.

Make checks payable to LRC & mail to: LRC-Watermelon, PO Box 1484, Lakeland, FL 33802.

Registrations are not refundable; to request a registration transfer, please complete and submit our Registration Transfer Form. We cannot guarantee the new runner’s shirt size is available, but we’ll do our best to accommodate.

Transfers for the Summer Sunrise 5k Series and 5k Race 1 must be submitted by May 24, 2019.  Requests for 5k Race 2 must be submitted by June 28, 2019, and for 5k Race 3 by July 26, 2019.

Running as a bib mule or bandit makes you subject to ban or disqualification at LRC events.

Bib Mule: someone who wears or carries another person’s race number through the race and across the finish line; i.e. running with a friend’s number, male running as a female, faster runner replacing a slower runner.

Bandit Runner: someone who doesn’t pay to enter a race but feels it is okay to just jump in at any location along the course and run.

To provide the safest races of the highest integrity, the Lakeland Runners Club offers race number transfers for individual races. Series races, like the Watermelon 3 race 5k Series, the Aching Quad 4 Races in 24 hours Challenge and the High Five Challenge are not transferable, as these events must be completed by the same individual.

  • • Bib Mules create inaccurate race results and can prevent registered and deserving individuals from being recognized as age group award recipients.
  • • In case of an emergency, unregistered runners may not be able to be identified.
  • • Bandits take resources designated for those who have trained, paid the entry fee, and earned the right to participate:i.e. parking spaces, port-o-johns, space on the course, medals and finish line amenities.

The LRC Outstanding Volunteer program has been updated for 2019 – please take a moment to read the revised policy on our Volunteer page before registering.

The Lakeland Runners Club is a 100% volunteer organization, so we need you!  All open volunteer opportunities can be found at Sign Up Genius.  LRC Members received Outstanding Volunteer points when they volunteer, and students can earn service hours.

Bicycles, roller skates, in-line skates, and dogs will be prohibited from the race course. The use of headphones is discouraged.

Walker Friendly Events
Our mission is to promote running, walking, and general fitness in group settings. Walkers are encouraged to participate in all races.

Children Under 12 (runners OR walkers)
For their safety, children under 12 are strongly discouraged from lining up with the elite runners at the start line.

Stroller Restrictions
• Stroller/jogger operators must start behind ALL runners. Our events are chip timed races so your official time will start when you go over the race mat not when the gun goes off.
• Stroller/jogger operators must yield the right of way to runners.
• Stroller/joggers can tip easily and cannot turn quickly. Please do not weave through packs of runners.
• Participants in strollers are not eligible for age group awards.

You may have a friend or family member pick up your race number.

Pre-Race Pickup & Registration
FITniche Lakeland
1523 Town Center Dr, Lakeland, FL 33803

Race 1 – 4:00 to 7:30 pm Friday, June 7
Race 2 – 4:00 to 7:30 pm Friday, July 12
Race 3 – 5:00 to 7:30 pm Thursday, Aug 8 OR 4:00 to 7:30 pm Friday, Aug 9

Race Day Pickup & Registration 
All Races – 5:45 to 6:45 am
Saturday, June 8; Saturday, July 13; and Saturday, August 10
Lakeland Yacht Club Park Parking Lot
929 Lake Hollingsworth Dr, Lakeland, FL 33803

Near the Start/Finish
The Terrace Hotel
Address: 329 E Main St, Lakeland, FL 33801
Phone: (863) 688-0800

Near Early Race Number Pick Up
Hampton Inn & Suites Lakeland-South Polk Parkway
Address: 3630 Lakeside Village Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: (863) 603-7600

Start Line is on Lake Hollingsworth Dr, near E Derbyshire Ave

There is one water station on the course near mile 1.5.

Port-o-lets will be available at the start and finish areas.

There is a small parking lot near the start line, and street parking in the neighborhoods adjacent to Lake Hollingsworth.

Only those who register for the three-race series will receive the participant shirt.  It will be available at the final race packet pickup.

Shirt size not guaranteed after April 24, you may select from remaining available sizes after that date. Please note you will not be able to switch your shirt size from the one you selected on your registration form at shirt pick up. Switching shirt sizes may only be done after the race as supplies last.

Technical Shirt, Gender-Specific Sizing.

At the end of each race, each registered runner will receive a finisher medal.

Not to Scale – enlarged to show detail.

Series age group awards will be presented to the overall male and female using gun time. Chip time will be used for Overall Masters (40 and over), Grand Masters (50 and over) and top 3 finishers male and female in each age group. Only those registering for the series before the first race and completing all three races will be eligible for age group and overall awards. Divisions begin with 10 and under, 11-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, and 80 and over. No duplicate awards.

Your age is determined on the date of the first race. Only those who register for the 5k Series by June 8 and finish all three races are eligible for awards.  Participants in strollers are not eligible for age group awards. 

Awards will be presented following the final race of the series at 8:15 am in the Runner’s Village (grass area near finish area).

When official results and photos are available, a link will be posted in the Lakeland Runners Club Facebook Page. Please allow several hours for official results and several days for photography.

LRC Photo Gallery
LRC Event Results

Follow us on Facebook to see updates leading up to race day Lakeland Runners Club Facebook Page

Sponsors of The Lakeland Runners Club, Inc. help us promote running in our community. We are glad to have them as they are local businesses who support what we do, and are often filled with our fellow runners. We hope you support them in return.

2019 Presenting Sponsor

2019 Elite & Club Sponsors

2019 Supporting Sponsors
Close Crop Publix Charities
Close Crop stryker
2019 In Kind Sponsors