BRINGtheKIDZ is blazing the trail for child care at YOUR next event!
Content sponsored by BRINGtheKIDZ
Picture it: It’s the morning of your first (or second, or fiftieth…) Olympic distance triathlon. You (and possibly also your partner) have been training for months, sacrificing your time, adjusting your diet, juggling your schedule, all for this goal. You wake up and wait for the babysitter to arrive so you can get to transition to set up. You wait. And wait. And wait. Texts go unanswered. Transition is opening. The babysitter is not coming. Now what??
Colorado mom, runner, and triathlon-dabbler Michelle Kalinski had faced this scenario too many times and decided to find a solution. In 2014, she founded PRKids (now called BRINGtheKIDZ) a Boulder-based company whose mission is to provide worry-free, on-site race day childcare so that you will not find yourself in that position!
With two children under the age of three, Kalinski was tired of switching off races with her husband. She desperately needed both training goals to motivate her and quality child care at the crack of dawn on weekends. She searched for a race that offered child care onsite, but came up empty. This was surprising, considering that according to Running USA and USA Triathlon, participation in running and triathlon has grown rapidly over the last decade, especially for females. A 2009 study even revealed that 44% of “average” triathletes in the US have children at home. That is a lot of early-morning child care juggling!
After discussing the issue with numerous parent-athletes, Kalinski decided to fill this need and set in motion the creation of PRKids, a child care company that works with and for families on race morning (You can read more about the backstory on our blog). After wading through far more bureaucracy than anticipated, PRKids launched in September 2015 at the Boulder Backroads Marathon, and, at the time of this writing (March 2017) has provided services at 28 events in Colorado, with 15 events currently on the calendar for 2017. This year, we are excited to have added a number of new events, including eight triathlons!
06/03/2017 Colorado Triathlon
06/04/2017 Boulder Rez Half Marathon
06/24/2017 TriBella Sprint Triathlon
06/25/2017 Boulder Sunrise Triathlon
07/09/2017 Boulder Peak Triathlon
07/23/2017 Tri Boulder
07/30/2017 Outdoor Divas Triathlon
08/26/2017 Boulder Sunset Triathlon
09/04/2017 FORTitude 10k
09/17/2017 5430 Triathlon
10/01/2017 Boulder Backroads Marathon
10/08/2017 Boulder Rez Marathon
10/28/2017 Monster Dash
11/18/2017 Pumpkin Pie 5k/10k
How it works:
– Advance registration is required so that we can plan for staffing and supplies, and families with more than one child will normally pay half price for each child after the first. Pricing varies based on race distance.
– BRINGtheKIDZ (formerly PRKids) sets up onsite at the event and typically opens check-in an hour before the first start time to allow parent-athletes plenty of time to get set up and wait in the porta-potty line before the starting gun goes off. Children are signed in and parents and kids are issued matching wristbands to facilitate pickup.
– Children are welcomed with a warm-up activity and are led through a series of fun age and developmentally-appropriate activities until parents check them out at the end of the event. See some photos of our fun HERE.
– The pickup window is generous, allowing parents to take their time during and after the race, and often arrangements can be made in advance in situations where an athlete needs a bit of extra time.
The most amazing part is that everyone involved benefits from onsite race childcare. Parents do not have to worry about last-minute sitter cancellations or no-shows, or feel guilty about leaving the kids behind for the day (or simply miss them!). Children get to spend time “in the action” at the race, seeing their parents achieve the goals they have long trained for and cheering them over the finish line, as well as having lots of fun with new friends and BRRINGtheKIDZ staff. And since more couples will be able to participate in races together instead of switching off and competing only one at a time due to child care concerns, event organizers can benefit from increased registrations. Win-win-win!
For 2017, BRINGtheKIDZ has unveiled a number of new features, including a new name (that’s a big one!), an ambassador program, a blog, a newsletter, and a new website that is currently in development. We are growing fast and are so excited to be a part of this community and to allow families to pursue their goals while still spending the day together!
If we haven’t already convinced you of how awesome BRINGtheKIDZ is, here is what some of our customers have told us:
- “My son was a little shy at first but when I picked him up he said he wanted to go back every time I run. We cannot wait until next time.” – M.G. (Pumpkin Pie 2015)
- “Michelle and the PRKids crew are awesome! They always have plenty of fun things planned for the kiddos to do from art projects to active games to cheering on the runners. My daughter loves PRKids camps!” – E.M.(Kooky Spooky 2015)
- “PRKids watched my 7 year old son at Boulder Sunset Tri. I took longer than expected, and they kept him past time with no complaints or issues. I took both my kids (ages 4 and 7) to PRKids at the Pumpkin Pie 5k. It was great because I got to race with my husband. My daughter got a face painting and declared it the best day ever!” – J.K. (Boulder Sunset Tri 2016)
- “My two children had such a great time at the Pumpkin Pie 5k/10k kids camp. They both met friends to play with during the camp. My son is 9 and my daughter is 6. They enjoyed face painting, crafts, games and snacks. They said they couldn’t wait to do it again.” – J.G. (Pumpkin Pie 2016)