Home > Runs & Races

Canada’s kid-friendly races

For runners with children, it can be difficult to figure out how to occupy them on race day (and for the time that you need for all your training, but I’m afraid I can’t help you there). Here are some of Canada’s top┬ákid-friendly races.

tumblr_mqior6J2ny1sz84iao1_5001) Trek or Treat

Oakville, Ont. – Oct. 17, 2014

Collingwood, Ont. – Oct. 18, 2014

This race is a fun way for the whole family to get into the Halloween spirit. It’s exciting for kids to be out running at night and the idea of candy stations instead of the usual water seen at races will have them eager to participate. Costumes are not mandatory, but encouraged. There is free pizza, hot chocolate and coffee at the finish line (as well as lots more candy). As an added bonus, your family can have a professional photo taken at the finish for free.

2010cubrun12) Oasis Zoo Run

Toronto – September 20, 2014

The Zoo Run is one of the most popular races in Toronto and host of the national 10K championship. The event also features a Cub Run for children under 13, along with the 5K and 10K distances. There is also a children’s animal costume contest (and an adult one too). ┬áRunning or not, kids generally love the zoo.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 11.35.10 AM3) The Chocolate Race

St. Catharines, Ont., – May 10, 2015

To speak broadly, there are few things that kids like more than chocolate. The Chocolate Race features 5K, 10K and 10 mile distances, along with 1K and 2.5K children’s race options. The race has chocolate available not only at the finish line, but also on the race course. You know who else likes chocolate? Parents.

I0000X93h2Q4uydM4) Ottawa Fall Colours Marathon

Ottawa, Ont. – Oct 12, 2014

With full- and half-marathon options, as well as a 10K, 5K, 3K and 1K turkey trots, the Ottawa Fall Colours Marathon is definitely family friendly. Serious running parents should note that the course is also a Boston qualifier, albeit for the 2016 race.

Bunnies5) Good Friday Races

Burlington, Ont. – April 3, 2015

The event has a 5K, 10 mile and 1K bunny hop and is a fun way for the family to spend the holiday together.

14006908135226) Kids Run Canada Trail Races

Various locations all over the country.

Trail running is on the rise and the 5 Peaks trail running series is not about to let kids get left out. Oh, and these runs are kids only.

7) Run or Dye

Various locations across the country.

This is the one time that you’ll encourage your kids to get paint all over their clothes. Run or Dye is one of the recent trends in colour runs, races in which participants are sprayed with various colours of paint throughout the run.

8) Mississauga Marathon


Mississauga, Ont. – May 2 -3, 2015

The Mississauga Marathon weekend offers every distance, with a full- and half-marathon, 10K and 5K. For younger kids, there is a 2K fun run and for the older kids there is a 10K student relay, in which teams of four run 2.5K each. The event also features a ‘Marafun’ program, in which young people are encouraged to run or walk 40K over a six-week period prior to the race, then join in the marathon for the final 2K and receive a finishers medal. The Mississauga marathon is also a Boston qualifier.

reflection-of-blackcomb-mountain-in-harmony-lake-pierre-leclerc9) 5 Peaks Whistler Blackcomb Race

Whistler, B.C. – August, 2015

Parents looking for a kid-friendly trail race, look no further. Along with 10.6 and 6.5K options, the event has a timed 3K kid’s event and an untimed 1K children’s challenge. Plus, Blackcomb Mountain is a beautiful destination for a race.

2014-01-31_12-37-38_logo_uid5842810) Little Souls Kids Marathon

Lethbridge, Alta. – May 2015

For this ‘marathon’ kids do not have to run all the Ks in one day. Participants log Ks for the weeks leading up to the race and then run their final 2K together, receiving a marathon medal at the finish. This race is for children under the age of 12.