Kirby is in a competition against King Dedede. When the Waddle Dee standing off on the sidelines waves the flag, the player must rapidly press A to get the pink hero running. If the player presses A before the race begins, he/she will have to try the round again. If he/she makes the same mistake again, that round will be forfeited to the opponent.
When the race begins, Kirby will have to get past hurdles. If the player shakes the Game Boy, Kirby will jump, which is the only way to avoid them. If Kirby runs into one, he will trip and falter momentarily, losing all the speed he's built up and giving the opponent a chance to catch up or get farther ahead. Kirby must be the first across the finish line to win the round.
If the player beats King Dedede in a round, he/she will have to face a flashing Kirby in the next round. If not, he/she will still compete with the king. In rounds two and three, the hurdles will be closer together, making it more difficult. The player must beat the opponent in at least two of the three rounds to win the game.
Like all the sub-games in Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble, Kirby's Hurdle Race can only be played if Kirby obtains the Bonus Star and clears the level he found it in.
- The music that plays during Kirby's Hurdle Run is the "Green Greens" theme.