Spring-blooming bulbs are beginning to pop through the ground which is a good sign that spring will be knocking at the door in no time. Welcome the new season by lacing up your running shoes, dusting off your jogging stroller and hitting one (or all) of these stroller-friendly 5K events. This year, many race organizers are pulling out all the stops by offering delish treats, costume contests and courses specifically designed for tiny trotters—turning the arduous mission of running, into an entertaining family affair.

biggest-loser-fun-run

photo: teddyb via flickr 

Donut Dash 5K
Sometimes gathering up incentive to run can be difficult to muster… but if there was a donut waiting for you at the finish line, wouldn’t it help? Find out how motivating a perfectly raised donut ring can be by participating in the Donut Dash 5K. The event, which supports Crime Stoppers of Olympia/Thurston County starts and finishes at the Hands on Children’s Museum in Olympia and has a course that takes you along the scenic East Bay. Finish off your race with a donut and explore the always-awesome Museum with your stroller buddies.

Good to Know: Little sprinters can hit the pavement with the free 1-mile Kids Run, starting at 8:45 a.m. Registration for the Kids Run is available on the morning of race day and parents will be able to run with their kiddos if needed.

Date: March 12, 2017
Location: Hands on Children’s Museum, 414 Jefferson St. N.E., Olympia, Wa 98501
Time: 8:45 a.m. Kid’s Race; 9 a.m. 5K
Cost: $25-30/Adults; Kids Free
Online: clubolyrunning.com/donut-dash-5k

St. Patrick's Day Dash

photo: St. Patrick’s Day Dash

F5 St. Patrick’s Day Dash
Celebrate your inner Irish (or be Irish for the day) and get your green on at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Dash. Starting and finishing at the Seattle Center, this run (walk, jog or crawl) commemorates the arrival of spring and kicks off the Irish Heritage Week Festival.

With a 1K Leprechaun Lap to jump-start activities, your little elves (10 & under) can make their way to the finish line at the Seattle Children’s Museum. At the commencement of the kids race, get yourself ready to be among a pack of tutu wearing, shamrock rocking, Irish enthusiasts who aren’t afraid to share their love for green. Costumes are highly encouraged for this event and are guaranteed to help spread joy and cheer along the race course.

Good to Know: To help entertain any stroller passengers, deck out your stroller and give the Littles bubbles to blow throughout the course. Post race activities are plentiful with family entertainment at the Seattle Children’s Museum, at the Irish Heritage Festival inside the Seattle Center Armory and at the post-race costume contest complete with awards. Proceeds from the event benefit the Detlef Schrempf Foundation in support of Northwest children’s charities.

Date: March 12, 2017
Location: Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, Wa 98109
Time: 8 a.m. Leprechaun Lap; 8:30 a.m. 5K
Cost: $40/Adults; $25/Youth (14 & under); $15/Kids for the Leprechaun Lap
Online: stpatsdash.com

White Center 5K

photo: White Center 5K

White Center 5K
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a group of superheroes running in the White Center 5K. If you love to dress up, or if you want to be entertained by those who are decked out in their favorite hero garb, the White Center 5K Walk and Run is in your secret-lair-wheelhouse.

This 5K welcomes all ages, all abilities, and allows pets as well. Want to win bonus points with your stroller companion? Deck out your stroller (and your dog!) and roll through the course like you are racing to save the day. The course allows you to rocket through White Center Height’s Park, fly through the Greenbridge neighborhood in the blink of an eye and dash across the finish line. From there, you will be able to pick up your free shirt and enjoy entertainment and closing ceremonies. Local businesses have also pitched in to offer discounts following the event to participants wearing their race t-shirts.

Good to Know: Proceeds benefit the White Center Community Development Association, the YES Foundation of White Center and the White Center Food Bank. Additionally, in conjunction with the YES Foundation, runners have the option of sponsoring students who cannot afford to register. A $15 donation on the race sign-up page will allow two students to partake in the event; and help lay the foundation to be superheroes themselves.

Date: March 25, 2017
Location: White Center Height’s Park, 701 S.W. 102nd St., Seattle, Wa 98146
Time: 9 a.m.
Cost: $35/Adults; discounted rates for teens and seniors; children under 6 Free 
Online: whitecenter5k.brownpapertickets.com

Easter Hop Along

photo: kylejones007 via Morguefile

Beat the Bunny 5K
Peter Cottontail may have hopped down the bunny trail, but you are going to fly through Redmond’s Beat the Bunny 5K! The course, that is stroller-, walking- and Fido-friendly, weaves through the scenic Redmond Central Connector Park. Your little bun-buns will be so excited when they beat the bunny to the finish line.

Good to Know: This family-friendly event includes a free Kids Dash that takes place 30 minutes prior to the 5K. Kids will run a short distance down the race course to select an egg, then run back, cross the finish line, and open their egg. A few eggs will have an egg-cellent prize inside! Registration includes a t-shirt, chip timing, finish line food and donation to a local non-profit partner.

