Get your whole family — even the dog — signed up for the season’s hottest races and trail runs. From five-buck 5Ks to diaper dashes to doggie runs, the most popular local races fill up fast. Reserve slots now before these events sell out, or before early bird discounts expire. Soon your brood will be beating the heat on tree-lined streets and shaded trails.
Why go: As if the low, $5 entry fee weren’t incentive enough, there will also be music, food vendors, kids’ activities and a 40-foot climbing wall. Lots of locals love this excuse to race through Portland’s pretty public parks with their families, so slots are filling up fast. Strollers are welcome, but should start toward the back for everyone’s safety.
When: One Sunday race a month through October
Where: Various parks around Portland
Distance: 5K run/walk (all ages) and 1K kids’ fun run (8 and under)
Cost: $5/adult 18 and up; free for youth 17 and under
Why go: Race against the setting sun while celebrating the summer solstice and Tigard’s Festival of Balloons. A new addition to this year’s race is the Twilight Mile — an untimed, shorter distance just for kids — starting at 6:30 p.m. After running along Cook Park’s tree-lined bike paths, your family can enjoy carnival rides, food, drinks, live music and dancing. Then watch hot air balloons inflate and light up for the Night Glow event once darkness falls. Proceeds benefit Foundation for Tigard Tualatin Schools and public school programs. Gear up for the race by joining the Zero to 5k training clinic through Reason to Run.
When: Sat., Jun 21
Where: Cook Park, Tigard, Or.
Distance: 5k run/walk and kids’ Twilight Mile
Cost: $25/5k ($20/first 100 registrants), $10/kids mile. Price includes Festival of Balloons admission. T-shirts sold separately.
Why go: Break out those capes! This is your family’s chance to zoom through downtown Portland dressed like your favorite comic book characters. You and your trusty sidekicks can warm up with instructor-led stretching, jumping and dancing pre-race, plus face painting, balloon animals, free comics, arts and crafts, photo booths, games and prizes. Return to Paddy’s post-race, post-haste for an all-ages after-party, with more activities, prizes, food and drinks. Proceeds support music programs in local public schools.
When: Sat., July 12
Where: Paddy’s, 65 SW Yamhill St.
Distance: 2k, 5k, 10k and 2k kids’ walk
Cost: $10/individual, $15/couple, $25/group of 4. Free for kids 9 and under thanks to sponsor Rose City Comic Con. Groups of 75 get a $2.50/person discount, and groups of 20 get a $1/person discount. Race fee does not include T-shirt or cape, but these may be added at checkout.
Why go: This exhilarating race through downtown Portland offers lots of options for the littles, including a tot trot for toddlers/preschoolers and a 1K and 5K for bigger kids. Race proceeds help leukemia and lymphoma patients get life-saving marrow transplants. Stop by the event village to sign the Messages of Hope banner, which will tour marrow transplant centers and registry sign-up events after the race. Strollers are welcome but should start in back.
When: Sun., July 13
Where: World Trade Center Plaza
Distance: 5K, 1K, tot trot
Cost: $30/5K or 1K adult (18 and up), $15/1K youth (17 and under), $10/tot trot (5 and under). Registration fee includes a T-shirt, virtual goodie bag and subscription to a magazine of your choice.
Why go: Ladybug costumes are encouraged during this race for all ages. Even the tiniest tykes age 2 and under have their own Diaper Dash. Join swarms of polka dot socks and red tulle tutus flitting along the bike trail, which winds past forested areas and open green spaces. There are medals for all 5K/10K finishers and prizes for the best costumes. After the race, enjoy food, live music and beer (for the adults). Race proceeds go toward supporting local families and researching congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), a life-threatening birth defect with a 50% survival rate. Strollers are welcome, but encouraged to line up in back.
When: Sat., Aug 2
Where: Cook Park, Tigard
Distance: 5K/10K run/walk; kids’ 1 miler, half miler and Diaper Dash
Cost: Diaper Dash: free (does not include T-shirt); kids’ one miler/half miler: $10; 5K/10K: $25/child (16 and under), $40/adult (17 and up). $5 discount/person for teams of 8 or more. All races except Diaper Dash include T-shirt.
Why go: Dogs are part of the family, so bring them along on this rugged ramble through an organic farm/pumpkin patch/winery. The race ends sweetly with a berry-topped pancake breakfast (included in race fee; $5 for non-racers) and live music. Your kids will love the free barnyard animal petting zoo, and cow train and grain train rides are available for a nominal fee. Your dogs will love the booths with games for pets and their owners. Proceeds benefit the Oregon Humane Society.
When: Sun. Aug. 31
Where: Sauvie Island
Distance: 5k trail run/walk
Cost: $30/person age 14 and up; $15/child age 5-13. Kids 4 and under are free. Prices increase to $35/adult and $20/child day of race. Race fee includes a berry-topped pancake breakfast and T-shirt (though T-shirts aren’t guaranteed day of race).
Why go: During the hottest days of summer, you, your kids and your pooch can cool off on Mt. Tabor’s shaded, tree-lined roads. Then spread out in the grass post-race to enjoy great music, yummy food and tasty root beer (for the kids) or Lagunitas beer (for the grownups). Dogs are welcome but not necessary to participate. Strollers are permitted toward the back of the pack. Proceeds go toward Autism Service Dogs of America.
When: Sun., Aug. 24
Where: Mt. Tabor Park
Distance: 5K/8K run/walk and kids’ half miler
Cost: Kids’ race: $5 (no T-shirt); 5K/8K: $30 (includes T-shirt). 5K/8K prices increase to $35 Aug. 12 and $40 Aug. 13.
Do you have a favorite family-friendly race? Let us know in the Comments section below.
Photo Credits: Be the Match, North Clackamas Photo via Portland Parks $5 5k Series, Photo courtesy of the Twilight Run, Boylan Photography via Superhero Fun Run, Terrapin Events and taken by Greg Homolka, Photo by Amanda Glavin, courtesy of Bella Organic Farm, Photo courtesy of the Ladybug CDH Foundation,