Summer marks the beginning of race season. As a recreational runner, I love taking part in races for the camaraderie, the party atmosphere and the feeling of accomplishment when it’s done. This summer, my six-year-old surprised me by wanting to do a race with me. I love that she’s interested! With Denver’s vibrant running community, there are several family-friendly races to choose from. Most offer several course lengths, and many have activities especially for younger kids. Here are a few standouts:
The Color Run
Also known as the Happiest 5k on the Planet, Color Runs are all about fun! This year The Color Run comes to Denver on June 30 and kicks off at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. Participants wear all white at the start line and are doused in colors along the course of this un-timed race. The event, designed to promote healthiness and happiness, is less about the pace and more about having fun which makes it perfect for families. It concludes with an epic post-race party with music, dancing and, of course, more color.
Let Freedom Run
This dog and stroller-friendly race is the perfect kick-off to Independence Day! It features both a 5K and 10K race, as well as a 200-yard fun run for the youngest participants (they even get a race bib). Kids will love the American Hero costume contest as well as the free apple pie and Sweet Cow ice cream after the race. The race starts and ends at the Louisville Recreation Center and benefits Community Food Share in Boulder and Broomfield.
The Bubble Run Denver
This one is for the kid in all of us! At each kilometer of this un-timed 5K, runners pass through foam bogs full of enough colored foam to cover them head to toe. If that’s not enough excitement, participants can stop by the after-race party to rock out to the DJ, score some freebies and get covered in even more colorful foam. The Bubble Run comes to Great Lawn Park Lowry on July 28th. Strollers are allowed and kids four and under participate for free.
Run for the Ring
The 4th Annual Run for the Ring, taking place August 4th, features a 5K and a Kids Fun Run around the beautiful Anschutz Medical Campus. Novice and competitive runners can participate in the 5K while the kids have their own track complete with splash pads, bounce houses and games. This is a run to feel good about. All the proceeds support The Guild of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, an organization that works to fund research, promote awareness and education and assist families affected by diabetes.
Kids are always looking for one more chance to wear their Halloween costumes. Head to the Denver Monster Dash on October 27th and enjoy a day of festivities. With a new location this year at Sloan’s Lake, runners can choose between a 5K, 10K or three Kid’s Fun Runs (1/4 mile, ½ mile or 1 mile). After the race refuel with the free Continental breakfast. Then stick around for a costume contest, pie eating contest and trick or treating for the kids.
With so many to choose from, Denver has a race for every family. Fitness, community, fun and an after party? I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer morning!