Fun Run and Walk

A Fun Run is a casual event that elevates the enjoyment and camaraderie of running above competition.

Typically, everyone runs or walks the same distance and the event is not timed or scored. It's an event for children of all levels and abilities and a great way to showcase and celebrate fitness goals and achievements. You can plan a Fun Run for one or more schools and community centers and also invite parents and community members. It can also be built out to include games, themes, and other engaging elements.

Location and Distance

Pick a location that is safe and accessible and establish a course distance that is challenging but attainable for your kids. Based on time and space, as well as the fitness of your participants, we suggested a distance between ½ mile and 4 miles.

  • Measure the course accurately.
  • Mark the course clearly on race day using cones or chalk.
  • If participants will be out of sight for all or part of the course, make sure you have plenty of marshals to guide runners and monitor the course.
  • If participants need to run multiple laps, use cones to divide the course (and have runners do the first lap on the outside and the second lap on the inside or establish another tracking system to separate the laps and avoid confusion).
  • Consider playing fun music during the warm-up (and throughout the day, near the start and finish and/or where participants will be congregating).

Managing Groups

If you will have a lot of participants and/or a narrow course, split the participants into groups, known as heats, and start heats one at a time.

  • We suggest no more than 50 runners per heat.
  • Decide in advance how to organize heats. You can divide participants by gender, grade, age, or skill, or randomly.
  • Plan on a way to identify and separate heats. One option is to have signed areas where each group can congregate, and walk each group to the start for their heat. Another possibility is to distribute colored or numbered stickers or wristbands to identify each heat, which you can then check as runners line up to run.
  • Gather each heat 15 minutes before their start time so you have time to make sure all the participants are there and ready.

Warm-Up

We suggest you start the event with a group warm-up for all participants.

  • Position the warm-up leader where all participants have a clear view of the leader
  • If you have a sound system you can give the warm-up leader a microphone, but we find it is more important for kids to be able to see the leader in order to copy their movements than it is to hear them.

Additional Ideas

Parade of Banners

Invite groups to create class or school banners before event day and kick off the event with a mini-parade where kids show class pride and enthusiasm.

Game Stations

Set up game stations for kids to participate in after the run or while other heats are running to keep them active and engaged while they wait. Organize kids into groups and rotate from station to station on a schedule.

Resources

Staffing and Supplies

  • pdf — 1.85 MB

Event Planning Guide

  • pdf — 2.03 MB

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