For moms of five children, every day is an adventure—just ask Heather Hamilton, who is always looking for fun activities to keep her family active. But finding time to work exercise into the daily routine can be tough, even with five elementary-aged children who love to run, play sports and be active.
Heather, a guidance counselor at an elementary school in Fort Hood, Texas, enjoyed taking the family to the park, but she wasn’t a runner. Still, she wanted to find something active she could take on with the kids so the whole family could build healthy habits together. Then she heard about Marathon Kids through a PE coach friend in a nearby district. His daughter, Kelbie Black, had just reached a huge milestone with Marathon Kids, covering 1,000 miles (and counting!). Kelbie’s inspiring story was the motivation Heather needed to start a Marathon Kids at Home club with her children.
Making The Decision To Get Healthy As A Family
Marathon Kids at Home is a program for any family looking for a fun and easy way to get moving together. Just as with school-based Marathon Kids run clubs, the goal for families participating in Marathon Kids at Home is to cover a total of four marathons—104.8 miles—together, tracking their progress one mile at a time. Families that register for the program receive resources and rewards from Marathon Kids, but the structure of their running, and even the method of movement (running, walking, skipping—they all count!), are up to them.
Heather registered her family with the program in April, and she and her children started doing one half-mile loop at a time at the park around the corner from where they live. “The joy has been setting goals as we head to the park,” Heather says, as well as “seeing how the kids pair up, the talks as we run, and the way the kids notice themselves improving in speed and ability to run longer distances.”
She says it has been humbling to join in with her children, as running isn’t a personal strength. But her children encourage her with each lap and sometimes even hang back to jog alongside her.
Hitting Their Own Milestones
Less than a month into their program, the first four Hamilton kids hit their first milestones. Jordan, age 10; Joni, eight; and Joseph and Josiah, both seven, all completed their first marathons. They were full of smiles and pride when their parents presented them with their reward tee-shirts at the park. “It was a joy to this Momma’s heart to hear them encourage each other,” Heather reports, “and even start the laps for their next marathon!”
Less than two weeks later, mom and little sister Joy, age six, completed their own 26.2 miles. “First marathon down!” says Heather—and counting!
Want to sign your family up for Marathon Kids at Home? Head over here to learn more!