As a mom and a runner, I want my kids playing sports every season. First of all, I want them to stay active. Second, I want them to learn about being on a team, practicing, and being a good sport about winning and losing.
With a very modest activity budget for our family this fall, I needed to find something that worked for my 7 year old son and 5 year old daughter. Since my son and daughter love to run while playing, I welcomed the suggestion from a friend to sign up for the Healthy Kids Running Series. HKRS runs for 5 weeks at $30 per child.
The goal of the Healthy Kids Running Series is to encourage children to stay healthy and active. Each Race Series takes place once a week for an hour and offers 50 yard dash, the 1/4 mile, the 1/2 mile and the one mile run for each age group. Kids earn points each week based on their finishing place, with the boy and girl in each age category with the most points receiving a trophy at the end of the series. HKRS is offered in 7 locations in Pennsylvania, one in Virginia, and one in Delaware.
Since my children were in the Kindergarten/1st grade category, they ran the 1/4 mile. Each week, I cheered my children on as they learned to pace themselves while running and finish the race running up a hill. All the kids wore race bibs and received t-shirts they could wear while racing.
My son complained a bit about going, though once he started running, he had a big smile on his face. I could see him enjoy the competition and challenge. He's definitely a sprinter and will do well at shorter distances once he's got some more races under his belt.
My daughter is more of a long-distance runner like myself. She showed up with a big smile and finished with a smile, and boy did she love the medal she received at the end of the racing season. Even though she's 15 months younger than her older brother, she finished pretty close behind him with her race times.
Next spring, we'll be back at Healthy Kids Running Series. This time, I'll include my youngest son who will be almost 5 in the program. I'm looking forward to watching my kids remember how to pace themselves and push themselves to do their very best. In the meantime, I'll share my passion for trail running with them on the trails around our home.
Barb is a mom of 5 kids who spends her day keeping track of socks, stuffed animals, library books, and a 4 year old when she isn't writing about all the frugality, gardening, cooking, and reading she manages to fit in between the chaotic moments. She can be found at A Life in Balance, Frugal Local Kitchen, or on Twitter with daily doses of life in 140 characters or less.