Disclaimer: As a RocknBlogger, I received free registration for this RaceKids Day Camp. I was not further compensated and all opinions are my own, or those of my family members.
Over the past year, My 11 year old son has put up with a whole lot of boring weekend nights, two wet blanket parents who are always reviewing training plans and has survived constant chatter about goals, pace, course elevation and strategy. He has, for the most part, taken it like a champ. He has been our biggest fan, and though we have sacrificed a lot, he has sacrificed more because Rob and I ran the last 2 marathons together. This training plan, he dubbed himself a Marathon Orphan… evening weeknight longer runs, no Sunday brunch and early bedtime Saturday nights are the norm in our house and he rarely complains, so when he coined the phrase Marathon Orphan, we laughed at his dry sense of humor (no clue where he gets it from).
About two months before the Rock n Roll San Diego, we realized that with our au pair headed home before the race, our usual race time day care was not going to work. Though we had made some good friends in the 4 months since we moved, it was a big imposition to Have the kiddo stay there. We started researching creative options… could we fly my parents out from the East Coast? unlikely and cost prohibitive…. Did the boy have a friend who would have a sleepover for two nights before the race? Again, a huge favor to ask of someone we didn’t know very well.
Then I got an email saying the RaceKids was available in San Diego. The debate began… Was 11 too old for the experience? Would he have fun, or was he “over it” since he was a little more mature than your average ‘tween’. Desperate for help, I reached out to them to find out more about the experience, and I think I read 100 reviews. Most of them were from parents of younger kids but all the feedback was positive. I figured if things didn’t work out, the only thing lost was one Sunday morning. I went ahead and got Danger signed up for Sunday and he agreed to run the 5k with Dani, Linzie, Rob and myself on Saturday. BAM… childcare issues solved, right?
So now you want to ask all the questions… together Danger and I are going to answer them!
What is RaceKids??
Mom: RaceKids is the Official Day Camp Partner of Rock ‘n’ Roll and they provide a fun environment for the kiddos while the parents have a blast on the course! This is a full liscensed day care where all employees have background checks and are qualified and friendly. The price was reasonable, around $150 for the full marathon participants, and less for half marathon participants.
Danger: A Camp for kids that are waiting for their parents to finish running a race
What kinds of things do you do at RaceKids?
Mom: There are games, craft time, tournaments and dance contests plus breakfast and lunch! They have a super organized schedule of activities and I loved that I knew the when and where of what the kid would be up to. It made my race less stressful!
Danger: There are activities and games set up when you get there for everyone to play as a group. When I got there there were crossword puzzles to do, played with balloons, played Twister and we had a dance contest (boys vs girls).
How was the food?:
Mom: I heard no complaints!
Danger: it was pretty good! There were pancakes for breakfast and turkey sandwiches for lunch.
How about Safety?
M: Besides the fact that all of the staff was vetted, and licensed, I also felt safe because of all of the security measures taken. During the registration process, I was sent an email asking for my bib number and for Rob’s and at the Expo, we were issued bracelets, one for Danger, and matching ones for Rob and myself. Because I am crazy, and I worry too much, they issued a bracelet for Dani as well, in case something terrible happened on the course. I knew he wasn’t just safe and sound, but that only the three of us would be able to pick him up. They took our phone numbers, plus additional contacts in case of emergency too.
D: I was *insert shoulder shrug here* I was pretty safe. They didn’t let us go on the balcony or anywhere else without an adult.
M: During Craft Time, Danger made 4 medals, one for each of us running the Full Marathon. It has easily become my most prized medal and has earned a special place on my medal rack! I also loved that after the event, there were photos on the facebook page so I could see what he had been up to
D: Twister and the Dance contest tied for the best activities. Giving my parents and our friends their medals was also pretty sweet… They were so excited about them!
Least Favorite Part:
M: My only gripe (if you can even call it that) was that the location was neither super close to the start or to the finish line but it was overall, pretty convenient to get to. It was fairly close to our hotel, so after we picked Danger up, we walked the mile and a half back to our hotel (only maniacs walk miles after running a marathon).
D: I woke up at 4 AM. I guess that isn’t RaceKids fault. I blame my parents! I also think it would have been awesome if we got to see the race finish.
Will You use RaceKids Again?
M: We were talking about signing him up for Vegas on the walk home from the race. That’s a solid YES!!!
D: YES!! It’s fun and I won’t be a marathon orphan again! Well… I guess I will still be an orphan but at least I will have orphan friends
Is RaceKids at every Rock n Roll venue?
M: They are not, but they are adding more races every year. For a list of upcoming races, you can look here! You can be sure that since Rob will be at Vegas this fall, Danger will be attending RaceKids!!
D: I’m not sure but I hope they are at the next races my Mom and Dad are doing!!
So there you have it! If RaceKids is at our race location, we will be there! I can’t say that I would trust my kid to any race organizer but I will tell you I am thrilled to have taken the chance on our RaceKids experience and gained a fantastic, fun and safe solution for my Marathon Orphan!
Have you ever used RaceKids? What did you think? How do you wrangle your kiddos when you are racing?