I have seen a lot of blogs lately about color runs, tough mudders, zombie runs and other big people adventure races, but I don't see many adventure races aimed at kids. One of the civilian professors in my department organized a kid-parent adventure run in Sleepy Hollow, NY. The race was last Saturday, a beautiful early fall day in the Hudson Valley.
The kids were in 3 age group categories based on grade: K and 1st, 2nd and 3rd, and 4th and 5th. The small kids did 3/4 mile with 5 challenges, the bigger kids did 1 mile with 6 challenges and the biggest kids did 1.25 miles with 7 challenges.
They did a staggered start on the race with two teams starting every minute. A few of us parents were doing the course twice, so we started towards the front and then joined in with the older kid later.
So Paulie and I lined up and took off following the line marked in the grass. The first challenge was on the beach - we had to go to a bamboo pole, read a riddle on the pole, and draw the answer to the riddle in the sand. I helped Paulie draw an eagle, then we were on our way. The next challenge was a 3 legged race. Here is a picture of me and Paulie competing in that event:
After that, we had to do a balance beam and climbing obstacle, run a bit further, do a piggy back course with the kid on the parents back and the parent blindfolded. The kid was meant to steer the parent by left/right or tapping on their shoulder. Then a short run to a picnic pavilion where we had to solve a small (12 piece) picture puzzle and a short dash to the finish.
Here is Paulie solving the puzzle:
Paul did well - he is very enthusiastic - and ended up finishing 2nd in his age group. After we finished, I linked up with Heidi and got in line for our turn. Here we are running through the course:
She had the same course and challenges except after the beach they added a 1/4 mile out and back to a lighthouse. Before the lighthouse there was a sign with 5 trivial items about the lighthouse. After running around the lighthouse, she was asked a trivia question based on the items listed on the sign. She had fun running around the course and doing the challenges. Here she is on my back at the blind folded piggy back station:
Heidi finished strong but did not finish in the top three in her group. Here is a picture of the three of us after the race:
Here is a picture of Elizabeth after the race. She didn't get to run, but wanted to. So she and I ran and followed the painted line until she got tired.
My DW, Jill, was the photographer and on baby duty during the race. The race was pretty low key overall, with the emphasis being on the kids and them having fun. I can be pretty competitive when it comes to sports, but even I know when to back off and let the kids have fun on their race! She said that there were a few parents who were really urging their kids along, basically dragging them through the course and carrying them during the three legged race. My kids had fun and raced hard enough, I didn't have to push them and potentially ruin their fun.
After the race, we went back to West Point, where they were holding an Octoberfest at the ski hill. It was smaller than we expected, but they had food, beer, a band, a bouncy house, and a tent full of kids crafts and activities. Heidi and Paul went in their race outfits and we dressed Elizabeth and Henry in their Bavarian outfits. My mom brought Elizabeth's dress back from Germany for Heidi a few years ago and she was very cute in it. Henry was wearing a red had that my mom got on the same trip and a pair of lederhosen that used to be mine a long time ago. Here is a picture of the two of them:
And a close up of Henry:
That's all for now, have a great day!