Date: April 8, 2017
Location: Redmond Central Connector Park, N.E. Leary Way & 161st Ave. N.E., Redmond, Wa
Time: 9:30 a.m. Kids Dash; 10 a.m. 5K
Cost: $30/adults; $20/kids (8-15); free for children 7 and under
Online: redmond.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=117300

Malia Racing

photo: Marcy Grantor 

The Daffodil 5K Challenge
Feeling like you might need a little challenge? How about four? With the Daffodil 5K, runners can choose to participate in one, or all four of the events taking place on April 8, 2017. Choose to race in Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner or Orting; or you can sign up for Challenge and knock out all four. This can be completed all by yourself, or you have the option to organize a relay team and have one team member compete in each race. Any way you slice it, the Daffodil 5K is full of history and festivities.

Good to Know: Now in its 84th year, the race kicks off the Daffodil parade, which combines four parades in each of the four cities. Come for the race, but stay for the parade and make a day out of it.

Date: April 8, 2017
Location: Tacoma, 1600 Commerce St., Tacoma, Wa 98402; Puyallup, 1110 W Pioneer Ave., Puyallup, Washington State Fair Grounds; Sumner, 1508 Willow St. Sumner, Wa 98390;
Orting, 112 Bridge St. S., Orting, Wa 98360
Times: Tacoma, 8:45 a.m.; Puyallup, 11:15 a.m.; Sumner, 1 p.m.; Orting, 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $35/single race; $75/four races
Online: daffodil5kchallenge.com

Seahawks 12K Run at The Landing

photo: Seahawks 12K Facebook page

Seahawks 12K Run
Football season has come to an end, but Seahawks fever lives on. Help beat the post-season blues by participating in the Seahawks Run, which offers both 5K and 12K options. This picturesque experience brings you along the Southeast shore of Lake Washington and offer participants a unique opportunity to run around the VMAC—the Seahawks’ training facility, before turning back to run South along Lake Washington Blvd. and returning to finish at The Landing. Along the way, you will be motivated by Seahawks players, Blitz the mascot, Blue Thunder drum line and the Sea Gals.

Bonus: This event also offers a separate Play 60 Kids Run (with optional split at 1/8th of a mile for your mini Shermans who might not be able to make the entire half-mile trek). Your kiddos will beam proudly as they cross the finish line and not only receive a shirt, but a bona fide finisher ribbon too!  Make sure to bust out your Seahawks garb since there will be a post race spirit contest. Guaranteed to be a sea of blue and green, use your creativity to stand out among the pack, it could just win you top prize!

Good to Know: Stick around for the end of the day raffle where you will have the chance to win Seahawks gear, various gift cards to The Landing’s merchant stores and much more. Proceeds help raise money for Pete Carroll’s and the Seattle Seahawks’ charity – A Better Seattle. Psst! Sprint to the registration page to secure your spot; this event sells out—at you guessed it—12,000 participants!

Date: April 9, 2017
Location: Renton Landing, 715 N. Landing Way, Renton, Wa 98057
Time: 9 a.m.,12K; 9:20 a.m., 5K; 10:45 a.m., Kid’s Race
Cost: $45/12K; $40/5K; $10/Kid’s Run
Online: seahawks12krun.com

TOP POT 5K 2010 KID'S DASH (1 of 1)

photo: Top Pot Doughnut Dash

Top Pot Doughnut Dash 
Most parents who have tots in tow are familiar with the Green Lake loop; a flat paved route that hugs the beautiful lake exterior. Hit the familiar pavement on April 30 for the annual Top Pot Doughnut Dash 5K Run & Walk. Yes, another event promising delicious donuts at the finish line. If you have ever been lucky enough to feast at Top Pot, you will most certainly dash through this event to get your fingers around their scrumptious treats.

Good to Know: Mini doughnut lovers (12 & under) will be able to compete in their own half-mile dash starting at 9:30 a.m. And the fun doesn’t end there however; kids can burn off even more energy by jumping around to hometown favorite Recess Monkey at the post race performance.

Date: April 30, 2017
Location: Green Lake Community Center, 7201 E. Green Lake Dr. N., Seattle, Wa 98115
Time: 8:30 a.m., 5K; 9:30 a.m., Kids Dash; 10 a.m., Recess Monkey concert
Cost: $35/Adults before March 31; $40/Adults after March 31; $45/Adults on race day; $15/Kid’s Dash
Online: promotionevents.com/tp

west-seattle-5k-run

photo: West Seattle 5K Facebook page

West Seattle 5K
Alki, known as a favorite local beach spot, is host to the West Seattle 5K. On Sunday May 21, enjoy breathtaking views and community spirit as you run, walk or skip alongside the waterfront. After the race, enjoy all that Alki has to offer. Hit the beach and comb for treasures in the sand, grab an ice cream and take a stroll(er) along the beach and enjoy Car Free Sunday, where you can walk up and down Alki Ave. free of street traffic.

Date: May 21, 2017
Location: Alki Bath House, Alki Ave. S.W. & 6th Ave. S.W., Seattle, Wa 98116
Time: 9:20 a.m.
Cost: $30/Adults until March 31; $35/Adults after March 31; $20/Kids (19 & under) until April 1; $25/Kids (19 & under) after April 1; 6 & under Free
Online: westseattle5k.com

Where do you stride with your stroller? Do you have a favorite springtime run or walk that we missed? Tell us in the Comments below!

— Jenifer Castillo & Kristina Moy