Moose on the Loose Kids Trail Run Series returns | ParkRecord.com

Moose on the Loose Kids Trail Run Series returns

Young athletes participate in a Moose on the Loose trail run. This season will be the series’ second, after drawing roughly 120 racers per race last season in each of its three age groups.

After a successful summer last year, the Moose on the Loose Kids Trail Run Series is back, with registration officially open.

Canice Harte, one of the founders of the series, said the races are built around the idea that kids can do hard things.

"Yeah this is the real deal," he said. "The races are run all on trail, and they are as well organized as most adult races — they are chip timed, we have course volunteers so you can't make a wrong turn."

And because the goal is to give kids a primer for trail running at a young age, the terrain follows the same standards.

"They are pretty tough courses," said Leslie Keener, who has a child that participates in the races. "There were tears, there were some scrapes and things, and if there was no reaction from the adults, the reaction from the kids was to encourage (the runners) to get up and keep going."

Runners between ages 3 and 13 are separated by age group into three categories: the Mini Moose, who run about a half mile per race and span from ages 3 through 5; the Junior Moose, ages 6 to 9, run about one and a half miles per race; and the Mighty Moose, ages 10 to 13 run about three miles per race.

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The three races will be at Round Valley, Trailside Area, and the Lower Utah Olympic Park Trail System.

The first one is set at Round Valley on May 5.

The Moose on the Loose is its own company, formed in partnership with the Youth Sports Alliance. The series donates 25 percent of its gross proceeds to the YSA, which amounted to more than $2,000 last year. While registration is usually $20 for a race or $50 for a season, children on the free and reduced lunch program at school can sign up for a race for $5 each.

"We wanted to make this accessible to as many kids as possible," Harte said.

They also wanted to make it fun for the adults, who are allowed to race with their Mini Moose competitors and are supplied with coffee and bagels at the start and finish lines.

"We try and take care of the parents as much as the kids," Harte said. For more information go to http://www.mooseontheloose.run.