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What Kit do Kids Need to Run a Park Run?

3 January 2023

A pair of trainers and a water bottle are really all kids need to take part in a Park Run. 

Layers of clothing in case they get too hot and waterproofs in case it rains are a good idea. If you only intend to walk the course and it’s wet welly boots would work and sandals if it's hot.  There are no rules.

Have Fun

The purpose is to have fun so people wear all sorts of outfits when taking part. They don’t necessarily need to look sporty in leggings and a sweatshirt. They are welcome to come in costumes or a mask. If the event falls on the 22nd many Park Runners wear tutus. This is a worldwide tradition happening in over 20 countries.

Dress For The Weather

Kids need to be comfortable, so do check the forecast and bring sunscreen and sunglasses if necessary. Hats and gloves will keep them cosy in winter. The course may be on grass so clothing may get muddy - if so, a change of clothes for afterwards would be helpful.


A well-fitting pair of trainers with a cushioning sole makes all the difference especially if kids start to run regularly. Make sure they fit securely by adjusting the laces or velcro to prevent blisters.  There should be a 1cm space in front of the toes or toenails can be damaged. An older sibling’s hand-me-downs are not a good idea long term.

For More Serious Runners

Competitive runners in their teens might like a technical shirt that wicks sweat away. They may prefer a vest to a sleeved t-shirt and shorts instead of long tracksuit bottoms. If they have registered they will have a barcode to get a precise time so there is no need for fitness watches or running apps on a phone.

Official Merchandise

The Park Run shop sells t-shirts and snoods with the ParkRun logo. There are water bottles and travel mugs. You can order a wristband with your barcode on it. At all 5km Park Runs those who complete 50 runs are awarded a 50 shirt, 100 runs a 100 shirt and the coveted 250 shirt for 250 runs. Very rarely the 500 shirt is awarded.

If kids are volunteering they will be given high viz jackets to wear as marshals.

Other Suggestions

The organisers will have a First Aid kit but plasters or Compeed for blisters might be helpful. Chocolate or an icecream make good incentives or rewards for children or you could bring a banana or an apple as a snack. Parents will often go for coffee in a nearby cafe afterwards so a bit of money is useful.

The community ethos of Park Runs mean no-one is going to judge you by your clothing. It’s not a fashion show. The organisers celebrate taking part in exercise together outdoors and the spirit is welcoming and encouraging.  

Don’t let kit stand in the way of taking part in this welcoming, healthy community event.

Photo by Anthony Soberal on Unsplash

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