Aug / 2020

Marathon Kids Announces Free Programming with New Digital Lap Tracking Technology

In response to distance learning challenges and the increased need for tools to facilitate hybrid PE programming, Marathon Kids has launched a new digital toolset, available at no charge.

For Immediate Release: 8/5/2020

AUSTIN, Texas – Marathon Kids is excited to announce new changes that will help the program reach more children than ever before in the 2020–21 school year while meeting the shifting needs of kids, parents, teachers, and schools amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This year, the Marathon Kids program is completely free for schools and community organizations, with no limit to the number of children who can participate. Included with free registration is a welcome pack that includes group tracking posters and a starter pack of Marathon Kids’ all-new sticker-based reward system, online lesson plans for on-campus and at-home learning, and access to the new digital lap-tracking and reporting platform, Marathon Kids Connect.

Marathon Kids Connect is a cloud-based run club management platform that provides a digital lap-tracking app along with free educational resources and reporting capability. The platform makes it easier than ever to measure and report on kids’ active time. Coaches and classroom teachers track students’ progress simply by scanning runners’ ID cards after each lap completed or entering miles manually, increasing accuracy, and simplifying record-keeping. Parents can also log kids’ miles at home. 

Because the pandemic situation is still rapidly developing, it is unclear what schooling will look like in fall 2020. Schools across the country are anticipating budget cuts that could affect Physical Education programs, and distance learning may continue to be incorporated in both fall and spring semesters. With so much uncertainty, children need regular physical activity more than ever, for their mental health as well as the physical fitness benefits it confers. These considerations inspired Marathon Kids to make the program free for all children in the United States, with free access to lessons and programmatic resources that have been adapted to incorporate safe distancing practices

With the new platform, PE teachers and run club coaches can use quick reports to share their students’ physical activity progress with principals and district leaders. Classroom teachers, who may need to help students meet physical activity requirements, can do Marathon Kids in the Classroom, using the platform’s free online resources to get kids moving safely during the school day. They will also have access to a new library of training videos and content modules on topics like Behavior Adoption Strategies to Build Self-Efficacy, Integrating Social-Emotional Learning with Physical Activity, Marathon Kids + COVID 19, and more. Live, customized training is also available to help teachers and administrators get familiar with the new platform.

Parents can use Marathon Kids Connect to become an extension of Run Club, viewing their child’s progress from home and submitting additional miles covered outside of school. 

Run club goals remain the same as in past years: Students work toward their first cumulative marathon (26.2 miles), and then strive to complete their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th marathon milestones before the season’s end. One lap at a time, one day at a time, kids make progress on their goals and discover the joy in regular physical activity.

About Marathon Kids: The mission of Marathon Kids is to show children that through running, they can achieve more than they thought possible, and to put them on the path to healthier lives. The organization empowers teachers, coaches, and community members to start the Marathon Kids program in their schools, camps, and organizations. Marathon Kids works for any kid, at any fitness level. Kids in the program work at their own pace to run, or walk, a cumulative 104.8 miles—the equivalent mileage of four marathons—over the course of the school year. Marathon Kids provides the training, tools, and resources teachers, parents, and coaches need to keep kids moving. For more information, please visit MarathonKids.org.