Are you looking for a fun run (or walk) to do as a family? One you can bring your stroller on? One that is less than 2 miles? How about a run that is anything but boring and involves squirt guns?
The JR Hero Run may be the event for you!
Held each year in the summer months (June and July), the events take place in Palos Verdes down by the beach and in Claremont in a more desert setting. Our family chose to participate in the event held in Claremont since it was close to home.
Here's how it works: Families sign up ahead of time for a discounted price of $20 (or less if you can find a deal on sites like Living Social) per person. If you choose to sign up the day of the event, admission will be $30 per person. Children under age 2 are free and if you are going to watch and will not be on the race course, there is a spectator special price of $10 admission. This year the proceeds from the race benefitted the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Orange County and the Inland Empire and the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens where the event was held.
When you sign up, you can request a time to start your race beginning at 8 am and ending at 11 am. Race times are in 15 minute intervals to make sure that there is not a whole bunch of people on the course at the same time. The advantage to the earlier times are two fold: better parking and the weather is cooler. Our race time was 9 am and it was great, though we had a good ten minute walk to the start of the course.
This is not a normal race, in case you were wondering. The theme of the race is JR Hero, and so, most everyone is dressed in their superhero best. And I'm not sure we saw anyone run, everyone was walking. We saw everything from babies in Superman costumes in strollers to an adult woman dressed like Rainbow Brite to a nine year old Hulk complete with green make up. This is what makes this race fun! Your job as a JR Hero is to complete the race course and get past the evil villains on the course to pick up a coin from their evil lair. The coin is exchanged at the end of the race for a medal.
How do you get past the evil villains? I'm glad you asked! You need to squirt them with a water gun! Water stations are set up throughout the course to refill and the villains will spray you back so be on the lookout.
We had so much fun at this event that we were sorry to reach the end of the course. But, once we received our medal, we had photo ops with various heroes, a bounce house, some vendors to visit and a visit with the 501st (a special club that designs their own Star Wars costumes that look exactly like the ones used in the movies).
If you are interested in signing up for the JR Hero Run next year, keep an eye on their website