Where to run as a family
But before you take on the Vitality Westminster Mile, you might want to experience a smaller-scale event, or one that’s closer to home, as a (literal) practice run. These days, most mass-participation events include a kids-only race – usually held over one to two miles – so there are plenty of options to choose from. Here’s how to find something to suit you.
Check out event listings
Often the easiest way to find children’s races near you is the same way you would find any running event locally: by visiting a race directory. There are a number to choose from, but findarace.com and Runner’s World’s Event Listings are two of the most popular.
Ask your local running club
To get an idea of the best kids’ races in your area you might be better off asking round at your local running club. They’re bound to have several recommendations, and you might find your club hosts an event of its own. Far from being the reserve of serious athletes, running clubs are open to all abilities and many also have weekly sessions for children, so they can be a great way to get the whole family excited about running.
Try a junior parkrun
Most parkruns now have a junior alternative, allowing children aged between four and 14 to enjoy the free weekly events that take place up and down the country. At 2K in length, they’re short enough for all abilities to run, jog or walk to the finish, and you’re guaranteed to find a friendly, inclusive atmosphere to help ease youngsters into group running. To find out where your local junior parkrun is, head to parkrun.org.uk