It’s Time to Start Planning for the Greatest 5K in the City!

We’re assuming you’re fresh off a triumphant finish at the Broad Street Run, and are eagerly looking for more races to run so you can keep up that awesome momentum. In which case, the staff here at Laurel Hill has a humble suggestion: The 2018 Rest in Peace 5k run!

What is the Rest in Peace 5K?

Let’s begin with the obvious: This race is in October, in a cemetery, at night, and costumes are HIGHLY encouraged. If you’re a fan of Halloween, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more thematically appropriate 5K. Check out these clever costumes from years past…


The course is mapped out entirely within the cemetery, taking you all through the north, central and south sections. There are hills, there are twists and turns, and there are thousands of beautiful monuments to look at while you push yourself onward. There will be a hydration station positioned about halfway through the course to help fuel you up and cool you down for the second half.

course map

Runners are timed, and winners are announced across multiple categories: ages 8-12; ages 13-19; ages 20-35; ages 36-49; age 50+, and of course, best overall time. There are male and female winners in each group, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to rank.


2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the Rest in Peace 5k, and we’re ready to welcome lots of new and returning runners this year.

About Those Costumes…

We’re all about Halloween here in the graveyard, and we love seeing your costumes. To help give you an incentive to dress your best, we offer prizes for costumes too. You can go for the gold on your own and try for the Best Individual Costume prize, or you can partner up with someone and try for Best Couple. Of course, we also offer a prize to the Best Group costume, so now’s your chance to gather up all your friends and get creative.


But what about Fluffy and Fido, you ask? Yes, we most certainly have a prize for the Best Dressed Pet! Laurel Hill always welcomes leashed pets, and 5K day is no exception. We want to see your costumed pups strut their stuff.



Registration is Less than a Month Away

Keep your eye on the Rest in Peace 5k website, because early bird registration will be open on June 1st. Early registrants get discounted admission, of course.

All skill levels are welcome to participate in this race, but the sooner you register, the sooner you can get serious about your training.

Let’s Talk Prizes

Everyone who registers for the 5K goes home with a gift bag and super cool tee shirt in their size. There’s also a 50/50 raffle, and the lucky winner will go home with half the money collected in raffle sales.

As for runner prizes, the first place male and female will each take home a trophy, and a gift card. Runners who place second and third will be awarded medals, and gift cards. Each “Best in Category” runner will also be awarded a medal and gift card. The fastest running team has been known to go home with a case of adult beverages from time to time, so be on the lookout for that prize too!


In the past, we’ve given out all sorts of prizes for costumes including passes to local attractions, fitness classes, adult beverages, gift cards, gift baskets, tours, and assorted goodies.

So, We Have This One Monument in Particular…

We can’t be sure exactly when this tradition started, but local runners have been leaving their race medals at the RUNNER family monument for good luck. We’ve never “caught” anyone doing this, but every now and then, we will notice a new medal on display. Certainly, you’re not required to leave your medal here in the cemetery – that’s yours to keep! But we consider our grounds a great running destination, and this monument proves that we’re not the only ones who feel that way.


Did We Mention the After Party?

This year, Magic Hat is returning as our sponsor for the after party in the courtyard by the gate house. They’ll be serving up a variety of beers – included with admission – to our runners as a reward for a job well done. There will also be plenty of snacks and drinks, as well as some entertainment for the crowd. (Spectators are welcome too! A $5 donation gets you a wristband!)


The after party is also where you will pick up your gift bags, where the raffle, race, and costume contest winners will be announced, and where you get to mix and mingle with your fellow athletes. This is your chance to bask in the glow of a race well run, and enjoy the festivities.

You can Get Involved!

We are always on the lookout for sponsors, donors, and volunteers. If you want to help make the Rest in Peace 5K a memorable event, we welcome your participation. You can read more about how to help out here.


Every runner, every donor, every sponsor, and every volunteer is very directly helping to support one of Philadelphia’s most beautiful and unique spaces. Laurel Hill is a National Historic Monument, full of history, culture, art, architecture, horticulture and of course over a hundred annual events just as fun, quirky and memorable as the Rest in Peace 5K.

See you in October!



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