We hosted a fun run for a local elementary school last week (for roughly 35 kids) using our own Race in a Box, and we all had a blast! The parents preferred before school, so everybody showed up about an hour before the bell.
It was a little buggy in Eastern New Hampshire (in the Black Fly/Mosquito Dread Zone: the weeks between Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day), but the race itself couldn’t have gone better.
We figured 1k would be the right distance for the younger kids, and it was just right. They felt like it was a big race, and it was. The older kids ran an optional second kilometer, and it was fun to see the ones who had paced themselves rewarded.
The course was flat, and entirely on school grounds. It took three adults to conduct the race; four or five would be luxurious. As predicted, it took about an hour to set up the course and finish area and distribute T-shirts.
What went according to plan? Just about everything, because the plan was so simple. There were no entries, fees, or seed times. The kids just lined up and ran. There were no protested results, because there were no posted results… we just called out the times as the kids crossed the finish line. This didn’t make it less competitive, just less stressful for the kids. It looked like there was zero anxiety out there, which is what we had hoped for.
What did we learn? If you say “I’ll give you two commands: Ready and Go” to a bunch of chatty, happy, jumpy kids, you’ve just started the race. We learned kids naturally like to run as fast as they can, no matter what that pace is. I was a little surprised at the very high and consistent level of sportsmanship and kindness I saw, it seems kids have gotten awfully smart about competition, certainly ahead of where I was in 6th grade!
Race in a Box can work anywhere, so please think about your local school. It’s really that simple. Call or write, and we’ll get started together!