Obstacle courses are all the rage these days. Mud runs and other races that involve physical challenges along the way seem to take place all the time now. In fact, I did one of those mud runs with a group of girlfriends last summer and registered months ago to do it again this July. And I remember when I told Owen exactly what it involved — scaling walls, slogging through mud pits, crawling under gates, navigating webs of rope, whizzing down a slide into a giant puddle, climbing up a lofty net — the first thing out of his mouth was, “Can I do one? That sounds so fun!” He was right, it was so fun, but I had to give him the ol’, “Sorry, kiddo, it’s for grown-ups only.” Because at the time, there wasn’t anything like it for kids around here.
But that’s about to change thanks to KazokuFit, a new company that produces obstacle courses and adventure races with all ages in mind. DC’s first-ever family obstacle course challenge is happening this Saturday, May 18, at American University. KazokuFit founders Polina Gregory and Mark Shafer came up with the idea because they wanted their own kids to experience an obstacle course challenge — and they wanted to be able to join them.
The race is designed for families to do together, and with “We have no sidelines” as their tagline, families are encouraged to run, jump, crawl, and climb their way through it. The course is a half-mile long with obstacles specifically created to challenge family members of all ages. It can be repeated multiple times, and they actually want to see how many times racers can do it. Kids ages 6-14 can race with or without a parent (they are highly encouraged to join, though), while younger children must have an adult on the course with them.
There will be heats at 10am, 10:45am, 1:45pm, and 2:30pm. Cost is $25 for a single participant, $45/team of 2, $60/team of 3, $70/team of 4. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit the charity Journey 4 a Cure, a pediatric cancer foundation. You can register your family on the website.
And if you can’t make it this weekend, you’ll have another opportunity for a family obstacle course challenge on June 29 at the Brambleton Town Center in Virginia.
Events take place rain or shine, and there’s a chance of getting wet at the Brambleton event even if the sun is out. Sponsors Honest Tea, Drink More Water, and Whole Foods will provide healthy drinks and snacks, but there will not be other food/drink for purchase. The DC course will be located at the American University field at Massachusetts Avenue and 45th Street NW.
Oh, and they’ve created a pledge, which I really dig (especially the part about whining).
We will be our best selves.
We will embrace challenges.
We will give it our all.
We will forget how to whine.
We will not care if we get dirty, wet or tired.
Most importantly, we will do it as a family and have fun.