Faces of Marathon Kids

In 25 years, Marathon Kids has gotten 2.5 million kids moving. Founded in 1995 in Austin, Texas, our program has now expanded to all 50 states and is available at no charge for schools and community organizations. These are a few of the Faces of Marathon Kids, who worked hard over the past quarter-century to make our vision of “all kids active and healthy for a lifetime” possible. Please read their stories and consider a donation in their name, to ensure Marathon Kids remains free and accessible to all kids for the next 25 years!

Kay Morris

Kay Morris

Kay founded Marathon Kids in 1995. “One thing I’ve learned as a runner is that it’s not just about muscular well-being, it’s about psychological well-being. I thought this feeling that ‘I’m vivacious and I can do something!’ would adapt well to children. So I took what was beautiful to me about running and adapted it to young people.”

Michele Rusnak

Michele Rusnak

Michele, the Health and Physical Education Supervisor of Austin ISD, adopted Marathon Kids as the WOW curriculum for all AISD elementary students five years ago. WOW—Working Out for Wellness—is an initiative that helps Austin students meet district requirements for daily physical activity outside of P.E. class. 

Paul Carrozza

Paul founded RunTex and met Kay Morris in one of his RunTex running groups. He loved her idea for starting Marathon Kids. “We were just starting the Austin Marathon, and this was a perfect fit. I liked her idea so much, we pitched it to all the schools in AISD and then the surrounding school districts.”

Chris McClung

Chris McClung

Chris started volunteering for Marathon Kids in college and is now the Board Chair. One of the things that originally drew Chris to Marathon Kids was the fact that it was free and accessible to all. “It’s free, it’s incremental, it’s easy, and everyone can really have access to it.”

Cindy Samok

Cindy Samok

Cindy, an avid runner, brought Marathon Kids to Austin’s Casis Elementary in the ’90s. For Cindy, starting a run club was all about passing along the joy of running to her students.

Donte Samuel

Donte “DaCoach” Samuel has been a Marathon Kids coach for 13 years at Belmont Elementary, a public school in Baltimore, Maryland. For DaCoach, Marathon Kids is a community-wide wellness effort that benefits both his students and with their families.

Carolyn Dyer

Carolyn, once a Physical Education teacher at Austin’s Rodriguez Elementary, was involved with Marathon Kids since its inception. A longtime supporter and board member, she would coordinate volunteers for kick-off and finisher events all over the state.

Betsy Foster

Betsy, CEO of Healthy America, is passionate about children and their health. She served on the Marathon Kids Advisory Board in the early 2000s, joining the board of directors a few years later. She has been on the board ever since, serving as Board Chair for nearly 10 years.