Quick! Sign your kids up for the Virginia 529 Kids Run!

Looking for a way to get your kids on the New Year’s health bandwagon? Get them in on one of Richmond’s funnest (and family-friendliest) athletic events. Price increases January 31st, so no dilly-dallying!

After having so much fun running the Monument Avenue 10k for the first time in 2013, I signed up for the 2014 race as soon as possible. Before I submitted my race registration, I decided on a bit of a whim to sign up my then five-year-old son for that year’s Virginia 529 Kids Run, a one-mile fun run that takes place just before the 10k festivities get going.

At the time I had no idea if my child could actually run a mile, but I knew at the very least he could walk one–which is exactly what he did (for the most part) the first time around. And we had a ball. The crowds! The music! The free T-shirt! And a medal! His dad pounded the pavement with him the following year1, and they managed to cut his time to about 10 minutes2. His growing confidence in his running ability (and swag collection) has made our participation in the Virginia 529 Kids Run pretty much a given when we start making plans for the Spring.

The 2015 Virginia 529 Kids Run is scheduled for Saturday, April 9th. Pre-race festivities (including music and mascots) begins at 7:15 AM, and the first wave of kids cross the starting line at 8:00 AM. Runners ages five through 10 can participate in the Kids Runs, and one parent may run with any child eight or younger.

The one-mile course starts at Cathedral Place, right near Laurel Street, and goes up Park Avenue, turns onto Lombardy Street, through Stuart Circle and onto W. Franklin Street where our young runners will finish through the same crowd-lined chute used by the 10k-ers. Should your kids want to run the race solo, don’t fret: the Kids Run Meeting Area in Monroe Park is secured with a barricade and staffed with volunteers and sheriff’s deputies who will make sure everyone leaves with whoever brought them.

Registration is $15 per kid (accompanying parents run for free) through January 31st. The price goes up to $20 on February 1st; then up to $25 on March 1st; and then up again to $30 if you opt for walk-up registration during packet pick-up on April 7th and 8th at the Anthem Health & Fitness Expo. Cost includes an event T-shirt, bag, plenty of post-race snacks3, and a finisher’s medal.

For those of you looking for a way to expose your kids to the running bug–or if you’re just looking for something active to do as a family–I cannot recommend this event highly enough. It’s a low pressure but high energy/encouragement-level event, and your little Flo-Jos will walk (or run) away from it feeling like they had fun and knowing they accomplished many adults don’t even attempt, let alone dang kids!

For more information on the Virginia 529 Kids Run visit sportsbackers.org.


  1. I figured out the year before that an extra mile really does make a difference when you’re also supposed to run 6.2 more before the day is out. 
  2. About two months after that we participated in a run at his school, and he ran a mile in just over eight minutes while I huffed and puffed along behind him. Kids and their fresh, functioning joints! 
  3. Honestly, I’m not sure if my son was more excited about his medal or the free White House rolls you see him clutching in the photo above. 
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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

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