First Night® State College
Resolution Run 5K

The First Night Resolution Run 5K was first run on New Year's Eve, 1997. About 130 hearty souls showed up on a frigid, windy night for the race through downtown State College and the Penn State Campus. Since then, the race has grown every year and has become a much anticipated part of the First Night® State College festivities as well as the start  of the local running calendar. Like the Boalsburg Memorial Day Race, the First Night 5K is a "fun run" attracting first time racers, families, kids, out-of-town Christmas visitors, costumed runners (there's a prize for the best costume!), as well as serious competitors. The course is fast, with a relatively mild (by State College standards) hill in the first half-mile, an even milder one in the second mile, and a long downhill to the finish. Well over 700 runners have taken part in recent years' Resolution Runs, and the race keeps on growing: Since 2012, the race has had between 300 and 1000 finishers!

The Resolution Run 5K is part of the First Night® State College festivities. First Night® State College is three days of winter fun, including music, crafts, ice sculptures, indoor and outdoor performances and activities, and a Grand Procession through downtown State College. For more information on First Night, visit the First Night® State College web site.


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Race Results
First Night Resolution Run 5K Results from Years Gone By:

(First Night has its own special dating system. First Night activities begin on December 30, but the
activities are dated by the coming year, so the 1998 First Night 5K was held on December 31, 1997)


1998 1999 2000 2001
2002 2003 2004 2005
2006 2007 2008 2009






 2015  2016 2017 



Race Information
  • First Night 2020: The 23rd First Night State College Resolution 5K will be held on December 31, 2019 at 6:30 PM. 
  • Results of the 2019 race are here.
  • Race Registration: The first 300 registered runners will receive a 2020 First Night State College Button (good for entry into many First Night events) and other First Night 5K Resolution Run swag. Runners can download an application here and either mail it in or register at the office of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts until noon on December 30th. Runners may also register or pick up race packets on December 30th from 2 to 4 p.m. at the State College Municipal Building Lobby, 243 South Allen Street, or on race day between 4 and 6 p.m. at the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church basketball court. This location will also serve as baggage storage during the race and post-race refreshments and awards.
  • Online Registration. ONLINE registration is officially open! To help initiate quicker decision-making (hopefully), we have made an Early Registration period at a lower price than normal! Like always, there are two categories: youth (19 and under) and adult (20 and over).

    Now thru Oct. 13: youth $12; adults $22
    Oct. 14 - Dec. 25: youth $15; adults $25
    Dec. 26 - Dec. 30 at noon: youth $18; adults $28

  • Course Description, Map, and Elevation Profile from the NVRC Maps Pages.
  • Runner's Gazette story on the 2000 First Night Resolution Run 5K.
  • Marty Mazur on First Night Y2K.
  • First Night T-Shirts Through The Years
  • Romance On The Run: From Runner's World Women's Weekly, January 7, 2002.
  • For information on the First Night Resolution Run 5K, contact Davs Michael at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Women's course and event record: Rebecca Donaghue, 2006, 16:29
Men's event record: Gavin Gaynor, 1997, 15:11
Men's course record: Artie Gilkes, 2006, 15:15

Created 01/07/04