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Race Day Savior: RaceKids

Where marathons and childcare intersect.

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If you’re prepping to run in the Rock ‘n’ Roll (half) marathon—which is less than two weeks away—we congratulate you. But after months of training, there’s one more base to cover: Who’s going to watch the kids while you’re at this stroller-restricted run?

Enter: RaceKids, a day camp geared to allow runner parents to fully concentrate on their personal best times instead of worrying about their littlest fans. RaceKids takes care of children from ages two to 12 while parents are on the course, and will mind them for three-hour stint or all day, depending on the race distance. Doors open to the conference room at the Curtis A Doubletree by Hilton camp location at 5:15 a.m, which allows participants all the pre-race preparation they need—including sitting down for an uninterrupted breakfast.

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After the starting gun, campers will follow age-specific activity plans, including learning the muscles runners use, making signs for mom and dad, and creating a one-of-a-kind medal that will likely trump the clunky thing you get from race organizers after you cross the finish line. As you’re stuck choking down gels and energy block, you don’t have to worry about your kids’ breakfast (eggs and bacon), snack (yogurt and fruit), or lunch (a sandwich, snacks, and a drink). Our guess is their grub tastes better than yours. “Due to the way races run with weather, injuries, and finishing times, it’s impossible to predict an exact pickup time,” RaceKids co-founder Brandy Vaillancourt says. “Even if parents opt for the half marathon, we keep the kids until after lunch so runners feel free to celebrate at the finish line and go take a shower.”

In addition to camps at Sunday’s race, RaceKids also offers mini camps ($30) during Friday and Saturday’s Expo at the Colorado Convention Center. Parents can pickup their race bib, mingle with other runners, and check out the vendors without boring their little one.

Registration closes at midnight the night before the race. Due to RaceKids’ strict ratio of caretakers per child based on age, certain age brackets may fill up faster than others. The half-marathon camp runs $90 with care provided for up to six hours, and the marathon camp is $140 with eight hours of activities.

Follow assistant editor Lindsey R. McKissick on Twitter at @LindseyRMcK.

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