You already spend most of your days sprinting after your kids—so it’s about time to put those skills to a little competitive use. This spring register your family for one of the many fun runs in and around Portland. You’ll give the kids a chance to burn off some excess energy—and begin 2016 on a happy, healthy and charitable note.

kids running--cc--Achilles International via flickr

photo: Achilles International via flickr

Fort Vancouver Run
Interested in learning a bit of local history? Sign up for the annual Fort Vancouver Run, which traces a portion of the Columbia River at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Experienced runners can choose between a 5K and a 12K, while children can compete in the fun run or 1K to receive their very own t-shirt and medal. Adults won’t leave empty-handed either—there will be snacks, an after-party and long-sleeved race t-shirts for older runners as well.

Sun., March 6
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
1001 E. 5th St.
Vancouver, Wa
Distance: 12K, 5K, 1K (ages 9 & up) and a kids’ fun run (ages 8 & under)
Cost: $30-55/adults in the 12K/5K; $18/youth in the 12K/5K; $15-20/kids in the 1K/fun run; form a team of four or more to save $5/runner
Registration: Register online here (by February 21 to guarantee a shirt)
Strollers allowed: Yes
Online: energyevents.com/fortvancouverrun

Bridge to Brews
If you like your races with a little more “fun” than “run,” don’t miss out on the annual Bridge to Brews, which combines a 10K, an 8K and a kids’ half-miler with a lively beer-tasting festival. The only race in Portland that traverses the Fremont Bridge, Bridge to Brews also offers its participants commemorative t-shirts, cups, an after-party with live music and 10 festival tickets for beer, cider, wine and spirits (for the parents, that is). Be advised, however, that shirts are not included with the kids’ half-miler.

Sun., April 10
Waterfront Park
Front Avenue between Morrison and Burnside Streets
Distance: 10K, 8K and a kids’ half-miler
Cost: $49-64/10K; $49-64/8K; $8-12/half-miler; $10/commemorative medal; form a team of eight or more to save $5/runner
Registration: Register online here (by March 22 to guarantee a shirt)
Strollers allowed: Yes
Online: terrapinevents.com/event/bridge-to-brews-portland

Stoller Community 5K Run/Walk
Do you have a child or a neighbor who attends Stoller Middle School? Help enhance their fitness lab and health programs by participating in the Stoller Community 5K Run/Walk, which also includes a free 1K Junior Jaguar Jog for young children. The course will be lined with local school bands and cheerleaders, creating a wonderfully fun neighborhood atmosphere. And if you need someone to look after your littlest ones while you run, there will be free child care (for ages 2 & up) from 8:45-10 a.m.

Sun., April 10
Stoller Middle School
14141 NW Laidlaw Rd.
Distance: 5K and a 1K Junior Jaguar Jog
Cost: $30-35/adults; $20-25/Beaverton School District staff and students in the 5K; free for kids running the Junior Jaguar Jog; $5/youth t-shirts
Registration: Register online here (by March 25 to guarantee a shirt)
Strollers allowed: Yes
Online: stoller5k.com

girls running--cc--terren in Virginia via flickr

photo: terren in Virginia via flickr

Discover Spring
Usher in the beautiful spring weather in the heart of Oregon wine country, where the Discover Spring race is held each year in charming downtown McMinnville. Whether you opt for the 10K, 5K, one-miler or the fun run designed especially for children, all proceeds will benefit the McMinnville Montessori School. And this isn’t a race that your kids will want to miss—last year’s event included free face-painting, a visiting fire truck and even a wellness fair for participants of all ages.

Sat., April 23
Discovery Meadows Community Park
1300 NW Cypress St.
McMinnville, Or
Distance: 10K, 5K, one-miler and a kids’ fun run
Cost: $35/adults in the 5K/10K; $15/youth under 18 in the 5K/10K; $15/one-miler; $10/kids’ fun run
Registration: Check back for online registration here, or register on race day from 7:30-8:45 a.m.
Strollers allowed: Yes
Online: discoverspring.com

Cinco de Mayo Run/Walk
As one of the most beloved spring traditions in Portland, the Cinco de Mayo Run/Walk features a half-marathon, a 10K, a 5K and a kids’ half-miler right in the center of downtown Portland. Kids can look forward to a race led by Olive and Dingo, two of Portland’s favorite clowns who specialize in balloon-twisting, face-painting, tall-bike-riding, guitar-playing and singing. As for the adults? They’ll enjoy a new tech shirt and one of the most festive post-race parties in the city, complete with live music, delicious food and two Lagunitas beers (or root beers) for every participant.

