On Your Marks! 9 Kids Races to Sign Up for This Summer

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You spend your days chasing your kids around, so why not put those running skills to good use at a family-friendly race in Seattle? From kids’ dashes and family 5Ks, to kids-only triathlons and aquathons, it’s time to run, bike and swim across the finish line this summer. Here’s where to start your summer off on the right foot.


courtesy King County Parks

Big Backyard 5K

Celebrate our big backyard—a.k.a. King County’s amazing parks—when you and the kids run a 5K together at Marymoor, Told McDonald or Lake Wilderness Park. On three different Sundays in June, families can run, jog or walk the route to complete 3.1 miles as a family. Then it’s back to your house to celebrate your victory with high fives and cheers all around.

Good to know: Families can choose to race virtually instead between June 6-20.

Dates: Jun. 6, 13 & 20
Ages: All
Cost: $30-$40/adult; $20/kid
Event details

Magnuson Race Series

When it comes to family fitness, there’s no better way to commit to it than with this race series that takes place at Magnuson. Each month runners can participate in a very family-friendly 5K, or parents can set their little runners free at the kids dash—it's 400 meters of the most adorable runners around. The course is flat and fast and the playground makes a great destination once you’ve crossed the finish line. Step into summer at the Seattle Solstice Run or have a blast on Independence Day at the Red, White & Boom run.

Good to know: This is a monthly race series, so families can enter the 5K or participate in the kids dash year-round.

Dates: Jun. 12 & Jul. 4
Ages: All
Cost: $30-$40/adult; $3/kid for the kids dash
Solstice Run event details
Red, White & Boom event details


Bear Run & Walk 5K

Lake Wilderness Park is a fantastic place to spend time as a family. When you throw in a family-friendly 5K on a sunny day, it gets even better. Run, walk or jog the route on this favorite local race that usually loops the lake (although this year the course has been revised a bit for simplicity—and COVID’s—sake). The best part? Kids 12 and under race for free. Don’t forget to stop by one of our favorite storybook hikes while you’re there!

Good to know: Families can race virtually too.

Date: Jul. 10
Ages: All
Cost: $30/adult; free for kids 12 & under
Event details 

Kari Bodnarchuk

Kids Splash & Dash Aquathon

If you’ve got a kid who's part fish on your hands, this is the race for you. An aquathon is one leg short of a triathlon—kids get the chance to run and swim, but they can leave their bikes at home. The younger set (ages 7-10) runs a 1K and swims 100 meters while the older kids double that distance in both respects. But they all get to enjoy the beauty of Lake Whatcom during the race. Psst… pair it with an overnight at one of our favorite resorts up north followed by fantastic Bellingham activities to make it a weekend.

Date: Jul. 10
Ages: 7-15
Cost: $40
Event details  


Refuse to Abuse 5K

Who’s up for a chance to run around T-Mobile Park? Bring your little M’s fans to this race that helps raise money for the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WACADV). It’s the 10th anniversary of this popular race that lets people of all ages run around the stands, down the ramps and onto the field of our favorite ballpark. Parents won’t have to worry about stairs with this one (it's all ramps, baby), so you can bring your babes in strollers and tots along. Pop sockets, medals and a cool t-shirt are part of the race swag.

Good to know: A virtual option will be offered this year as well.

Date: Jul. 17
Ages: All
Cost: $40-$45/adult; $25/kid, ages 12 & under
Event details

Fizz Events

Seafair Kids Triathlon

This race is all about bragging rights. And won’t your little athlete be boasting about their accomplishments after this run, swim, bike event held at Lake Sammamish State Park. Kids as young as four can participate and being able to choose the long or short course means every kid can feel confident strutting their stuff. The short course includes a 50-yard swim in waist-deep water, a one-mile bike ride and a short (think: under a mile) run. Older kids can challenge themselves with a 100-meter swim, two-mile bike ride and one-mile run. Our suggestion? Bring a picnic and the kite so you can enjoy the day after the kids are done!

Date: Jul. 25
Ages: 4-12
Cost: $25-$35/kid
Event details


Cupcake Run

Short & Sweet Cupcake Run

If you’ve got a kiddo who will run for cupcakes (or ice cream or popsicles), sign the fam up for this late summer sensation. It’s a fast, flat rails-to-trails run that may let parents get a PR while the kiddos put their running skills to the test on the kids 1K. Our favorite part, cupcakes aside, has got to be the fact the kids dash is free.

Date: Aug. 28
Cost: Free (kids dash)
Ages: All
Event details

Loop the 'Lupe

Loop the 'Lupe

Your kiddo doesn’t let obstacles stand in their way. So why should their race experience be any different? Families can head to the Island of West Seattle to test their ninja warrior skills on the 5K obstacle course or Loop the ‘Lupe during the 5K fun run. Plus, the youth dash is a pretty sweet option for tots. They get one loop through the obstacle course (with a parent’s helping hand) to show off their mad dash skills.

Good to know: Families can choose a virtual option too; race registration opened May 21.

Date: Aug. 29
Cost: $30-$35/adult; $20/kid
Ages: All
Event details 

Seattle Kids Marathon

We’re crushing hard on this race that not only lets kids complete a marathon, but promotes healthy eating and reading habits and a commitment to community, too. Here’s how it works: Once kids (ages kindergarten through eighth grade) register for the race, they’ve got until Thanksgiving to run 25 miles on their own (this handy 6-week running chart makes it super manageable), eat 26 healthy meals, read 13 books and do 13 good deeds. After they’ve checked all the boxes, it’s time to complete the marathon at City Center with a 1.2-mile run the day after Thanksgiving. Healthy habits for the win!

Good to know: This race also has a virtual option so families from all over can participate.

Cost: $25
Ages: K-8th grade
Online: seattlemarathon.org

—Allison Sutcliffe


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