Short Races Can Be a
Fun Family Event

Short races are a fun, motivational way of getting in your training and they are great for the whole family. Many of these events also hold a separate mini-race for the kids.



kids races, kids racing, family races, family running Usually the minimum age is young as two years old. Not anything competitive - just a good time for all.

Couples come and take turns running while the other watches the kids or older kids will run with their parents. I've even seen families make it a big outing and bring the whole extended family to watch the kids while the parents run.

For most runners, the point is not to win but to have a great time with the family. What better example to give your children for a healthy lifestyle than to bring them out and let them watch you running or even let them participate? Many cities have a road runners club that you can join for a reasonable price and then participate at discounted rates throughout the year. For example, I'm a part of the New York Road Runners Club which hosts a lot of races in Central Park.

The cost to sign up for an event ranges from about $15 - $35 for adults and kids are even cheaper. Each runner gets a souvenir t-shirt, drinks throughout the course and often some extras like a bag of souvenirs or a medal at the finish line.

races, fun races, new york races, mets run to home plate

One of my favorites is the "Mets Run to Home Plate" that takes place each year in the Mets stadium. They give out t-shirts, towels and at the finish line drinks and subway sandwiches. There's even a guy walking around in a subway outfit. A total of 3 miles, the runners start in the Mets stadium parking lot, run through Flushing-Meadow Park, then return to the parking lot, and into the stadium, running right to home plate. This is one of the events that hosts kids races beforehand in the Mets stadium parking lot. It's a really fun family experience.


The thing to remember, especially if you're running it as a "training run" is to pace yourself. It can be so exciting at the beginning with the big motivational speech and often the National Anthem is sung right before, then the horn goes off to signal the official start, upbeat music is playing and a big group of like 5-10,000 people takes off.

It's so easy to get lost in the moment and overdue it. I feel like I'm the champion of the world every time, at least for the first few minutes.

Better to start off at a reasonable pace, and make it to the finish line without feeling like you're going to pass out. In fact, however fast you're running when you start, you probably want to slow down, because you are most likely running too fast.

It's much easier to start out slow and pick it up later than start out too fast and have no energy left to finish. I try to pace myself until I actually see the finish line, then I love to do it up big and run that last 100-200 meter dash as if I've been training in the mountains of Kenya all summer. Some days you're going to feel better than others though, so listen to your body. If you're running a shorter race, and you feel really good and know you can keep up your pace the entire time, by all means go for it! Usually the minimum age is young as two years old. Not anything competitive - just a good time for all.

Couples come and take turns running while the other watches the kids or older kids will run with their parents. I've even seen families make it a big outing and bring the whole extended family to watch the kids while the parents run.


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