Sun., May 1
Pioneer Square
Distance: Half-marathon, 10K, 5K and a kids’ half-miler
Cost: $69-99/half-marathon; $39-59/10K; $34-54/5K; $8-12/kids half-miler; form a team of eight or more to save $5/runner
Registration: Register online here (by April 12 to guarantee a shirt)
Strollers allowed: Yes
Online: terrapinevents.com/event/cinco-de-mayo-5k-10k-run-walk-portland/

Vision Fun Run
May is Healthy Vision Month and to kick it off, a seven year-old girl, born with a subcapsular cataract and unspecified amblyopia, came up with this first annual family friendly event. Their mission is to raise funds and awareness for children with visual and hearing needs, while encouraging families to be more physically active and involved within their communities. The funds raised will be donated directly to the KEX Kids Fund, which has been providing students with free comprehensive eye exams, eyeglasses and hearing aids in Oregon for 20 years. Along with the run, families can jump around in a bounce house, get their faces painted and enjoy yummy treats.

Sat., May 7
Bonny Slope Elementary School
11775 NW McDaniel Rd.
Distance: Not tracked by distance. Runners are grouped by age and measured in time intervals.
Cost: $20/stroller, $25/individuals, $45/family
Registration: Register online here
Strollers allowed: Yes
Online: visionfunrun.com

Lake Run
For 40 years, the Lake Oswego Women’s Club has hosted the legendary Lake Run which, in 2016, will feature a 10K, a 5K and a kids’ dash around the scenic shores of Oswego Lake. But it’s the Family Fun Festival that will really get your kids moving, thanks to its giant slide, face-painting, craft-making and food trucks for the entire family. All proceeds of this event will benefit Clackamas Women’s Services, Child Advocates Inc. and Children’s Center.

Sat., May 7
Kids’ dash begins at Evergreen and 2nd Streets
Lake Oswego, Or
Distance: 10K, 5K walk/run and a kids’ dash
Cost: $37-42/10K; $27-32/5K; $15/kids’ dash
Registration: Register online here (by April 22 to ensure a free shirt)
Strollers allowed: In the 10K/5K
Online: lowomensclub.org/aboutlakerun

kids race--cc--CNDY via flickr

photo: CNDY via flickr

Portland Parks & Recreation 5K Series Fun Runs: Fernhill Park
Between the months of May and October, Portland Parks & Recreation hosts a series of 5K races in parks throughout the city, aimed at families and inexperienced runners. And on May 15, the community fun will come to Fernhill Park, the site of a 5K for all ages and a special fun run for kids. But that’s not all. This family affair will also feature live music, a 40-foot rock climbing wall, a variety of children’s activities, vendors and a post-race raffle drawing.

Sun., May 15
Fernhill Park
6010 NE 37th Ave.
Distance: 5K and a kids’ fun run (ages 8 & under)
Cost: $5/adults; free for kids 17 & under
Registration: Register online here or call (503) 823-2525
Strollers allowed: Yes
Online: portlandoregon.gov/parks

Aim for the Cure Melanoma Walk
Are you looking for a new charitable project that you and your children can get behind? Sign up for the Aim for the Cure Melanoma Walk and strive to raise at least $50 in donations. All of the money raised by this year’s 5K walk/run will support the melanoma tissue bank at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, benefiting those who are fighting the disease in Portland, Oregon and beyond. Now that’s a cause worth waking up early for.

Sat., May 21
South Waterfront
2730 SW Moody Ave.
Distance: 5K walk/run
Cost: None, but each participant is encouraged to raise $50
Registration: Register online here (by April 21 to ensure a free shirt)
Strollers allowed: Yes
Online: walk.aimatmelanoma.org/portland2016

Do you have a favorite spring fun run? Let us know in the comments below!

— Maura O’Brien