Thinking about registering your mini-Spartan for a Spartan Kids race? Smart move! Not only will your child have fun running, jumping, climbing, and getting muddy with their peers, he or she will also develop critical life skills, such as mental toughness, sticktoitiveness, and creative problem-solving.
For those parents on the fence, or for those who are simply looking for the 411 on Spartan Kids, our ultimate parent’s guide contains everything you need to know — from how to find a race in your area and appropriate race-day apparel to addressing safety and supervision concerns to the obstacles your kids will encounter on the course.
Spartan Kids Basics: The 411 on OCR Races for Kids
How do I find a Kids race near me? Just click this link and the internets will take care of the rest: upcoming Kids race schedule.
How do I register my child for a Kids race? You have two options:
- Online: Once you find an event from the upcoming Kids race schedule, select the Kids Race tab in the middle of the event page and choose the distance (1/2 Mile, 1 Mile, or 2 Mile). You will see the option to select a start time. After you’ve completed the registration, the details of the race (including the start time) will be sent to you in a confirmation email.
- At the event: Locate the Kids Race registration tent, sign the waiver, pay the entrance fee, and you’ll be presented a bib packet and T-shirt to give to your child.
Who is eligible to compete in a Spartan Kids race? Children between the ages of 4-13 years old.
How long are the Spartan Kids courses? Ages 4-6: .5 miles; between 7-10 years old: 1 mile; ages 10-13: 2 to 2.5 miles. No child under 10 is permitted to run the 2-mile race. Sorry, no exceptions.
Do older kids and younger kids run the course together? No. Age groups 4-6, 7-10, and 10-13 run together, respectively.
How long do the races last? Expect .5-mile races to last 15-25 minutes; 1-mile races to last 20-35 minutes, and 2-mile races to last 45-55 minutes. All times are approximate and vary with each course and athlete’s ability.
How early should my child arrive before his/her heat? To be safe, aim to get to the venue about 90 minutes before the race starts.
Is exercise/training necessary in the lead-up to a Spartan Kids race? It’s not required, but there’s nothing wrong with introducing an exercise routine, to help build confidence, stamina, and strength before race day.
What kind of clothing do you recommend my child wear for the race? A comfortable shirt and shorts made with quick-drying, moisture-wicking material — i.e. polyester instead of cotton — and athletic shoes that you’re okay with getting wet and muddy. However, don’t forget to take the weather and elevation of the venue into consideration as well.
What obstacles will my child encounter?
- Ages 4-6: Walls up to 4 feet, cargo nets, balance beams, “spear” throw, hilly climbs with shallow mud pits, and a variety of objects to crawl under or through.
- Ages 7-10: All of the obstacles mentioned, plus carries up to 20 pounds, inverted walls, slip walls, and traverse walls.
- Ages 10-13: All of the obstacles mentioned, plus carries up to 40 pounds, 6-foot walls, a rope climb, and a Hercules hoist.
Will my child be supervised during the race? Of course. A dedicated Spartan staffer will be on hand to supervise the participants. However, please review the obstacles included in the race distance you choose for your child. Many children can run two miles but may not be physically ready to complete the heavy carries or higher obstacles included in the two-mile event.
Will a photographer take photos of the kids while they race? A professional photographer will be on the course, but we suggest bringing a camera and/or smartphone to take pictures as well. Photos are usually uploaded to spartan.com the Thursday after the event.
To find your child’s photos:
1. Visit spartan.com.
2. Click “Results/Photos” at the top of the page.
3. Select the race from the menu on the right-hand side on the right-hand side.
4. Choose the “Kids Race” gallery.
Do Spartan Kids finishers receive medals? Yes, finisher medals and T-shirts are presented to each mini-Spartan who crosses the finish line.
Am I able to watch my child run the course? Yes. Two free spectator passes are included when you pick up your kids’ bib on race day. Spectators must be physically present and turn in a completed waiver to receive their free pass. However, please note that some venues allow for more visibility than others.
Am I permitted to run the course with my child? Only parents of children in the 4-6 age group can run with their kids.
Can I drop my child off for the race and come back later to pick him/her up? Sorry, this one’s a hard no. No child is permitted to be without adult supervision during the race.
How do I pick up my child at the end of the race? During registration, you’ll be given two matching orange bracelets — one for you or a chaperone, one for your child. In order for your child to exit the course, an adult that’s 18 years or older wearing a bracelet that’s paired to your racer must be shown to a Spartan official.
What if I’m competing in the adults’ race at the same time? You’ll need to register your child with someone 18 years or older who will be available to pick him/her up when the Kids race ends. Unattended children will be secured with a Spartan Staff member and, if you’re competing in the adult race, you will be removed from the course and disqualified, without course re-entry or a refund.