On Your Mark: 5 Family Fun Runs This Fall

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In the race that is your life you juggle schedules like a pro, plan birthday parties like a seasoned vet, and manage to bake cupcakes for your son’s entire class in the pre-dawn hours of the day. Lace up those sneakers once again, but this time, partake in a real race with a real finish line. Here are five family fun runs that are geared towards all ages and abilities– some even encourage costumes and feature post-race brews for the grown-ups. Huzzah!

1. Oktoberfest Road Race

Where: Mt Angel, Or (About 1 hour from Portland)

When: Sat, Sept 14, 2013

Distance: 10K and 5K (start time is 9am); 1 mile Kid Fun Run (start time is 8:45am).

What/Cost: 10K and 5K registration is $15; 1 mile Kid Fun Run is $5.


photo credit: Oktoberfest Road Race

Online: racenorthwest.com/oktoberfest

Insider Tips: The entire course is paved with some minor hills; however, if you’re planning to jog with a stroller this run is not for you. We suggest hitting up the one mile Kid Fun Run and then grabbing a juice box (for the kids) and beer (for you) afterwards. Also, there’s no parking at Humpert Park so check the Okterberfest website for more detailed parking instructions prior to loading the fam into the car.

2. Champoeg Half Marathon & 5 miler
Where: St Paul, Or (1 hour from Portland)

When: Sun, Sept 22, 2013

What/Cost: Kid’s Dirt Dash ages 3-6 costs $7; ages 7-12 costs $10. Registration fee includes race shirt, goodie bag, and an after party. Kids races begin at 11:45am.


photo credit: Energy Events

Online: energyevents.com/champoeghalf 

Insider Tips: If you’re dying to run a half marathon and still want to enjoy pre and post event excitement with your little one, then this is the event for you! We love this event because there will be professional childcare available (kids ages 3-10, potty trained), though you’ll want to make a reservation. While you’re sweating it out, your kids will indulge in activities, games, and even a bounce house. Since the kid races are scheduled to occur after the adults race, we suggest doing both. Strollers are welcome and there will be beer at the finish line (score!).

3. Portland Run Like Hell
Where: Pioneer Courthouse Square

When: Sun, Oct 20, 2013

What/Cost: “Run Like Heck” kids run is a half mile (not timed) race beginning at 8:30am. Cost is $5 without a t-shirt and parents are encouraged to run and walk with their kids. For adults, there is a half marathon, 10K and 5K. Click here for adult registration info.


photo credit: Terrapin Events

Online: terrapinevents.com

Insider Tips: The best part about this event is that runners are encouraged to wear their Halloween costume. And, if your kids are anything like ours, they’ll jump at the chance to throw on their costume prior to the big day. This race is an especially good one for those just learning to run (ages 0-3) because “Run like Heck” is truly meant for all ages. The race schedule allows for your little sprinter to race and then hop into the stroller to enjoy the 5k walking or running with mom or dad.

4. Oregon Turkeython
Where: TBD

When: Thurs, Nov 28, 2013

What/Cost: Kids .36 mile race. Free with adult registration.


photo credit: Oregon Turkeython Facebook page

Online: uberthons.com/turkeythonregistration

Insider Tips: Not only is this an excellent way to get someone else to start the turkey, it’s the perfect way to spend Thanksgiving morning. We love this race because it is very stroller friendly. There will even be a special start for strollers and plenty of room for them on the route. Sorry, Fido is not allowed.

5. Portland Jingle Bells Walk/Run for Arthritis
Where: World Trade Center in Downtown Portland

When: Sun, Dec 8, 2013

What/Cost: 1K Kids Fun Run (ages 10 and under) with elves begins at 8:30am. The cost for the 1K run is $15 and includes a long sleeve t-shirt and jingle bells; 5K run starts at 8:50am and the cost is $30 for both walkers and runners. Includes a t-shirt and jingle bells.


photo credit: Portland Jingle Bell Run Facebook page. 

Online: portlandjinglebellrun.kintera.org

Insider Tips: Lace up those shoes and put on your reindeer antlers for this family-favorite holiday fun run that kicks off the holiday season. Strollers are welcome at this event so if your kiddos run and get tired they can catch a ride in the stroller for the 5K. And, don’t forge to arrive early at 8am for a ugly sweater and costume contest!

What race or walk will you be participating in this year? Share your running ambitions in the comment section below!

–Kelli Kellogg