I often joked that if I was running it was only because something was chasing me in a life threatening manner. Of course that wasn’t the whole truth, because I did play sports when I was younger and that involved a lot of running. As an adult I have a great amount of respect for the people I know who are runners. The commitment, training, just the whole thing. Then June of last year my oldest son, 9, and I decided to do the Run or Dye 5K for fun. It’s a 5k walk, jog, run, crawl, whatever just have fun. However, at various check points you are bombarded with colored powdered making you a work of messy art by the end. (Your registration comes with 2 packets of the colored powder to throw at each other and use at the finish line celebration). What kid wouldn’t love that? This was also a photo op dream come true for my scrapbooks.
My son and I had so much fun, we looked for another one to do. This time we found a night run called the Neon Splash Dash and my youngest, 2, and husband joined us. It was an evening of glow sticks, neon colored clothing, and the checkpoints involved being sprayed down with colored glow water, so when you got to the black lights you glowed in the dark. One of my favorite memories from that run was the last 3/4 miles our 2 year old told us he wanted to run too. So we let him out and wouldn’t you know those little legs took off, ran the last 3/4 miles of the race and crossed the finish line all on his own. It was funny to watch and hear the comments. All the other runners cheering him as he weaved in and out of the people and my husband tried keeping up with him, because we couldn’t get through the small places like he could. This began my search for any kind of fun run we could do.
Bad Prom was an excuse for a night of more glow sticks and all the bad prom music and attire you could handle. YES, some people were wearing hideous prom dresses. It makes for a fun date night or a night out with your girlfriends. After this run, my best friend and I decided to actually train and work on running our next 5k.
Ugly Sweater Run was a display of every bad Christmas sweater. They offered free hot chocolate and the registration included 2 beers/ciders. Obviously if your kids are with you, you may want to drink them later. If your kids DO run this one with you, you can have the 2 beers/ciders that comes with their registration for yourself. They even had an inflatable snow globe you could get in for pictures. This was the first run that I actually tried to run the whole thing and timed myself using the Runkeeper app on my phone. While I didn’t bring my family to either of these runs, they WERE still family friendly. There were plenty of kids there and the environment wasn’t inappropriate for them.
My son and I finished the year running the North Texas Great Santa Run in Plano, north of Dallas. They provided free hot chocolate, donuts while we waited to start the race and protein/cereal bars at the end of the race. Part of the registration included the 5 piece Santa suits that you could wear as is or get creative and cut up. We saw people that made elf costumes out of theirs or added bling.
My son actually ran this race since I was trying to beat my last race time. I didn’t make quite make it, but when he took off to get to the finish line to beat me I told him we’ll work on shaving the 9 minutes off his time, because that was the time difference between his best time and mine.
So now here I am running almost every day with the goal to do my first 1/2 marathon either in late spring or early fall, to avoid the 100 degree Texas weather.
If you and your family want to try one of the family fun runs in Dallas/Fort Worth, I can vouch that there is some sort of fun run at least once a month. Below is a list of all the ones we plan to attend this year, but this is by no means the only ones out there. We DID find a zombie run (they chase you on the course, the video was pretty scary) and I think I’ll skip that. I don’t need THAT much motivation to run.
OTHER 5K’S & FAMILY FUN RUNS IN DALLAS: