Amy and Stosh Snyder have active kids. They always seem to be running to soccer, dance, tee ball or gymnastics lessons.
But Brynnleigh, turning 7 later this month, and 5-year-old Landon always seem to have extra energy to burn.
“We were looking for something else to get the kids out, get them active,” Amy Snyder said.
The Lower Paxton township family found the Healthy Kids Running Series. Once a week, the kids can race against others their age.
It’s open to kids from the age of 2 to the eighth grade. Distances range from a 50-yard dash for the younger kids to a full mile for the older children. There’s even a parent run at the end of the season.
“If running is cultivated properly, it can be a life-long activity for health and wellness,” said local chapter founder Jill Robertson.
Robertson started the Central Dauphin chapter three years ago and says she’s already seen it make a difference.
Top runners can earn trophies, but each week kids can also earn ribbons if they improve on their own time.
“We like to reward them along the way and they really are proud of themselves when they cross the finish line,” Robertson said. “You can see it in their face; they’re smiling, they’re happy, they’re ready to do it again.”
“We’re both a little bit competitive and we see that come out a little bit in our kids,” Amy Snyder said. “They both try to improve on their time.”
Healthy Kids Running Series made father Stosh Snyder want to improve as well. He took up the sport at his son’s suggestion.
“I was not a runner three seasons ago,” he said, “and I actually enjoy getting up and going to run. I think it’s actually brought a change to our lifestyle as a family.”
The Central Dauphin chapter begins racing on Saturday, Sept. 16. To find a chapter near you, simply log onto the Healthy Kids Running Series website.