I have fond memories of playing outside as a child. Hide and seek, biking, roller skating… we seemed to always be doing some sort of activity and if the weather was cooperating then we were outside. In fact, one of my more distinct memories is when I was around 9 years old and my neighborhood friends and I decided we would put on a roller skating race around our neighborhood. We started and finished at my house, and raced blocked upon block. It’s a great memory.
In today’s world, it’s hard for me to think that I will be allowing my children outside unattended for several more years (they are only 1, 4 & 5 right now). And when I say ‘outside unattended’ I mean in our own yard. We live in a nice neighborhood, but it’s just a different world and I don’t foresee my kids having the freedom that I did when I was younger. That’s why we try to get the boys outside and active as much as possible. And fun, organized activities are even better for my boys – they need organization!
Healthy Kids Running Series
With childhood obesity rates in America increasing, the Healthy Kids Running Series was created to help encourage kids to adopt a “Get Up and Go” attitude as well as help kids be healthy and active. The event is a 5 week running program that takes place in the Spring and Fall for kids in PreK through 8th grade. The weekly races include age appropriate running events including the 50 yard dash, the 1/4 mile, the 1/2 mile and the one mile run. At the end of the series, the top boy and girl in each age category receive a trophy. Additionally, every child receives a medal and gift bag for their achievements. I really love that the kids are rewarded for finishing what they start – that’s a very important lesson I want my children to learn for anything they do in life.
The First Race
I’m not a runner. Never have been, never had any ambitions to be one. The boys? They seem to have been born to run. I often joke that Cbear took his first step, then skipped toddling and just started running. Last week I received an email that seemed to be the perfect match for my boys: a local Healthy Kids Running Series in our area (the program is in 17 states and many cities around the US so check the website for one near you). Fantastic! My boys love to be outside, compete and run so I quickly replied and signed up online.
Since we were newbies to an organized running event, I made sure that we stopped by All Kinds of Fast for the Race Bag Pickup the day before the race. Cbear wanted to go and pick up his own bag and was so excited to see his ‘race numbers’ and new shirt. And the shoe laces! He loved the bright green laces. I *may* have to finally bite the bullet and buy the kid laced sneakers soon. Anyway, after the race bag pickup he was psyched to run the following day.
I wasn’t sure how my sons would fare being separated into different races. They are so close in age that they often do the same activities. Turns out, they really enjoyed having their own races and cheering each other on. It was great to watch their enthusiasm and determination before, during and after the races.
My 4 year old is so happy-go-lucky, and didn’t really catch on that he was “racing” his friends until about halfway through his race. But boy did he have fun!
My 5 year old? I had him at “medal” when I told him about the running series. He ran his little heart out the entire time. He finished mid-way through his age group which I think is great since age-wise he is in the middle of the group.
The boys were so happy to wear their racing shirts, and sport their numbers. They keep asking when the next race will be – they can’t wait to race again!
Think your child might enjoy participating in the Healthy Kids Running program? There is still time to register! You can participate in one or all of the races, just visit the Healthy Kids Run website for more information.
Disclosure: I am a Healthy Kids Blog Ambassador and received free registration to this series. All experiences and opinions are my own.