Hilary Parker | 04/13/2015 | Insider Blogs, Running |   

Ready to Run, Ride and Swim: Races for Kids and Families in Bellingham

[caption id="attachment_23214" align="aligncenter" width="503"]Bellingham Kids Traverse Sisters Erin and Abby Hutchison round the final corner of the race hand in hand at the 2014 Bellingham Kids Traverse. Photo courtesy of Mary Doherty.[/caption]

Now that we’re fully in spring mode, with longer, warmer days enticing us to play outside longer, many “big people” are in training for Ski to Sea, other adventure races, 5ks, marathons, triathlons and whatever other “ons” happen to involve being active outdoors.

Grown ups aren’t the only ones who can participate in these races. Special kids-only competitions, as well as family friendly races, pepper the spring and summer calendar. Here’s a sampling of local events just for kids.

Junior Ski to Sea Race

What better training for the grand daddy of all adventure races, Ski to Sea, than the Junior Ski to Sea Race? A tradition since 1991, six-member teams participate in a five-leg relay consisting of: running, three-legged race, biking, soccer and an obstacle course.

May 16, Start times varyJrRace2

Lake Padden, 4882 Samish Way, Bellingham

Ages: 3rd-8th grade (Elementary and middle school divisions)

Cost: $240 for team of 6

More information: https://bellingham.com/event-directory/junior-race/

All-Comer Track Meets

Each Monday, June 8 through Aug. 24, Bellingham Parks & Recreation invites families to Civic Field for the All-Comer track meets. With a variety of track and field events for all ages, from hurdles to mini-javelin toss to a mile jog, each member of your family can find their favorite event. Ribbons are awarded to the top three finishers as well as participant ribbons for everyone else.

Mondays, June 8-Aug. 24, 6 p.m.

Civic Field, 1355 Civic Field Way, Bellingham

All ages

Cost: Individual Day Pass  $4; Individual Season Pass  $30; Family Season Pass  $90

More information: cob.org/services/recreation/activities/all-comer-track.aspx

The Kids Traverse

Brought to you by Recreation Northwest, the same folks who organize the adult’s Bellingham Traverse, the kids’ version includes a run, bike ride, obstacle course and “team trek” to what may be the best finish line ever: Mallard Ice Cream.

Kids can participate solo, in tandem or on a relay team to complete the 1-mile run, 1.5 mile mountain biking leg, half-mile obstacle course and quarter-mile trek to Mallard.

The Kids Traverse supports Recreation Northwest’s stewardship and education programs.

[caption id="attachment_23212" align="alignright" width="300"]icecream Sweet reward: An ice cream cone from Mallard's finishes off the final Trek leg of the Kids Traverse.[/caption]

Sunday, June 28, 10 a.m.

Civic Field, 1355 Civic Field Way, Bellingham

Ages: 6-12

Cost: $40 solo, $65 tandem, $95 relay

More information: recreationnorthwest.org/bellingham-kids-traverse

Bellingham Youth Triathlon

The City of Bellingham hosts this event, which takes place at the Civic Field complex. Kids can take on this triathlon solo or be part of a relay. Recreation Coordinator Lance Romo reminds parents this race is about the kids accomplishing their goals, and not so much about the competition.

“Kids have to do the whole thing on their own, from the swim to putting on their shoes, to buckling their helmet,” Romo said. “The best things a parent can do to prepare junior is to practice with them, be emotionally supportive and stay out of the way.”

[caption id="attachment_23218" align="alignright" width="225"]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Photo courtesy of Glenn Gervais[/caption]

Sunday, Aug. 2; Start times vary

Civic Field, 1355 Civic Field Way, Bellingham

Cost: January 1-May 31  $10* / June 1-August 1  $20* / Day of Race  $25*

*Relay team + $5

More information: cob.org/services/recreation/races/bellingham-youth-triathlon.aspx

Fun runs for the family

If your kids are ready for a full 5k, the race calendar is full of options. Two that might prove extra enticing for kids are the Color Run and the Doggie Dash, both in August.

In its first appearance in Bellingham, the Color Run bills itself as the “Happiest 5k on the Planet.” Runners are encouraged to wear white, and are doused with color at each kilometer mark. Benefits the Whatcom Family YMCA. Sunday, Aug. 16; Register online at thecolorrun.com.

Benefiting the Whatcom Humane Society, the Doggie Dash 5k is a fun run for the whole family, including Fido, around Lake Padden. Superhero costumes are encouraged. Sunday, Aug. 23; Register online at whatcomhumane.org.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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