Crossing the finish line at a mass participation running event is one of life’s great experiences. The combination of satisfaction at going the distance, sheer relief at being able to stop running, and the cheers of the crowd create a heady cocktail that makes the months of training worthwhile.
Most such races are reserved for adults only, but this year children aged seven to 14 can experience that heady cocktail (it’s a virgin cocktail, don’t worry) firsthand at the Asics London 10K (opens in new tab) by taking part in the Weetabix Protein Youth Challenge.
The challenge is free to enter and involves following a training plan in the weeks building up to the race, during which all runs contribute to an overall distance of 10K. Participants then run the final 1.8km at the event itself, so they can enjoy the crowds in the closing kilometres of the race.
That said, the event is open to kids of all abilities, so you can run more or less than 10K overall, with your final total tallied up after the final 1.8km on the day.
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The Asics London 10K has a truly grand finale, with its closing section taking in famous landmarks like the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey before you hit the home straight on Whitehall, passing Downing Street on your way to the finish line.
The first 1,000 children to sign up for the challenge will get a spot at the race, which takes place on Sunday 5th July, and the next 1,000 children who sign up will be offered the chance to run the race virtually. Even if you opt for the virtual race, you will still get the same medal and T-shirt as those who run at the event.
Children aged 12 to 14 can run unaccompanied on the day, but those aged 11 and under will have to have a parent or guardian with them, so you’d best make sure you’re in shape as well so you’re not holding them back over the final 1.8km.
Speed is of the essence, both in terms of the running and signing up to make sure you’re among the first 1,000 to do so. You can register your child for a place in the event on the Virgin Sport website (opens in new tab).
Register (opens in new tab) | Free
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
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