Throughout high school, I was unsuccessfully recruited by the track and field coach. Saving up for college by working at the local library may not have been as exciting as pursuing trophies, but it was definitely less strenuous. (Although if pushing carts and shelving books were Olympic sports, I would have won gold.) Now that I’m a parent, running is a necessary evil. Up the stairs with loads of laundry, down the street waving lunch boxes at departing school buses, in pursuit of naked toddlers intent on flashing the neighbors. You get the picture.
If your lifestyle is similarly athletic, consider putting your talents to use by signing up the family for a local running event. Most 5Ks are stroller-friendly, and many include kids’ dashes and fun runs. For little more than the price of a movie, your family can enjoy a half-day of exercise, fresh air, prizes (hello, T-shirts?), and refreshments. Better still, runs often support good causes.
Case in point: Adkins Arboretum’s April 5th Arbor Day Run, which I just happen to be organizing. Now in its ninth year, the Arbor Day Run will feature a 5K Run/Walk and Healthy Kids’ Dash along the Arboretum’s scenic woodland and meadow paths. What better way for your family to welcome spring than a brisk jog—or leisurely walk—colored with Virginia bluebells, Pinxter azaleas, and may apples? Unique “green” awards, children’s nature activities, tasty refreshments, T-shirts, and a native tree raffle will add to the experience. Better still, proceeds from the Run benefit the Arboretum’s environmental education programs.
Whether you’re a seasoned runner or, like me, always on the run, the approach of spring is a great excuse to dust off your sneakers, round up the kids, and sign up for a running event. You may not win gold, but the experience itself is sure to be golden.
For more information about Adkins Arboretum’s Arbor Day Run, adkinsarboretum.org.
by Jenny Houghton
Youth Program Coordinator