How to Make a 5K a Great Family Memory

May 26, 2016

You and your family have decided to participate in a family 5K together. To make the most of this amazing family experience, there are a few dos and don’ts everyone should follow for everyone’s convenience and safety:

Don’t Bring Young Childrenstreet-marathon-1149220_640

When running a 5K with your family, remember to leave your younger children on the sidelines with a spouse or trusted friend. While some 5Ks allow jogging strollers, many do not as they can be a hazard for you, your child, and other runners in the form of tripping and tipping.

A 5K is around 3 miles, so only have older children around 12 and up participate. Not only will they be able to handle the physical demand, they’re also more patient and don’t require extra care like feedings and diapers.

Do Practice with Your Kids

If your kids are interested in running a family 5K with you, make sure that you all practice running together as a beforehand. That way, everyone can get used to their running gear and the distance they will be running and walking.

Don’t Make Your Kids Participate

Even if your kids have shown an interest in running a 5K with you, remember that they may change their minds last minute. If they do decide that they don’t want to run with you after all, don’t make them. Doing so will only create unnecessary stress and resentment. Instead, let them cheer you and other members of the family on from the sidelines.

Don’t Bring Unnecessary Items

This rule is universal to all 5Ks: only bring what you need. If you have excess clothing that you or your family don’t need while running, leave it behind with someone or tie it around your waist. If an item is discarded on the course, don’t expect to get it back as many 5Ks pick up discarded articles and donate them to charity.

Items you should bring include:

  • Portable snacks for the kids
  • Extra water bottle
  • Some money in the form of cash
  • Identification for all family members
  • Cell phone so everyone can stay in touch
  • A trash bag for litter

Do Bring Sunscreen

There’s nothing worse than everyone being sunburnt. Save everyone the pain and frustration by slathering on the sunblock and bring a bottle with you for a refresh later on. Even if it is cool and overcast outside, you and your family can still burn.

Do Remember to Have Fun

Even if you and your family are natural competitors, remember that not everyone who is running the 5K is as competitive as you. Everyone is there to run and have fun, so focus on finishing the race. If your family finishes in record time, that’s great—just don’t let it be your only motivation for participating.

Next Up: 4 Lessons Fitness Can Teach Your Kids