Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do I have to attend every session?

A. Not at all! You are encouraged to attend as many sessions as you would like, whether it is one session a week or all four. 


Q. How far is the race?

A. There are three race distances available for the Riverbank Run:

  • 5K Run/Walk (3.1 Miles)
  • 10K (6.2 miles)
  • 25K (15.5 miles)
  • People who are feeling adventurous have the option of signing up for more than one race distance- see the official Riverbank page HERE for more details.


Q. Am I required to run the race?

A. You are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the actual race. It’s a great way to demonstrate your progress and see your results! We understand that participating in the race may not also be an option for people due to financial or scheduling limitations, and that is ok. We’d still love to have you train with us!


Q. How fast do I need to be able to run?

A. If you are planning on running, we ask that you please be able to maintain a pace between 15:00 minutes a mile and 6:00 minutes a mile. Needing to take an occasional walking break is just fine.

If you’re planning on walking, all you need is a walking buddy! No speed walking required.


Q. What's this I've heard about prizes?

A. New this year, we are offering prizes for people who attend sessions! Here’s how it works:

  • Every session you attend earns you one entry into a raffle. The more sessions you attend, the greater your odds are of winning!
  • Every four weeks, we will hold a raffle and determine who wins the prizes. After each raffle, all entries are reset- attending in January won’t help you win something in April!


Q. How do I register to train with the GVSU training group?

A. To register with the GVSU training group, simply click HERE and fill out the proper registration form (student or non-student.)

NOTE: A valid student e-mail address is required to register for the program as a student. 


Q. How much does the program cost?

A. The program is FREE for current GVSU students, faculty, and staff. For anyone else, the cost of the program is $20. 


Q. Can I still participate in the training after it has started?

A. Of course! You are welcome to join at any time. Based off of when you join, your goals, and your current running ability, we can help you determine which race distance will be the best fit.


Q. What is the date of the race itself?

A. The 5/3 Riverbank Run is the second Saturday of May each year, which means it will be May 10th, 2014.


Q. How do I register for the actual race?

A. To register for the actual Riverbank Run, there are two options:

  • You can fill out a paper registration form at the fitness and wellness center (in the Fieldhouse, on the lower level next to the basketball courts.) You’ll save a couple dollars by registering through this office, but you’ll need to complete your registration and payment BY JANUARY 30th. The Fitness & Wellness Center will not accept race registrations after that date.
  • You can register for the race online. You may be charged a few extra dollars as a processing fee. You can register online HERE.


Q. What if I have other goals in addition to completing the race?

A. Not a problem! We will be able to work with you on an individual basis to meet your goals. Whether it’s weight loss, increasing flexibility, toning up, eating healthier, or anything else fitness related, we’ll help you get there! 


Q. Will there be weekend long runs as a group?

A. Yes! We will be planning these throughout the training program, based off of the training schedules and participant availability. 


Q. Am I allowed to walk instead of run?

A. Of course! If you are planning on walking the race in May, we’ll help you train to get ready.


Q. What kind of experience do I need to participate in the training program?

A. What kind of experience you’ll need (if any) depends on which event you’re thinking about doing. For safety reasons, here’s what we would like participants to have at the beginning of the training program:

  • 5K- No experience needed!
  • 10K- No experience needed!
  • 25K- We’d like participants to be able to run about 3-4 miles by the end of January. If you can do that, you can train for the 25K!


Q. How do I know if I am healthy enough to train for one of these races?

A. The best and safest way to find out if you’re healthy enough to train for the Riverbank Run is to speak to your doctor. If you don’t have a doctor or your doctor is not readily available, please contact us- we have a questionnaire you can fill out that may help you determine if you’re healthy enough to begin an exercise program.


Q. Will the running be inside or outside?

A. Where running will occur depends on the location of the session. Downtown/Pew Campus sessions will entail running outside. Sessions held in Allendale will be up to each participant to decide- you can run inside or outside. We would encourage outside running, as it is much better training, but we recognize that it is your decision to make!


Q. What are the "teams" for Riverbank? How do they work?

A. The Riverbank “teams” are fun groupings that 5/3rd organizes.

  • Teams are organized into categories- there is a “School/University” team, which would allow any combination of GVSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and retirees to be on the same team.
  • Teams must have between 5 and 10 people (5 people must complete the race for the team to be scored.)
  • Each Team member must run the same distance, but GVSU can have multiple teams (we are allowed to have a 5K team, a 10K team, and a 25K team if we want.)
  • Team members do not have to be fast and/or competitive. Anyone is welcome!
  • If your team scores well enough, your team earns prizes!


Q. Am I required to be on a team?

A. Nope! We don’t want to pressure anyone into joining a team. They are completely optional.


Q. How do I make a financial gift to the university?

A. Making a financial gift to the university is easy and your gift is very much appreciated. To make a contribution, click HERE.


Q. I would like to participate in the River Bank Run, but can't attend any of the sessions. What should I do?

A. If you can’t attend any of the sessions, but would still like a customized training plan, we have a couple different options for you:

  • If you live in the Allendale area, we can meet with you face-to-face in something called the Ufit plan. In this program, we’ll develop your training plan (including and flexibility or resistance training you desire) and go over the program with you, as well as periodic check-ups to see how things are progressing. This program is FREE for students, and is $25 for non-students.
  • If you live in the Allendale area and want more frequent individual training, GVSU Campus Recreation offers personal training services. These are in no way limited to just running related programs- personal trainers can help with a variety of health-related goals. Click HERE for more information about the personal training programs.
  • If you don’t live in the Allendale/Grand Rapids area, GVSU Campus Recreation offers virtual personal training- all you need is an internet connection and a webcam! Special discounts are offered to individuals training for the Riverbank Run. Click HERE  for more information about virtual personal training. 


Q. What if I have a question that is not answered here?

A. Please e-mail us at and we will answer your question promptly!


Page last modified February 21, 2014