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Oh yes!  It is that magical time of year again.

The month of May is nearly upon us, and with the dawning of a new May comes yet another “5k Every Day in the Month of May” challenge!

Friend, consider yourself to be officially invited to participate.  (It’s a pretty big deal.)

Jeff Polen Music has once again partnered with Vertical Runner of Wooster and Better Life Coffee to make the challenge even more legit, exciting, and caffeinated.


[cue thunderclaps and dancing ninjas]


The main challenge is simple.  If you sign up, you are committing to run (and / or walk) at least a 5k (3.1 miles) every single day in the month of May 2023.  If you complete the challenge and follow the simple rules, you will receive a FREE FINISHER’S T-SHIRT.

*Please note that this is a running (and / or walking) challenge* Treadmill running (and / or walking) is perfectly acceptable (even if I personally despise the dreadmill, myself, I know that some people love it).  Bike riding, canoeing, rollerskating, horseback riding, video gaming, pretending to run, and any other form of not actually running (and / or walking) does not count for this challenge.  If you are super in to those other activities, awesome!  Perhaps there is a challenge out there just for you… but this is not it.

*Please note that this is an intentional, daily workout challenge* Wearing a Fitbit throughout the day and counting non-intentional, cumulative miles while you were at work or just going through your typical day misses the spirit of the challenge.  We want to see you rise to the challenge of going over and above your typical daily steps by setting out for an intentional, daily workout.  As such, we do not count “roll-over miles”.  In other words, it is not acceptable, for the purpose of this particular challenge, to run a 10k on Monday so that you can take Tuesday off.  Nor is it acceptable to just go out and run 21.7 miles on Sunday to make up for all of the miles you missed Monday through Saturday.

*Please note that there are FOUR official CHECK-IN days*I am REQUIRING everyone who is participating in hopes of receiving a prize, to check in on May 1, May 15, May 30, and June 1.  If you miss the check-in on those dates, you will forfeit your prize.  There will be a specific blog post on each of those days called “CHECK IN”.  You will need to follow the simple instructions on those pages to stay in the challenge.  Don’t miss them!  They will be posted to the blog at


The “BONUS CHALLENGES” are completely optional. You DO NOT have to complete any Bonus Challenges in order to claim your free Finisher’s T-Shirt, but they are super fun so I hope you will plan to join in.

*Bonus Challenge #1 – Scripture reading* Along with running (and / or walking) 3.1 miles every day in May, join me in reading 3 chapters of scripture every day.  We will start on May 1 with Matthew 1 and will read 3 chapters every day, getting all the way to Acts 4 by the end of the month.  To make this bonus challenge easier for you, I will be uploading a daily podcast that you can download and listen to while you do your daily 5k.  The podcast will include the 3 chapters or scripture for that day (along with some colorful commentary), some songs I have written and recorded throughout the years, and some good old fashioned inspiration to help you along the way!  There is no physical prize for completing this bonus challenge, but I believe the spiritual benefit is worth it! Click HERE to download the Daily Bible Reading Challenge plan.

*Bonus Challenge #2 – #5kMayhem* I love how the 5k Every Day in the Month of May challenge has pushed people to do things they never thought possible, and it brings together a community of fellow encouragers to help along the way.  It is amazing to see people set a goal for running or walking at least 3.1 miles every day for an entire month.  All of the inspiring moments along the way caused me to pause and wonder… how far could we go in a single day?  To answer this question, we created an ultra epic bonus challenge… #5kMayhem!!

On Saturday, May 27, from 6:30am to 6:30pm, we will attempt to run or walk at least a 5k every hour on the half hour!  If you finish the challenge, you will have run or walked 37.2 miles!

I think you can, I think you can, I think you can…

It is going to be an amazing day.  Just like in past years, I really believe that people are going to surprise themselves with what they are able to accomplish in a single day committed to running and / or walking.  If you complete the #5kMayhem Bonus Challenge, in addition to the #5kMay2023 main challenge, we will send your a super cool patch to celebrate your insanity victory!

*Bonus Challenge #3 – Daily Fun Photo Challenge* This was so much fun last year, so let’s do it again!  Each day I will issue a “Daily Fun Photo Challenge” on my blog (which will also go to Facebook).  To engage with this challenge, simply do what the challenge says and snap a pic to prove you did it.  Then upload that photo to the Facebook group, in the comments section on my blog, on Strava, or to any of the socials (like InstaTwit or FaceTube)… and interact with the rest of the Daily Fun Photo Challenge people as much as you like.  Hopefully they will do the same.  The goal of this bonus challenge is to keep it funky and fresh each day as we spice up our daily run (and / or walk) and virtually interact with other #5kMayers, and to remind one another that we are doing this together.  There is no physical prize for completing this Bonus Challenge, but I believe it will enhance your overall enjoyment of #5kMay2023 by approximately 13.7%. Click HERE to download the Daily Fun Photo Challenge prompts.


