Active holidays for families are a great way to encourage kids to embrace health and fitness while still having fun. But this doesn’t mean you need to climb a mountain or do extreme sports. Instead, plan your next family vacation around a fun run for kids. Exercise while travelling can make an event seem more exciting or interesting than just doing it at home and gives a chance for that all important family bonding time that happens in foreign environments. Here are some of the most exciting fun runs for kids in Asia and Australia in 2015.
Fun Runs For Kids In Australia
The Swisse Color Run, Multiple Cities
May to November 2015
The Race This is really more of a memorable spectacle rather than a serious timed race – in fact organisers do not record times of the participants as they say this is not the point!
Color Runs have been springing up all over the globe and are popular for their unique concept – runners are showered in a combination of food grade corn starch and (natural) food dye along the way. Kids under 5 participate with their parents free and strollers are welcome.
The Entertainment Here it’s all about the colour throws. Every finisher gets a free pack of colour to throw at the finishers behind them and additional packs can be purchased. Organisers recommend participants wear all white to enhance the enjoyment of the experience. Don’t forget your camera (but cover it in plastic wrap)! (You may want to bring goggles for the kids to protect their eyes and towels for the car to protect the upholstery.)
Paws On The Path, Cairns
8 August 2015
The Race This fund-raising race offers various distance events up to 10 kilometres long. The idea of the event is to celebrate having fun with pets so dogs are not only encouraged, there are several prize categories for costumed and especially cute dogs (including dogs who have an uncanny resemblance to their owners!). Kids under 12 can participate if accompanied by an adult and strollers are welcome.
The Entertainment This is a small local event dedicated to an afternoon with your pets so watching them dressed in costumes, running, playing and enjoying themselves is the chief attraction. The race occurs even in wet weather so Mother Nature sometimes provides it’s own entertainment (last year participants were drenched!). And yes, participating dogs do receive a free goodie bag toy.
[Kids not so keen on fun runs themselves? Doesn’t mean you have to give up your inner IRONMAN. Check out the suitcases&strollers travel tips for how to do fun runs with kids in tow.]
Little Doers Melbourne Kids Fun Run, Melbourne
25 October 2015
The Race If you’ve ever dreamed of raising a responsible member of the community who cares about health, fitness and giving back to others, that’s what this event is designed to instill in kids. Dedicated specifically to kids aged 10 and under, the race encourages young kids to run to raise funds for four listed charities by running between 500 metres to 2 kilometres. It is not a serious race for those wanting to achieve fast times: indeed, kids run according to their alphabetical surname (not age or times) and it is presumed that all kids will part walk, part run the course. Even strollers and trikes are encouraged if they will help children to finish. Adults are allowed to participate (in order to assist the little ones) but older kids are only allowed to cheer on their siblings and family members.
The Entertainment: At the end of the race each of the four charities sets up a tent with hand-on craft activities to teach the kids about the relevant cause. There is live music and families often bring their own picnics to enjoy with the characters roaming around such as Elmo and Cookie Monster.
Electric Run, Sydney & Melbourne
18 April 2015 (Sydney) & 2 May 2015 (Melbourne)
The Race Think a cross between a rave and a fun run, and that’s what an Electric Run is. Over 7 kilometres participants go through several different themed “lands” and experience all the lights, music and drama of running in a big group at night. Glow-in-the-dark costumes are definitely encouraged and while this has all the atmosphere and joviality of an outdoor dance party, organisers insist it is a family-friendly event. Kids under 7 are free and strollers are encouraged. This is more of a sensory, rather than fitness, event so participants’ time are not recorded.
The Entertainment Here all the entertainment is in the event itself. There is live music, people are dancing in the streets along the course and worldwide celebrities are known to attend.
Mud Run, Sydney
5 December 2015
The Race If your kids love to play in the mud, this is absolutely the event for them. It’s seven kilometres of slippery, slimy, muddy goodness across a cross country course that encourages participants to cross a series of obstacles and get as filthy as possible. For kids aged between 5 and 10 years old there is the 1 kilometre Mud Dash. All kids aged 11 and over must participate in the full Mud Run. The event is not timed (it usually takes about an hour to finish) and you will leave completely covered in muck – organisers suggest you only bring clothes that you are willing to throw away afterwards, including shoes. (A clever idea is to purchase old shoes from a second hand charity shop.)
The Entertainment There is a special dedicated entertainment area for under 11s with jumping castle and entertainment. But what is going to be more fun that watching grown adults rolling around in the mud? Not much really.
Fun Runs For Kids In Indonesia
Fun Duo Challenge, Bintan
23 to 24 May 2015
The Race One of the most popular international races for Singaporeans, the Bintan Triathlon incorporates a series of family races to encourage parents traveling with kids to make an entire weekend out of the event. Kids who are really committed can do their own mini triathlon open for ages 8 to 15. If you prefer to do something more casual, then 6-year-olds and up can enter an aquathlon with one of their parents which involves a 1.5 kilometre run, 150 metre swim and a piggy back run to the ribbon.
The Entertainment Because of the volume of people traveling to Bintan with kids from Singapore just for the event, expect a lot of family friendly entertainment such as elephant rides, quad biking and a free kids’ club for children who don’t want to race.
Fun Runs For Kids in The Philippines
April 14 2015 (Aquathlon)
The Race The ALASKA IRONKIDS events cater to the needs of families so there are race categories and play categories, depending on how serious you want to be. If your kids are just racing for the first time, enter them into the “Short Play” category where they need only participate in a 50 metre swim, 3 kilometre bike ride and 1 kilometre run. They also allow entries for relay teams so you can turn racing into a team sport. ALASKA IRONKIDS typically runs twice a year (2015’s second date is yet to be announced) and the organisers also coordinate multiple aquathlons (swim and run only) for kids aged 6 to 14. For child safety purposes, the official website doesn’t publish children’s names or race results.
The Entertainment If your kids are very keen on watching IRONMAN,this is a great chance to meet some real life heroes of the Iron Man sport. Last year's attendees included Whit Raymond and Dimity-Lee Duke.
Fun Runs For Kids In Singapore
17 May 2015
The Race The entire family is encouraged to participate in this event from parents pushing strollers of kids aged 6 months right through to the elderly. This year there is even a non-competitive 3Gen race so that grandparents can take part too. Distances vary (the 3Gen race is only 800 metres and the longest kids distance is 1.6 kilometres) and the entire feel of the race is about promoting healthy, happy living.
The Entertainment Costumes have been encouraged in the past and the atmosphere aims to be carnival like. Since the ultimate focus is encouraging a love of health and fitness in kids, look out for sports introductory classes as well as the more carefree stuff like pony rides, water play areas and jumping castles.
[Looking for other things to do and family friendly accommodation in Singapore? See the suitcases&strollers city guide here.]
Fun Runs For Kids In Thailand
Thanyapura Neon Night Run+Party, Phuket
23 May 2015
The Race What makes this race stand out is that it is held at night, so glow-in-the-dark paraphernalia is encouraged and adds to the fun atmosphere. Race participants can start as young as babes in strollers right through to 16 year olds running an entire 5 kilometres (the shortest distance is a mere 500 metres). The Thanyapura Neon Night Run+Party is particularly safe for families because it is run inside an enclosed running track (so no running on the roads).
The Entertainment Thanyapura takes advantage of it’s family-friendly resort atmosphere by providing popular kids’ entertainment such as face painting, barbecued food, music and the neon lights that make the event so special. But the best part is just checking out the other participants with their glow sticks, bright costumes and neon painted smiling faces.