CARLSBAD — Junior Carlsbad returns for its 22nd year April 2 and the event was recently named “Youth Event of the Year” by Running USA at its annual Industry Conference.
“We are so honored to be recognized by such a prestigious organization,” said Cassidy Runyan, event coordinator. “It’s such a positive, fun event and we’re extremely proud of the tradition Junior Carlsbad has become for so many families. We’re looking forward to another great year.”
The event was recognized for its attention to detail in giving each child the recognition of a winner, with appropriate racing distances for each age group, quality event coordination and care taken to ensure safety. Junior Carlsbad hopes to inspire the competitive spirit within each child, instilling good sportsmanship and a sense of accomplishment at the finish line.
Kids age 12 and under are invited for a series of races in downtown Carlsbad Village, with an emphasis on fun, not speed. The kids’ races, which vary in length from one mile to a quarter mile, run at 15-minute intervals throughout the morning. Races conclude with the 50-yard Toddler Trot and 25-yard Diaper Dash for the youngest participants. Registration is available online for the Carlsbad 5000 at carlsbad5000.com and for the Junior Carlsbad at juniorcarlsbad.com. The Junior Carlsbad event benefits the Carlsbad Educational Foundation.
Participants are grouped based on age, and parents are invited to run with their children at no extra cost. Although start lines will vary because of differing course lengths, all races will finish at the corner of Roosevelt Street and Carlsbad Village Drive in downtown Carlsbad. Each child receives a finishers medal, participant T-shirt and goodie bag, as well as a free ticket to SeaLife aquarium. There will also be awards for the top three finishers in each age group, ages 5 through 12.
The Junior Carlsbad School Championships will once again challenge local schools to register the most students. The school with the greatest participation will take the title of School Champion for the next school year. Awards will be given to the top five schools, along with prizes. Participants can register for a reduced price of $20 by using their school’s online promotional code before March 27.
The kids’ event kicks off a full weekend of fitness, and is followed by the Carlsbad 5000 for elite athletes and adults April 3. Both events will feature post-race refreshments, prizes, live entertainment, and a Health & Fitness Expo that will be open throughout the weekend.
Families can enjoy three days of fun, beginning with the Junior Carlsbad Pre-Registration Party April 1. Junior Carlsbad participants are encouraged to beat the crowds by stopping by the Visit Carlsbad offices on Carlsbad Village Drive from 3 to 6 p.m. to pick up their race number, T-shirt and goodie bag. The party will feature live music, balloon animals, ice cream samples and more. Families can cheer on the little ones at Junior Carlsbad April 2, followed by a day at SeaLife Aquarium April 3.
For a full schedule of races or to register, visit juniorcarlsbad.com