Join one of the largest 5K races in central Pennsylvania.

The purpose of the THON 5K is to support THON’s yearlong effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against childhood cancer. Your 5K registration fee will go directly to benefit Four Diamonds at the Penn State Children’s Hospital, which they will use to help cover 100 percent of the costs of patient care, as well as to fund critical, life-saving research. Weaving through scenic University Park, PA, runners will be cheered on by enthusiastic THON volunteers. Participants can choose between completing a Competitive Run, or a Fun Run/Walk. By participating in the 17th Annual THON 5K, you will be joining us, and thousands of others, in the fight against childhood cancer!

Virtual 5K

Even those who cannot travel to University Park on the weekend of the THON 5K can still take action and #RunWithUsFTK, via our Virtual THON 5K Challenge. If you can't make it to Penn State for the local 5K on Sunday, October 15, you can register below to run your own 5K that weekend, on your own time - any pace, any place. Upon completing your registration, you will be mailed a runner number. Join us in the Virtual 5K Challenge as we take the fight against childhood cancer beyond State College and spread hope around the world!

Steps Taken Toward a Cure

The Steps Taken Toward a Cure pledge will accompany the THON 5K again this year. The pledge encourages you to nominate friends and family to sponsor you in the THON 5K by donating one cent for every step that you will run on the day of the THON 5K (or during your Virtual 5K). The average person takes around 6,000 steps over the course of a 5K, which amounts to an average donation amount of $60. Once you decide to nominate someone, they will receive an email detailing the promotion and how to proceed if they would like to make a donation.

Each donation made via the Steps Taken Toward a Cure initiative will follow one of three levels: Level 1 is a $30 donation, Level 2 is a $60 donation, and Level 3 is a $120 donation. The proceeds received from Steps Taken Toward a Cure are eligible to be credited to an organization’s total for THON 2018.

How Can I Register for the THON 5K?

Sign up to race on the day of the event at the Special Events table by Gate A of the Bryce Jordan Center beginning at 8:00am!


Cost: $15 per registrant for Fun-Run. $18 per registrant for Competitive Run. $20 per registrant for Virtual 5K.
If you sign up for the Virtual 5K, you will have the chance to purchase a shirt for an additional $10.

Commonly Asked Questions

What do I wear?

You can wear anything that you feel comfortable running/walking in! The THON 5K is a fun race, so feel free to wear costumes and any funky clothes that you desire to wear. Take into consideration that the 5K is in October, so you may need to dress accordingly. Register early and receive your THON 5K t-shirt to wear on race day. Most importantly, make sure you wear your smile!

What should I expect?

At the THON 5K, you will have the opportunity to interact with Four Diamonds Families, meet other THON volunteers, listen to live music, purchase new THON merchandise, enter to win the THON Raffle, hear special guest speakers, and most importantly, have fun! The map of the course for the THON 5K can be found at the bottom of this page.

Where will the Four Diamonds Families be?

The Four Diamonds Families will spend time at the Family Tent that is located at the start of the race course. You will also see many of the families participating in the Fun Run as well as the Competitive Race. The 5K is a great opportunity for organizations and volunteers to interact with the families who are directly impacted through THON’s efforts.

Can I credit my organization?

Yes, upon registration you will have the ability to select a student organization to credit from a drop down menu. This also includes the ability to credit an independent dancer couple, provided they are already properly registered. Crediting also applies to registering for the Virtual 5K and Step Taken Toward a Cure Pledge.

What time does the race start?

The Kids Race starts at 11:05 a.m. and the Competitive Race starts at 11:30 a.m.

What time does registration start?

Registration begins at 8 a.m. on the day of the race.

Will there be food provided?

There will be food provided to all Four Diamonds Families and runners as part of their registration.

What time is the family speaker?

The family speaker is at 10:35AM.

Where is parking?

Runners and spectators will be parking in Stadium West Parking Lot, accessible from Park Avenue, and Jordan East Parking Lot, accessible from University Drive and Porter Road. Please remember that Curtain Road will be closed and both parking lots will not be able to be accessed from that road.

All Four Diamonds families have been emailed a parking pass and will be parking in a reserved section of the Stadium West Parking Lot.

A parking map will be available at the bottom of the page. If you have any questions please contact:

Who should I contact with questions?

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to the THON 5K Captains, Jillian House and Daniel Cooley at or the Special Events Director, Brady Lucas at