If you have a little runner in your life, you’re probably looking for races for kids that he or she can compete in. And why not? Races for grown-ups can be intimidating and not nearly as much fun as races for kids! And there are so many wonderful races that are designed just for young runners, there’s bound to be one that’s just right for your mini-marathoner or little one-miler. I’ve just put my little girl’s race schedule together for the year, so I thought I’d share a few of the races she can’t wait for… here are Sophie’s and my picks for the best races for kids. Note that some are local races, while others are events in more than one city across the country. Let’s go!
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1 Spartan Racing for Kids
Register at: spartanrace.com
I have nightmares about a race that involves mud and obstacles, but kids love that stuff, don’t they? That’s why the kid version of this popular race is great for kids who dream of racing through the woods, getting covered in mud… especially if they’re running with friends! That’s why this 5k earned the top spot on my list of the best, most fun races for kids.
2 Merrell “down & Dirty” Mud Run Adventure Kids
Register at: downanddirtymudrun.com
This kid’s race, hosted by Merrell, features more mud, obstacles, and fun! The race is scheduled in ten cities across the country, from Sacramento to Philadelphia, with two different kid’s age categories. Is there a race in your city? Check the site and find out, and register your own little mud runner!
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3 The Color Run
Register at: thecolorrun.com
Okay, so this race isn’t designed just for kids, but you’d never guess. It’s sort of the foot-race version of the Festival of Holi, with a color-packet powder finish, and an upbeat, joyful atmosphere. Strollers are welcome, so all of your young runners can participate!
4 RunDisney Kids Races
Register at: rundisney.com
If your little runner loves Mickey, Donald, and Goofy, then Disney is the perfect place to run! This kid-friendly version of the runDisney family of races features a cheer squad made up of their favorite Disney characters, with loads of goodies and a truly fantastic medal for finishing. Another bonus: most of the kid races are priced lower than the adult version of the races. Oh… and costumes are encouraged! What fun!
5 Marine Corps Healthy Kids Fun Run
Register at: marinemarathon.com
Okay, don’t freak out: your kid doesn’t have to be hardcore to compete in this race! They do have to want to have some fun, though… this race, held at the Pentagon, features lots of mascots to encourage and entertain the kids and spectators. Last year, more than 30,000 young runners participated in this event. That’s amazing!
6 Mini Buddy Race
Register at: muddybuddy.competitor.com
Yep, more mud! This is the kid-version of the famous Muddy Buddy series of races, which have to be completed with a running buddy. There are obstacles (but kids can run around them if they’re too hard). There’s a mud pit, where finishing clean is a “dirty” word. If your mini-runner is 4 to 11 years old, sign them up! This is such a fun race!
7 Foam Fest 5k
Register at: 5kfoamfest.com
This isn’t a race for kids, but kids 10 – 15 can participate with a registered adult runner. If this race isn’t FOR kids, why am I including it on my list? Because it’s fun, and it involves the OPPOSITE of mud: foam! Okay, there’s mud too, but the obstacles also involve getting CLEAN… so why not? It’ll be great!
See? There are so many great races just for kids! Why not sign up for one of these together, and enjoy the super-special bonding time? I can’t wait to do the Color Run with my daughter this year… Which of these kid-friendly races will you and your little runner do?
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