Stroller-friendly races have recently become one of my favorite ways to combine my love for running and being outside with family time. Sure, it’s somewhat of a hassle to get out the door on time with all of our extra running-related accessories, and we’ve literally been the second to last people to pick up our packets and head to the start on race day, but what isn’t a mad dash these days? A few of the positive aspects that make running races as a family worth the hassle and the price tag to my family:
Having Fun at the Afterparty
Some races have meals afterwards, like the Cottontail Classic’s pancake breakfast (and egg hunt!), or at least yummy post-race snacks. Several local races feature live music and kid-friendly activities, such as the Haunted Hustle, which offers s’mores and games before and after the race.
Teaching Our Daughter about Being Active
She may only be a year-and-a-half old, but she is definitely absorbing and trying to repeat all of the actions that we take, from sweeping, putting on lotion, to an exaggerated running motion. She loves to kick her feet while she’s in the stroller, almost like she’s running too. My favorite part of running races with her is when she yells, “mama” and “hi” when she sees me running beside or in front of her. I can’t wait until the next few years when, if she wants, we can register her for the kid races and have her run on her own.
Getting in a Little “Training”
This is optional, of course, as we could walk the 5K as a family, but it’s nice to have an event to look forward to and train towards. It does help me get out the door to run when I know we have an upcoming race on the calendar. This is particularly the case for the stroller pusher in the family, which is usually not me! However, I have pushed her in the stroller quite a few times, and let me tell you, it is not easy! There is definitely an extra calorie burn and a bonus arm/core workout to look forward to.
Exploring New Places to Run
Another positive aspect of running races is getting to explore a new area or a new trail, especially if you’re a creature of habit and always run the same route. When we participate in races, we get to run the Pheasant Branch Conservancy Trail, through downtown Madison, and other new-to-us trails in the Madison area.
If you’re interested in signing up for a stroller race or two, here are several throughout the year in the general Madison area, along with several that have separate kids’ races:
Cottontail Classic – April – also has a kids’ race!
Run Madtown Twilight 5k – May – also has a kids’ race!
Hurts Donut Race – August
Zoo Run Run – September – also has a kids’ race!
Uncorked 5k – September
Haunted Hustle – October – also has a kids’ race!
Berbee Derby – November
Run Santa Run – December