Fall Family Fun Runs


fun runsThere’s something about the cooler temperatures and the freshness in the air that makes fall a fabulous time to run outdoors. Which is probably why fun run race organizers in northeast Wisconsin have been so busy planning fall family events.

I get that distance running isn’t every family’s cup of tea. But if you are looking for an inexpensive way to get kids off the couch and on the road to lifelong health, it couldn’t hurt to give a fun run a try. Training for a race is not only full of physical benefits for kids and parents, it’s also a lesson in perseverance and comes with an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment once it’s done. For info on packet pickup, registration caps and potential family discounts, read the race websites carefully:

  • Oct. 3: Oshkosh Run with the Cops—this night run, held on a Thursday evening at the UW-Oshkosh Kolf Sports Center, is also a fundraiser for Special Olympics Wisconsin. Kids and adults are asked to raise money instead of paying an entry fee. There’ll be lights, sirens and glow stations! 
  • Oct. 5: Pink Pumpkin 5K—Held in conjunction with the Bellin Women’s Half Marathon, this fun run is open for all to raise money for the Breast Cancer Family Foundation. Starting line is outside the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay; finish line and post-race festivities on the City Deck.
  • Oct. 5: Essity Fox Valley Tough Kid Challenge—Are you tough enough? The 1.5-mile course features 30 obstacles for kids ages 6-13. (Parents can also participate for free.) Location is Highlands Elementary School, Appleton. Proceeds will benefit physical education programming in the Appleton Area School District. 
  • Oct. 5: Fun Run for the Timbers annual run will be held at Fallen Timbers near Black Creek. Noncompetitive fun run also includes an all-school challenge. Light breakfast, chili lunch and ice cream topped with maple syrup included in registration fee. 
  • Oct. 5: Miles for Myeloma – Fox Cities—The 10th annual fun run will take place at Encircle Health Medical Center, Appleton. Distances are 5 miles or 2 miles. Proceeds to benefit Mission Myeloma, Inc. 
  • Oct. 5: Ready, Set, Glow 5K—St. Peter Lutheran Church in Appleton is the host site for this night fun run. Post party will include a DJ and food trucks. Wear neon! Proceeds to benefit Pillars, Inc.
  • Oct. 12: Apple Creek 10K trail run—The sixth annual event will take place at the Bruce B. Purdy Preserve. Space is limited for this fun run, which benefits the Fox Cities YMCA LiveStrong program.
  • Oct. 12: Run for the Hill of It—The 5K trail run ends with a dash up Triangle Hill in Green Bay. Little Hill Racers kids’ fun run is designed for kids 10 and younger. Both events benefit the Baird Creek Greenway. 
  • Oct. 12: Run Wild Door County—There’s a quarter marathon, 5K and kids’ run scheduled at Potawatomi State Park. Scenic race, Door County’s oldest, benefits Friends of Potawatomi State Park.
  • Oct. 12: St. Joe’s 5K run/walk—Bring a nonperishable food item to donate to St. Joseph Food Pantry. Family and pet-friendly event is held at the Bridgewood Resort Hotel, Neenah.
  • Oct. 26: Dairy Dash 5K—Inaugural event at Manitowoc’s Farm Discovery Center also features a kids’ Milk Mustache Dash. Plenty of chocolate milk for all!
  • Oct. 26: YMCA Freaky 5K—All ages and well-behaved pets are encouraged to dress up for this Halloween-themed event at Pierce Park, Appleton. There’s also a Mini Monster 1K fun run and a costume contest. 
  • Oct. 27: Appleton Chocoholic Frolic 5K/10K—Chocolate lovers unite! There’s also a Kids K race at this event, which takes place at Fox Cities Stadium. Proceeds will benefit the Neenah High School Key Club.
  • Oct. 27: Hot Cider Hustle—Green Bay races include a half-marathon and a family friendly 5K, with apple cider and caramel apples at the finish line. Charity partner is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin.


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