Why run with Marathon Kids?
We take our mission seriously. Research shows that when kids participate in Marathon Kids, they have a much better chance of getting enough daily physical activity. That’s good news for their bodies and their minds. Active kids do better in every way. They are happier, healthier, and more likely to succeed in school and in life.
We get kids moving. Since 1995, Marathon Kids has been sparking healthy, long-lasting change in schools, out-of-school time programs, camps, and community organizations. Through fun, easy to implement run clubs, Marathon Kids coaches build community through physical activity, one lap at a time.
We have fun. Our Marathon Kids love running because it’s exciting. Running means speed and freedom, healthy competition, and accomplishment. Our program teaches kids the joy in setting goals and going the distance.
What makes our program unique?
Our program is free and includes free access to our digital lap tracking app and reporting platform. Coaches can track an unlimited number of runners, increasing minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) while motivating kids to achieve their personal best.
Our program is customizable and requires little-to-no equipment.
Our program has been proven effective through evidence-based research.
How does Marathon Kids work?
Through running, we show kids they can achieve more than they ever thought possible!
Here’s how it works:
1. A coach registers for our free program, sets the length of their run club season, and invites runners to join.
2. Each runner sets short- and long-term personal distance goals, which will help them develop self-reliance and grit over the course of the season. Goals are measured in marathons (26.2 miles) and are achieved by running one lap at a time, one day at a time.
3. Marathon Kids coaches celebrate their runners' efforts and accomplishments, encouraging them every step of the way. Before runners know it, they will have conquered a marathon and be ready to start the next!
How far do Marathon Kids run?
Most Marathon Kids set the goal of running 104.8 miles—the distance of four marathons—over the course of their run club season. By running a few times a week, they can get there! The average child can walk or run at least one mile in 20 minutes.
> Offers flexibility for coaches to create their own timeline.
> Allows participants to set their own distance goals.
> Helps kids to reach the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) each day.
What is digital lap tracking?
Marathon Kids provides a free digital lap tracking app and reporting platform to all registered clubs!
Here’s how it works:
> Each runner is assigned an ID card with a unique QR code.
> Phones and/or iPads become scanners with the app. No WiFi required.
> Coach sets the distance for tracks and the mileage equivalent for physical activity.
> Coach and club supporters start scanning laps.
> Data uploads automatically to coach, parent, and runner dashboards.
> Coaches can run reports, share leaderboards, and print reward certificates!
There’s no subscription fee and coaches can add an unlimited number of runners and supporters to their account.
Who can participate?
Kids of all fitness levels and ages, from pre-K through 12th grade, are welcome to participate in Marathon Kids. (Parents, volunteers, and teachers love to track their miles, too!) Run clubs vary in size from small groups to entire schools.
Are you interested in starting a Marathon Kids run club? Every Marathon Kids run club starts with one dedicated individual who decides to make a difference in their community and wants to get kids more physically active!
Who can be a coach?
Any adult interested in motivating kids to run or walk one lap at a time, one day at a time, to reach personal distance goals can start a Marathon Kids run club.
As a coach, you’ll provide the time, place, and structure for a run club, supporting kids as they build endurance, grow in self-confidence, and experience the social benefits of being active together.
A coach can be anyone with a passion for igniting the joy of physical activity and inspiring kids to move more to achieve more. It can be a teacher, parent, volunteer, or after-school program employee. It can be you!
What is a run club?
Every Marathon Kids run club is unique because our program is fully customizable. Some clubs are small groups that run together recreationally, while others are full-school implementations. Each coach sets their own parameters, from club size to season length to the age of participants.
How can my school get involved?
To get your school started with Marathon Kids, it’s as easy as creating a free account!
Coaches in school settings may choose to track miles throughout each school day (before, during, and after school), or only at certain times or days. With our free digital lap tracking app, coaches can enlist an unlimited number of supporters to help with scanning miles.
Marathon Kids run clubs are completely scalable. Schools may implement:
> Before or After-School Club - Any size or age of participants, running or walking anywhere from one to five days a week, with the logistics set by the coach.
> Full-School Marathon Kids Club - Teachers encourage kids to log miles during PE class, classroom brain breaks, and recess.
> Ultra Marathon Kids Club - Get the whole school on board with creating a culture of health! Offer opportunities for teachers and students alike to run or walk during class and recess, before and after school, and even at home with parents.
When can I start a run club?
Marathon Kids run clubs can be started at any time! The coach decides the dates and duration of the run club season.
Interested in becoming a coach? Read our Quick Start Guide, then set up a free account to gain access to our free digital lap tracking and resources!
How much does it cost?
Marathon Kids is free. There are no subscription fees or membership costs, regardless of how many runners participate!
Are there grants available?
No grant is necessary! As of June 2020, Marathon Kids offers free programming with free digital lap tracking. Everything you need to get kids moving is included.
If you’re interested in purchasing low-cost incentives for your run club, check out our eStore.
How do I register?
Where can I find free resources?
Can I purchase incentives?
Yes! We have low-cost incentives available in our brand new eStore.
Can I do Marathon Kids with my family?
If your child is already participating in Marathon Kids, the coach can grant permission for them to track miles completed at home. Contact the coach and ask to be connected to your child’s account, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for support.
If your child is not currently in a run club, check out our free resources for families, including Walk and Talk. This simple program provides parents with 26 conversation topics—one for each mile of a marathon—and sample questions for each. Each day, walk a mile with your child and get to know them a little better at the same time!
How do I access my parent dashboard?
The coach of your child’s Marathon Kids club can connect you to your parent dashboard. Share your email with the coach and watch for an email asking you to set a password and granting you access. If you need further assistance, email email@example.com.
How do I find a run club near me?
Typically, Marathon Kids run clubs are open only to the students of a participating school or community organization, which means members of the public cannot register. If you’d like to get your child involved in Marathon Kids, first check with their PE teacher to see if the program exists at their school. If not, encourage them to sign up—it’s free!
Are Marathon Kids coaches volunteers?
Yes. Marathon Kids provides free programming to adults interested in starting a run club at their school, out-of-school time program, camp, or community organizations. Generally, these adults are paid employees of their various organizations, but sometimes coaches are dedicated volunteers or parents.