I have been waiting a long time for an opportunity to write about something near and dear to my heart – running! About a year and a half ago, I went for my first run since high school out of need to get out of the house and away from the chaos of having two small children and I’ve been hooked ever since. Don’t worry, my husband was home to supervise the kiddos. Although, I’ll admit that I have thought about running away and leaving a Mommy-shaped hole in the door on occasion.
I decided to write about the benefits of running this week because April is the month of races in the Riester household. I will be running my first half-marathon at the Aquarium Run in Jenks, my daughter will be running in the Princess Run, and my son and I will be participating in the OKC Memorial Kids Marathon together.
I could go on for hours about the fantastic benefits of running, but to spare you, I will try to limit myself to the top 5 reasons why you (and your family) should run or walk in one of the many, many running/walking events being held in the OKC metro and beyond.
- Running is good for you physically. Running is great exercise. Enough said.
- Running is good for you mentally. This is really why I run and why I highly recommend it to anyone. Running is a great stress reliever and the perfect way to get some “Mommy” time.
- Running helps others. Almost every race out there raises funds or awareness for needs in our community. By participating in these races, you are not only improving your health and well-being, but supporting the well-being of others.
- Running is good for your family. Very shortly after I began running regularly, both my children took an interest in running and being more active, too. They see me taking care of myself and working hard to achieve my goals.
- Running is fun!
What to do:
Participating in running events as a family establishes a pattern of healthy living, provides great bonding time and is just plain fun. Fortunately, the month of April is packed full of opportunities for individuals and families to get out and run together. Here are a few of the family-friendly highlights.
- The Aquarium Run at the Oklahoma Aquarium (300 Aquarium Dr, Jenks) features something for everyone with 1-mile Fun Run, a 5K, a 10K and half-marathon distances. Celebrate after the run with a post-race party including food and activities for the kids. Registered participants can enjoy the Aquarium for FREE on the day of the race. Registration for kids ages 12 & under starts at just $5. See website for more details. The half-marathon begins at 7:40am with the other races to follow. 918-492-3338, www.okaquarium.org.
- The 2013 Red Bud Classic in Nichols Hills benefits Oklahoma Lawyers for Children and features 10/33/50 mile bike tours, 1-mile Kids Fun Run, 5K wheelchair, 5K/10K runs and a 2-mile walk/stroller derby over two days. See website for full schedule. Children ages 1-12 can participate in the 1-mile Kids Fun Run for FREE on Saturday from 11am-1pm followed by Little Caesars Pizza for all participants. Signed waiver required to participate. www.redbud.org.
- The Princess Run & Little Dude Dash at the Devon Boathouse (725 S Lincoln, OKC) features a 1.2 mile run/walk for girls and boys ages 12 & under followed by a festival with food, drink, arts, dancing and more. Proceeds benefit the OKC Boathouse Foundation. Preregister for races. FREE admission to the Family & Kid Festival. $23.75 through April 5, $25 after April 5. Festival Village open, 1-5pm; Princess Run, 2pm; Little Dude Dash, 3:15pm. 659-2852, www.princessrun.com. [Editor’s Note: Enter here to win one of 5 free registrations to the Princess Run & 5 free registrations to the Little Dude Dash!]
- The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in downtown OKC features a 5K, half-marathon, full-marathon, full-marathon relay and a kids marathon. Kids can register and print off a mileage log to log 25 miles of running or walking prior to race day. They run the last 1.2 miles on race day. Features post-race food and finisher medals for all participants. Benefits the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. See website for full details and registration information. Preregister. $10 for kids in the Kids Marathon, $20 for accompanying adults in the Kids Marathon. www.okcmarathon.com.
There are countless running events out there for you to enjoy on just about any given weekend. Here are just a few websites that offer lists of upcoming events: