Hero Up 5k
After losing their 3 year old son to a malignant brain tumor in February of 2011, the Hero Up Half Marathon and 5k Race Directors decided to honor their son with this event. First held in 2013, this run tugs on your heartstrings. A smaller event held at Cook Park in Tigard, you feel like you’re a part of something so much more than a run. Dressed as The Hulk last year, the Race Director started the run with a talk about his son and the motivation behind this event. Fighting tears, we hit the starting line and this event quickly jumped to the top of my all-time favorite list. I usually do an event and check it off my list , but not with this one. I’ll be back on September 6th to do it again and every year after. All net proceeds go to childhood cancer research and raising awareness for childhood cancers. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, so always watch for this event in September. Another bonus, runners are encouraged to dress up as their favorite super heroes, a great opportunity to wear the Wonder Woman socks my boys gave me.
Ladybug Run 10k
This is a great event to give mom and another one that makes you feel good with your race entry. Also held at Cook Park in Tigard, this has a 5k option, 1 mile run for the kids and a ½ mile diaper dash. Race Director and mom, Liz Dooley, puts her heart into this event and it’s evident with the attention to details. The Ladybug Run raises money to help support families impacted in our area with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). A very rare, but serious condition in newborns, the diaphragm doesn’t close properly, with all organs intact. Held on August 2nd, the weather is usually pleasant and it’s fun to see all the ladybug attire. Who doesn’t love ladybugs? This run is actually named after a section of the hospital that cares for kids with CDH. Chocolate milk and ladybug cookies were at the finish line last year, with music and a great area to relax after the race. This walk/ run continues to grow and improve and is truly a great family event.
Girlfriends Half Marathon
Not until October 12th, there’s still plenty of time to get mom registered and trained for one of my favorite annual events. Held in Vancouver, Washington, the Girlfriends Half Marathon is flat, always has the best swag and finishes with firefighters handing out the goodies at the finish line. A gorgeous course along the river and through areas of Fort Vancouver, it takes your mind off the mileage and always has all sorts of dads and kids along the course celebrating mom. Sherry McMillan and the trainers at Northwest Personal Training do an amazing job with this event, including a pre-race warm up, well planned aid stations and the ultimate finish line party with comfort food and music. A portion of each entry goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Every mom should walk or run this event at least once.
A destination event for mom, the Seattle Marathon is close enough for a family road trip, but far enough to make it a special occasion. Held on November 30th, the weather will make mom stronger, if the run doesn’t. Starting at Seattle Center, next to the Experience Music Project, it runs through the Arboretum, nearby neighborhoods across the floating bridge on I-90, along Lake Washington and around Seward Park. Rain is most likely in the forecast, but the views are worth it. Watching for the Space Needle at the finish line was one of my favorite things about this marathon. A good excuse to take the family to Pike’s Place Market, the Gum Wall, the Seattle Aquarium and the EMP Museum, the marathon is just an added bonus and a gift mom won’t forget.
Celebrate mom with some memories and the gift of time. Events are time consuming, and training is even more so, but it definitely lets mom know she’s loved and appreciated. Memories last a lifetime, unlike flowers and candy. Although, moms do a lot, maybe flowers, candy AND an event are in order.