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In preparation for The Statesman Capitol 10,000—the largest 10K in Texas—Austinites are invited to join a series of free Austin 10K’r social fun runs. Make plans to attend one, or all nine, but we think the Austin 10K’r on February 2, in particular, is not to be missed. That’s when Olympic Champion Sanya Richards-Ross will be in attendance to kick things off, take photos with fans, and sign autographs.

Sanya Richards-Ross

Sanya Richards-Ross began running competitively when she was seven years old. Since then, she has become the world’s most accomplished 400-meter runner and one of only two American women to ever win Olympic gold in the individual 400-meter race. This year, Richards-Ross joined the Marathon Kids Board of Directors and was named the Cap10K Race Ambassador for 2019.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

For your chance to meet Sanya Richards-Ross, attend the free 10K’r on February 2, 2019. Meet in the West Lot of the Austin American-Statesman (305 South Congress) at 8 a.m. for free refreshments, a welcome from Richards-Ross and a one-, three-, or six-mile run, walk, skip, or stroll. This free event will be fun for the whole family!

Family Fun at 10K’r Events

Each Austin 10K’r social event will have its own Marathon Kids family one-mile route and map. Marathon Kids can earn a special edition armadillo half-mile or one-mile achievement stamp in their training log for participating. As an added bonus, Marathon Kids staff will award prizes to kids for their accomplishments.  So, start your training and collect those stamps!

Earn Marathon Kids Prizes

Participating Marathon Kids are invited to start collecting stamps at the free Austin 10K’r events, to earn these special prizes:

  • (1) 1-mile ‘Dillo Stamp = (1) Marathon Kids sticker
  • (3) 1-mile ‘Dillo Stamps = (1) Marathon Kids training t-shirt
  • (5) 1-mile ‘Dillo Stamps = (1) Marathon Kids drawstring bag
  • (10) 1-mile ‘Dillo Stamps = (1) Marathon Kids backpack

Prizes can be claimed when attending the final Austin 10K’r social run on Saturday, March 30, 2019, from 8-10 a.m. Marathon Kids staff will be onsite at the Austin American-Statesman to review training logs and distribute prizes. (Prizes are not guaranteed; quantities are limited and will be awarded on first-come, first-serve basis.)

Austin 10K’r Schedule

Austin 10K’r events will take place from January through March, leading up to the Cap10K in April. You can find the complete schedule of free events on the Cap10K website. We hope to see you there!

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AUSTIN, TX, January 14, 2019— Marathon Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to showing kids that through running they can achieve more than they ever thought possible, announced today the results of its 2018/19 national grant. Funded primarily by corporate and private sponsors, Marathon Kids uses national grant funds to help dedicated adults all over the United States to start run clubs in their schools and communities.

This school year, Marathon Kids was able to provide $1,206,307 in funding to 559 run clubs, which helped get 82,023 kids running. Grants were awarded to recipients across 36 states, prioritizing schools and communities of high need.

Grant recipients received awards that allowed them to register participants for the Marathon Kids program at no cost. These new clubs have started their season and club members have begun running and walking, earning miles one day at a time. Many students have already met their first marathon milestone (26.2 miles) and are now working towards achieving their second, third and fourth marathon goals.

“We are grateful to all of our community partners who support the Marathon Kids mission to get kids moving and put them on the path to a healthier life,” said Marathon Kids CEO Cami Hawkins. “Thanks to the generous financial support of our sponsors, Marathon Kids around the country have the opportunity this school year to be more active, and to fall in love with physical activity.”

Marathon Kids sponsors include NikeH-E-B, St. David’s Foundation, Fort Bend Medical Society Alliance, Dell Children’s Health Plan, MedSpring, Bender Foundation, and Kids in the Game.

About Marathon Kids

Marathon Kids empowers teachers, parents, and coaches to start Marathon Kids run clubs in their homes, schools, camps, and community. Kids enrolled in the program work at their own pace to run, or walk, the equivalent mileage of up to four marathons (104.8 miles) over the course of the run club season. Marathon Kids provides the training, rewards, tools, and resources to a network of dedicated, motivated, and inspiring coaches, supporting them every step of the way.

More information is available at marathonkids.org.

Heidi Gollub, Chief Marketing Officer

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If you’re a Marathon Kids coach, there’s a good chance you’ve communicated with Jill Rush, our Programs and Operations Manager. She’s a busy lady, keeping all things Programs running smoothly, but we managed to snag a few minutes of her time to ask some questions. Read on to get to know Jill a little better!

MK: How long have you worked at Marathon Kids?

JR: I started with Marathon Kids in August 2016, after spending almost 10 years in hotel management. Making this career change has allowed me to spend more time with my husband, our one-year-old daughter, and her eight-year-old brother, an Alaskan Malamute “puppy.”

