The Plano Balloon Festival 5K is ranked as one of the Top 5K’s in Texas by Texas Runner and Triathlete as seen featured in their Winter 2019 issue. Their list includes 34 races within the Lone Star State to receive recognition. If you’re wondering how many there are in Texas each year, then you might want to note that Running In The USA had 1,068 5K races on their calendar for 2018.  Only five of those are in the City of Plano.


“This race is worthy of being one of the top five 5K’s in Texas for several reasons and from varying perspectives.  For some participants it is all about the bling and our finisher medals are bright, colorful, big and feature a hot air balloon for each year of the race, so in 2019 we will have nine balloons on them.  For others it is about the festival atmosphere, there is so much to do and experience at the race plus it is very family friendly. For everyone it is about seeing hot air balloons launch above you as you are running/walking the course. These are just some of the things you can’t get at any other 5K in Texas.” – Eric Lindberg, Chief Running Officer of On Your Left! Marketing & Events.


The Plano Balloon Festival 5K is projecting 3,000 runners for 2019.  Registration includes a custom t-shirt, free parking, two tickets to the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival, complimentary breakfast on race day, plus a custom finisher medal featuring nine hot air balloons.  The fees and deadline dates are as follows:
$20.00 – Special Registration (Paid by 12/31/18)
$30.00 – Early Registration (Paid by 3/31)
$35.00 – General Registration I (Paid by 6/30)
$40.00 – General Registration II (Paid by 8/31)
$45.00 – September Race Registration
$20.00 – Youth 12 & Under

In February we will reveal the new 2019 design of the finisher medals along with the fantastic graphics for the shirts.
Curious about the 5K Course Map? This scenic certified course at Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve begins on Spring Creek, takes a turn onto Jupiter, again on Los Rios Blvd, and then back again. It includes a hydration station and tons of volunteers to pass out cups, medals, and cheer on the runners.

Want to take your run to the next level?  Sign-up for the Elevate Challenge and complete the 5K and 10K races to earn a bonus finisher medal! The registration fees and deadlines are as follows:
$45.00 – 2018 Special Registration (Paid by 12/31/18)
$65.00 – Early Registration (Paid by 3/31)
$75.00 – General Registration I (Paid by 6/30)
$85.00 – General Registration II (Paid by 8/31)
$95.00 – September Race Registration
$45.00 – Youth 12 & Under
Make sure you download the RaceJoy mobile app for live phone tracking on race day at the Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and 1K races held on Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 22, 2019.
Follow PBF Races on Facebook and Instagram and use #PBFRaces as the official hashtag. www.pbfraces.org
Featured photo credited to Priyesh Patel taken at the 2016 InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival. #PlanoBalloon


Throughout the 39 years of producing this annual tradition within North Texas, the Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. has never experienced such a devastating loss.  The Festival is not a large corporate entity, but rather a 501(c)3 non-profit organization led by 13 Board of Directors. The sadness, and significant economic loss, is shared with the 58 local non-profits, 75 vendors, dozens of sponsors, pilots, crew, and more than 5,000 volunteers who were committed to the event.


The Festival mission is to produce a family-oriented ballooning event to benefit the community. The objective is to also offer other non-profits an opportunity to assist with the operations of the Festival and raise funds. These agencies work the gates, parking lots, kids fun zone and the races. For their services these non-profits are compensated a portion of the revenue. However, this year they earned no money to apply towards their impactful programs within the community.



The RE/MAX of Texas Parachute Team is scheduled for daily exhibitions that involve jumping out of an airplane, gliding down to the field, and landing in front of thousands of cheering fans.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 5:30 p.m. you’ll want to make your way to the field for this adventurous experience at the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival being held September 21-23, 2018 at Oak Point Park.


This attraction is included with admission into the three-day weekend that also includes a fireworks show, two nights of concerts on the KLUV Main Stage and more than 50 hot air balloons! The full schedule detailing all the activities may be found here on the website.  The gates open at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 21, kids 36″ and under receive free entry and general Tickets are $10 per person or $20 for the weekend pass.


Watch this beautiful video of the RE/MAX of Texas Parachute Team posted on our YouTube channel! #PlanoBalloon


Have you ever wanted to learn more about hot air balloons? We are recruiting folks to help crew for pilots for the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival the weekend of September 21-23, 2018. Volunteers will learn to help with setting up, inflating, launching, and packing up the hot air balloons after a flight during regularly scheduled balloon activities at the festival. There are two flights a day and the morning crew meets at 6:00 a.m. and finishes around 10:00 a.m. The evening crew begins at 4:00 p.m. and finish by 8:00 p.m. Breakfast is provided for the morning shift and dinner is provided after the evening shift.

Hands-on training is scheduled for 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 15 at Oak Point Park in Plano, Texas. In the event of rain, the training session will take place on the following day, September 16 at the same location.

Volunteers must sign-up in advance to crew for a shift and select a time slot.   https://www.planoballoonfest.org/p/getinvolved/volunteers

Follow the conversation on the Facebook event page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/293047234795238/


To Hill, or Not To Hill – The Half Marathon Dilemma

Guest blogger: Erica Haynes

September has arrived and the City of Plano will host their biggest event of the year, the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival. The festival will run from Friday September 19 through Sunday the 21. This event does a great job of offering a source of fun and entertainment for everyone. There’s food, hot air balloons, concerts, kid areas and much more, so how could this weekend possibly get better? End it with a half marathon of course!

About a year and half ago I started running, and very shortly after I wanted to do a half marathon. I always had my mind set on the Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon, however I was terrified after someone mentioned that the course was very hilly. At the time, I would consider myself to be an infant runner, I did not understand that it’s next to impossible to find a flat half marathon and hills make you a better runner. Fast forward a year and I’m back at the dilemma again of do I attempt to battle the hills?

Of course I want battle the hills, but I need to at least drive the course to get some sort of an idea of the actual elevations. What one person considers hilly, another will call flat so it’s best to drive a course if possible to get your own feeling about the course. I set out in my car and drove what I could of the course. Yes, I saw two hills that made me question why I would run this race but then I realized something important. Two hills over 13.1 miles is a pretty good ratio, and the view the hills offers are absolutely amazing. The drive around the course was peaceful, and I can only imagine what it would be like to actually run it.

Finisher Medal

The beautiful parks, trees, clear view of the sky, the neighborhood, and the small lake eased any nervousness I had about the course. I strongly believe this is the ideal local half marathon to run. Not only does the course offer scenery you can’t get while sitting in a car, the swag is amazing. Each half marathoner will get a technical shirt, VIP parking pass, catered breakfast (yum), custom finisher’s medal, and two tickets to the festival.

I look forward to Sunday, September 21 when I’m standing at the starting line watching the balloons float up and away in the sky. I’m excited for the sound of running a race with other runners by my side supporting me, and me doing the same for them along a beautiful course. The medal, which is the most important part to some, will be the greatest and most priceless achievement. It is the concrete symbol of accomplishment that I hope to be wearing soon. Register online and join me at the epic Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon adventure.