  1. Commit to running (and / or walking) at least 3.1 miles (5k) each day in May 2023
  2. (optional) Along with running / walking 3.1 miles every day in May, read (or listen to) 3 chapters of scripture every day
  3. (optional) Challenge yourself with the #5kMayhem event on Saturday, May 27, 2023
  4. (optional) Engage in the Daily Fun Photo Challenge
  5. Check in on May 1, May 15, May 30, and June 1 on the corresponding “CHECK-IN” blog posts at
  6. Realize that there is no number 6
  7. Claim your awesome prize(s)!!

Be sure to register before May 1 so you can be sure to hit the ground running (do you see what I did there?).

This year we are once again all official and stuff!  In fact, Vertical Runner of Wooster may even throw in a discount for #5kMay2023 participants, so you can get hooked up with some great new gear to help you conquer the challenge.

Let’s do this!  The challenge has officially been issued, and you are officially invited.  Get registered, take the next few days to get mentally prepared, and let the month of May begin!

Let’s do this together!!

-Jeff Polen, Jeff Polen Music

28 thoughts on “#5kMay2023 Leave a comment

    • Thanks for the question. There are often groups, or clusters, where people attack the #5kMayhem challenge together. This is highly recommended! However, because this is not a localized challenge, we encourage people all over the country (and even in Canada) to organize their own local groups.

      I will definitely be putting a group together for my local area (either in Apple Creek or Wooster, OH).

    • Great question. I’m sorry, but the elliptical does not count for this challenge.

      By all means, take the challenge and do the daily 5k’s on the elliptical if your knees cannot take the walking or running on the road or treadmill. You will be better for it!! There just won’t be a free t-shirt for elliptical users at the end of the challenge. Sorry!

  1. Denise (Perrysburg,Ohio)
    Hoping to be able to complete this challenge. I am doing this after some friends of mine are doing it. Hoping to get in better shape and losing a few pounds would be icing on the cake.
    Unfortunately, I’m not doing the other challenges.

  2. Jodi-Maumee oh. My friend Christie challenged me to sign up. I walk my dogs daily and need a good challenge!

  3. Kelly (Findlay, Ohio)
    My friend Lindsay shared this challenge and I’m excited to get started! 3.1 down lots more to go!

  4. I just saw this today. Can I still sign up for this event? I did do a floral of 10.3 miles on May 1st.

  5. Brenda Miller
    My first time,aways up for a challenge!
    Also doing the bible reading
    I thought I checked in yesterday but didn’t see my comment anywhere.I ran 3.1 miles yesterday and today.

  6. 1 Timothy 4:8
    Training your body is of some value, yes, but don’t sacrifice it at the expense of your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control. May your movement flow from the fruit of the Spirit, which will last forever.

    I thought this scripture was perfect. Day 3 was completed today with a total of 3.8 miles amd I did share on the Facebook page as well. Keep it up everyone!!!!! We can all do this 🙂

  7. This year is a different year for me. I think I’ve bee. A part of 5k May since Jeff has opened it up to others. So running is not new to me but this year it’s been different. On April 7th I went for a run about a half mile in I was seeing double and blurry vision. To keep from making a book I’ll fast forward. Ended up I had a stroke. Only thing I had issues with was my vision and about 6 or 7 days after that my vision went back to normal. I hope to be able to complete the challenge but it’s been a good push for me to stay active. I’ve lost some of my speed from being down and with the health issues so hope I can regain that too. I’ve really enjoyed the 3 chapters everyday of reading or I should say being read to. Jeff and Jodi have done a great job with the podcast. I look forward to see what God will teach me this year in the reading.

  8. I think you should run a Disney Marathon! I’ve never done one but possibly someday! Although I’m more likely to run a half marathon. 26 miles is a bit much for me! It would check Florida off for you!

  9. Listening to you and your brother this morning. Have you ever tried pickle juice during long runs? I’m only a half marathoner, a slow one at that, but at about mile six, I take swigs of dill pickle juice I carry in two of my fuel belt bottles. I also drink plenty of water/Gatorade during the race, but after a couple of painful cramping bouts at the end of a few races, this seems to be my cure. I’m enjoying the podcast; thanks.

    • Thanks for listening to the podcast! I can’t speak for Brian, but yes! I have definitely tried pickles and pickle juice. I personally like it, and I think it is effective to minimize cramping. I’m glad you found something that helps you get to the finish line!

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