MK: Where are you from, originally?

JR: From the East Coast. I’m still relatively new to the Austin area—I love being able to explore all that Austin, and the rest of Texas, has to offer.

MK: Have you always been a runner?

JR: I despised running up until college, when I decided to take “jogging” as a course. But, even though I started to love my daily runs, my real physical activity passion was baton twirling. I twirled baton for 17 years—starting at age five and continuing all the way through my college years at Penn State. During that time, I twirled individually and as a member of a team, and competed at the local, state, and national levels. 

MK: What do you love about working for Marathon Kids?

JR: Understanding how much physical activity has shaped my life and where I am today, I love being able to be a part of an organization that aims to have that same impact on our future generations.

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For many, January is a traditional time for setting fresh health and wellness goals to improve their lives in the new year. So, why not up your game in 2019? Marathon Kids running clubs aren’t just for schools—they’re for anyone and everyone, including families that want to get and stay healthy together! If you’re looking for a way to be active with your family, why not start your own Marathon Kids at Home running club? Setup is quick, easy and affordable, and the benefits of regular running or walking with your kids are immeasurable.

Meet the Trammel Family

Take it from Katara Trammel, a Kempner, Texas, mother, teacher and mentor at The Homeschool Mommy. Trammel first learned about Marathon Kids when her son, Jermal Jr., attended Taylor Creek Elementary for kindergarten. “Jermal Jr. loved running with the Marathon Kids program,” Trammel says — so much so that she decided to incorporate his new passion into their family’s summer activities as well as their home school curriculum. “I love the fact that it allows us to spend quality time doing a physical activity outside,” Trammel says, “and that it eliminates the want for screen time.”

Marathon Kids at Home

The Importance of Staying Active Together as a Family

Before Marathon Kids came along, the Trammels were already used to being active together as a family. For years they have enjoyed mountain biking, road cycling, hiking and gardening together, and they love playing sports like volleyball and football as a family, or simply playing on teams with Nerf toys. They also do taekwondo and jujitsu together. “We love anything that raises our heart rates for at least 30 to 45 minutes,” Trammel says. “The key is to always have fun!”

Trammel believes that maintaining physical health helps to promote mental health. She reports that doing something physically active helps improve her son’s mood before it’s time to start his schoolwork for the day. “Running, walking or riding his bike really allows Jermal Jr. to come inside and start our school work eager and focused.”

She feels that the importance of staying active as a family is about even more than just the physical and mental health benefits. “Believe it or not,” she says, “being active together is a time when we learn and share with each other. Even in the midst of fun, our children will talk about things that are happening in their day-to-day life. They can ask questions or just feel comfortable to make jokes and be silly — just be kids. It definitely beats having every conversation only at dinner or in a structured environment!”
Marathon Kids at Home

Advice for Other Families Wanting to be Active Together 

Here is Trammel’s advice for other families that are hoping to add more physical activity into their family time: “As a parent, don’t be afraid to get out there. Even starting with a family walk is a great beginning, and you can build up from there.” She encourages families to focus on making it fun for everyone, such as by conducting a scavenger hunt or playing I Spy along your walking or running route.

“Be encouraging throughout the activity,” she says, “even if it’s just a fast walk from mailbox to mailbox or doing a shuttle run/walk in the driveway.” (Shuttle runs are a fun interval activity that involves setting up markers at short, regular distances, such as 10 meters apart. Runners run from the starting line to the closest marker, where they touch the ground before returning to the starting line. Then they run to the next closest marker, touch the ground there, and return again, and so on.)

Trammel’s final advice for developing a lasting healthy habit as a family? “Plan it. Put it on the calendar! When we write it down and everyone in the family knows, someone tends to remind the family, and it keeps us all accountable. Kids get excited about fun activities with the ones they love!”

Ready to Start Your Own Family Run Club? 

kids run club

Families that participate in Marathon Kids at Home work together to reach a total of 104.8 miles — the equivalent of four marathons. By tracking their progress as a group, one walking or running mile at a time, families establish healthy habits together and discover that they can achieve more than they ever thought possible.

Marathon Kids provides the framework, resources and rewards, and each Marathon Kids at Home family takes it from there, determining their own schedule, pace and method of movement. Running, walking, skipping, strolling, taking the dogs around the block — it all counts!

Marathon Kids at Home registration is just $20 per participant (shipping and handling included; parents can choose whether to pay for the whole family or only for the children). The registration fee includes four Nike incentives — one for each 26.2 miles achieved. Have questions? Reach out to programs@marathonkids.org — or simply register your family and start logging miles today!