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One for the kids ONLY: 2016 DiFranco Invitational

Over the past year or so, my 6-year-old has started taking to running. She has seen my leave and return from numerous races over the years, and this year she decided she wanted to do some on her own. We completed our first "real" race together at the 2016 Hangover Run on January 1 and she was hooked. She participated in her school's jog-a-thon on their track and just did the Salem-Keizer School District's Awesome 3000 (she killed it by the way). She is signed up for this month's Keizer Iris Festival 3k, and is thinking she can tackle a full 5k by the end of the year. The DiFranco Invitational, a Kid's Only 2-mile, 1-mile, and 1/2 mile event, may be the next on her list this upcoming June.

In looking at the 2015 event, it looks like there was a small turnout – which is a shame. I mean, how many of our kids would love to be the center of attention for a race all their own – without having to deal with mom or dad running at the same time. They get to toe the line and follow in our footsteps, complete with running a great race, having their own race timing, receive their own shirt, and culminate the run with their own finisher’s medal. No parents allowed (except the 1/2 mile event for kids 4-under)!!

Pictures from the 2015 event show courses with varied terrains, from pavement to gravel to wood bridges. After the event, there will be free activities and games at the park. Rumors of potato sack races, water balloons and pinatas are in the works. There will also be free food for participants ($6 for non-runners) at the park as well.

DiFranco Invitational (Newport)
When: June 11, 2016 at 11am
Where: Big Lake Park
Register: Online here; $25 ($30 DOR); Registration fee includes race entry, finisher medal, food and post-race activities

About Matt Rasmussen (1455 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010. Matt joined the Run Oregon team in October 2011, and since then he has spearheaded the blog’s efforts to cover product reviews, news about businesses related to running, and running events in the Willamette Valley.

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