10 Tips for Participating in a Fun Run with Your Children in Tow

By Sarah Hauge, Publisher, Macaroni Kid, Englewood, Greenwood Village, Centennial August 1, 2018

Thinking about participating in a fun run with your child(ren) in tow? Here are some tips for success:

1. The night before the race, GET ORGANIZED. Using a jogging stroller? Make sure the tires have enough air. Save yourself from stress and don't leave packing until the last minute. Here are some things you need to have packed:

  • Water (for you AND your child)
  • Sun protection: sunscreen, hat, sunglasses (again, for you AND your child)
  • Registration information & ID
  • Safety lights (if your run will take place as the sun is rising or setting)

2. SHOW UP EARLY. If you are unfamiliar with the course location, this is particularly important. Some runs start near the parking lot, while others require you to walk in a bit. Additionally, if you haven't had a chance to register yet, you may be able to do so if you show up early enough. Even if you are registered and familiar with the location, show up early to make time for your warm up and using the restrooms one last time if needed.

3. Common courtesy suggests that if you are running with a stroller - START AT THE BACK OF THE CROWD. You may end up passing other runners, but a stroller at the beginning can be a tripping hazard to others.

4. As you start to pass another runner - GIVE A SHOUT OUT. "On your left" is common and most people know that they need to move to the right and allow you to pass. If your child is running along with you and you hear "on your left", guide them over so they don't get run over.

5. MAKE IT AN ADVENTURE! If you notice your child is starting to get the wiggles in the stroller, try to engage him/her with some fun. Play I spy games, sing songs, chat about your day, break for a chance to pick a wildflower or pick up a cool rock. Remember that you are a team and having your children involved with you is really a joy. If you want them to be future race participants - engage during the race. Let's face it - if this was all about you and only you - you wouldn't have brought your kids in the first place.

6. As you get to the finish line, you can feel the adrenaline rushing through your body - you kick into hyper gear - people are cheering you on down to the finish. Now is a great time to ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD to always give it your all - never give up - see the goal and go for it!

7. CLEAR THE LINE. Keep moving once you cross the finish line. There will be other runners behind you and you'll need to make room for them to complete the course as well. Find a restful spot where you can cool down your bodies with a stretch session. 

8. STICK AROUND AND CHEER for other runners as they come in. Everyone loves to hear people cheering for them! For anyone who's starting to slow down, the extra encouragement will help get them to the end.

9. CELEBRATE the finish! It doesn't matter if you are first or you are last - you did it and celebrating that accomplishment gets you ready for the next race. 

10. A typical fun run will have a vendor village set up after the race. FUEL YOUR BODIES and PICK UP SOME SWAG from the race's amazing sponsors. Be sure to say "Thank you!"