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The little guy took part in the Run Reigate Kids Race this year and loved it!
I have taken part in the Run Reigate since it started in 2014, running the half marathon in 2014 and 2015, and the 10k in 2016 (see that review here.) This year, however, the little guy had to represent the family in the Canon Kid’s Race because although I had signed up for the 10k, it was too close to the birth of little sis and I didn’t get enough training in (talk about disappointment). Turns out he loved it, ran a p.b and put the most effort in that I have ever seen him run, he was really proud and trying hard.
About The Kids Race:
The kid’s race is 1.1 miles to represent the last mile of a half marathon that the kids have been accumulatively running over the past few months since signing up. Most of Spencer’s miles have come from Junior Parkrun, school or little jaunts that we have gone on and I have been loving that he has been enjoying running so much. That being said, some days he isn’t interested at all!
It’s completely marshalled, taking place is Priory Park and allows them to finish on the big finishing straight line of the 10k and half-marathon. Adults can run with them, but he didn’t want us to (which I thought was a mistake but turns out it wasn’t!)
The Best Bits (for me):
My favourite part about the kid’s race is that they have staggered start so that the kids are organised in waves according to their ages. One of the most intimidating parts of racing, for me, is the sheer amount of people and for the little ones (he’s only in year 1) it can be a lot to cope with and quite upsetting. Instead, though they are grouped according to their year groups and then send off in waves with each two-year groups setting off half an hour apart so there isn’t an overlap.
As usual, the volunteers, marshalls and organisers are all on top form making it seamlessly easy and they were all cheering on the kids and encouraging them. You can tell they genuinely care and want to be there and it creates a fantastic safe atmosphere, particularly for the kids!
There’s a tear-off tag on the kids’ race bibs which means that you can’t collect them from the finishing pen without this strip. We were a little delayed getting to the end (stupid buggys) but they hadn’t let him walk off and they ensured he was safe and happy until we ran up with our ticket (which they thoroughly checked!). For some, it may be a faff but it is a public park and I would rather that than have any safety concerns. Also, there was a recognisable police presence which was very encouraging and they were talking to kids and parents alike! Overall, for a worrier like me, I was satisfied!
It’s great to involve the kids in the same race day fun that we get to experience and this means it is a complete day out for all distances! Some parents participated in the morning events and then played with the kids until the kid’s races and it makes for an excellent atmosphere. I also think it is a fantastic experience for him because there are very few kid’s races around and junior Parkrun has been his only experience running with others. We saw him really concentrate and try hard and I always feel proud when I see him really go for things and he was achy the next morning so he definitely gave it his all, which is all I can ask for!
The Best Bits (for him):
The Medal (and the T-Shirt)
He is so proud of his proper race bling and loves that we have some matching medals now, he even tried to take it to bed with him the first night and has actively shown it off to anyone who will listen. He also loves that he has his very own technical t-shirt (which I think are fab quality) which all the kids got to wear in colours associated with their year so now he has a training t-shirt for the next one too!
The Ice Cream
Jellyfish, the official sponsor of Run Reigate run a food village throughout the day which means that there is so much deliciousness (which we all know appeals the most to this little guy!) So celebratory food and ice cream was some of his favourite.
There are a ton of children there because it is aimed at 4-15 year olds, we saw lots from his school and the surrounding areas (as well as some of his gymnastic friends too) which just gives them an excuse to hang out and get outside!
If you are worried about keeping the kids entertained while you wait there are a variety of free activities with the Move Revolution Kids Active Zone and plenty of spaces to bring a picnic and camp out for the day!
Last year we had no idea there was a kids race until they started setting up after the 10k and Spencer wasn’t dressed for it! He was very upset that he missed out and we didn’t see as much advertising for it as there are for the 10k or half, even though it’s a fantastic event. This year we were lucky enough that some of the organisers are involved in our school so we snapped up a place as soon as we heard but there were a lot of comments this year about other’s not realising about it either. That being said, there were plenty of kids there!