Dash In To Spring: 9 Family Friendly Race Events
Part of our Portland pride stems from the fact that Portlanders are outdoor enthusiasts and our city a mecca of healthy, conscious members. When it comes to our children we are constantly looking for fun ways to instill healthy habits that will carry in to their adult lives. We’re pros at mastering tricky ways to get them to eat their greens, finding snuggly reading times to enrich their minds, and making backyard gardens so they can grow their own healthy foods.
In the spirit of healthy living, we’ve compiled a list of family friendly races that are sure to inspire your brood to keep on running. No worries if you are new to running or prefer walking, these races are meant to get us out in our community and active as families. So find one that fits your racing desires and inspire a new sport in your little ones. At the very least, our kids can get our there and be our very best (and loudest) cheering squad!
Bridge to Brews
Start the racing season with this popular PDX 8k or 10k run/walk. Run the Fremont Bridge and arrive at Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. where you’ll enjoy your racing success with 2 free local brews (root beer for the under 21 crowd), free food, live music, and great family fun. Prior to the 8k/10k start time little ones can compete in a non-timed 1/2 mile race, making them feel like running superstars (cost $5). Parents can run with their child at no cost. What else makes this race family friendly? Jogging strollers are allowed on the course! So after your little ones compete in their 1/2 miler, load them up with a snack in their stroller and set out for a little running or walking of your own. The kids will love the view from the bridge.
Date: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Location: Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Cupcake Classic Backwards Mile
The name of this race pretty much says it all. What family doesn’t enjoy a walk, jog, or skip backwards with yummy and delicious cupcakes at the finish line? This race is a benefit for breast cancer research and it’s just sweet enough that your kids are certain to want to participate annually.
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 1:00 pm
Location: Tumwater Historical Park
Cost: $15 w/o technical half zip shirt, $55 with technical shirt
Earth Day Run
As far as family friendly races go, the Earth Day Run is top notch. It’s inexpensive, kids who participate in the 1k recycle run get their own swag bag, childcare with trained staff is available during the adult races (5k, 5 mile or 5k doggie walk), jogging strollers are permitted on the course and the post race fun is guaranteed to keep all members of the family happy and entertained. We’re talking live music, organic beers, veggie burgers, and booths focused on healthy living. Have a child that is between 8 and 18 that would like to run the 5k or 5 miler? Earth Day has this covered too. Children under 18 race for just $18! This race has thought of everything to make your family racing day as comfortable and convenient as possible.
Date: Sunday, April 21, 2013
Location: Tigard Cook Park
Costs: 5k, 5 mile, or 5k doggie walk ($35), Ages 8-18 ($18), Kid’s 1k recycle race ages 3yrs-6yrs ($5), ages 7yrs-12yrs ($7), Childcare for potty-trained 3 to 10 year olds is $10 per child ($5 per additional child).
Run Like A Mother
This one is for the ladies. We can’t imagine a better way to spend Mother’s Day then to spend it inspiring our children by being a healthy role model. Kids twelve and under can start the morning by competing in a 1 mile timed event. After they celebrate their triumph of crossing that glorious finish line they get to be mom’s personal cheerleader. Women 12 and over compete in a very flat, paved 5k. Enjoy a post race Mom’s Day celebration for the whole family with food, refreshments, kid activities, and sponsor products. Best part of this race is that your children can run the last 50 yards with you, crossing the finish line as the awesome team you are!
Date: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Location: Liberty High School in Hillsboro
Cost: Women 12 and over are $40, 1 mile kids race ($15)
Portland Parks & Recreation $5 5k Series
Sometimes just because we want to race as a family doesn’t mean we can afford to. Portland Parks & Rec has started this five dollar 5k series to award every family healthy, fun, affordable, racing experiences. Anyone 17 and older races for just $5. Participants under 17 are free! If you are not an experienced runner or don’t think you or your child could run the entire 5k, walking the course is a great ambition too. The goal is healthy living not who’s the fastest in Portland. For the kids they have a 1k kids fun run (8 and under), a 40ft rock wall, activities, music, and if there’s energy left, lots of room to run around. Jogging strollers welcome. Sign up for one or sign up for all six in this fantastic series.
Dates & Locations: May 19 (Fernhill Park), June 9 (Lents Park), July 14 (Gabriel Park), August 11 (Laurelhurst Park), September 22 (Westmoreland Park), and October 20 (Pier Park)
Cost: 17 and over ($5)
Get A Clue Scavenger Hunt
This is not your typical run straight to the finish line race. Part race. Part adventure. Form a team of 2 to 4 members and set out by foot to solve clues and complete tasks all before time runs out. The faster you compete and the more you do and find, the better your chances are for winning some great prizes. As a family, set out to have a grand adventure while mixing fitness and brain power. Strollers welcome.
Date: Saturday, June 1, 2013
Location: Clackamas County Event Center
Cost: $30 per person
Color Me Rad 5k
Tired of grey skies and need to add some color to your life? This race is your gloomy day answer. Color races seem to be all the rage so come out and see what the hype is about. A race that the entire family can get excited about is something we can get excited about too. Kids will be entertained as they are turned in to a rainbow of colors by volunteers who line the streets dousing participants with colored starch. No worries, these colors are nothing more than dyed, non-toxic, cornstarch. Start the race super clean and void of anything exciting. End it feeling full of life and full of color, literally.
Bonus: kids under the age of 7 race for free with a paying adult (but will not receive a shirt)
Not to be confused with that super popular series about teenage vampires, this race is about family, hot air balloons, and carnivals. Families have the choice of participating in the Twilight Mile, the Twilight 5k Run/Walk, or both. A flat course along bike trails that sends you racing toward the sunset. Post race festivities will be full of prizes, food, beer, and free entrance to the Tigard Balloon Festival Night Glow. In the festival you can enjoy carnival rides, music and the awe of watching a field of hot air balloons all aglow in the darkness of night. What a great way to end an evening of racing. Strollers welcome.
Date: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Location: Cook Park in Tigard
Cost: Twilight Mile ($10), Twilight 5k ($30)
The Dirty Dash
Okay, so you have to drive to Eugene for this race but sometimes we need a good excuse to take a day trip. This is a race for families that like to get dirty, really really dirty. You can run the muddy obstacle course while your family members actively spectate by purchasing water balloons to throw at you while you are on the race course. How much fun is that?! The Dirty Dash has not forgotten the kiddos either. After the adult races, the muddy course opens up for the Piglet Plunge (kids ages 2 to 12). The Piglet Plunge is a one mile obstacle course made just for the juniors. So go ahead, make the trip and get filthy!
Date: Saturday, June 29, 2013
Location: Mt Pisgah at Howard Buford Recreation Area, Eugene
Cost: The Dirty Dash ($45), The Piglet Plunge ($20)
There are so many other great races throughout Portland. Which ones are your family favorites?
photos courtesy of Terrapine Events, Cupcake Classic facebook page, Energy Events, Run Like a Mother, Portland Parks & Recreation, Color Me Rad facebook page, The Dirty Dash facebook page