The Marathon Kids program is all about progress—showing kids that they can achieve more than they ever thought possible. Runners in Marathon Kids run clubs across the country made incredible progress in 2019, and they weren’t the only ones. The organization itself also took important steps forward with a new initiative—Marathon Kids Connect—designed to help make the Marathon Kids program easier to use and more accessible to everyone.
“Running isn’t just fun; it’s fundamental. Kids need to move more. With Marathon Kids Connect, we are expanding access, equity, engagement, and impact.”Cami Hawkins, Marathon Kids CEO
Marathon Kids Connect is the organization’s new digital lap tracking technology. In the past, coaches, teachers, and volunteers have tracked students’ progress manually on mileage logs provided by Marathon Kids. They now have the option to download the Marathon Kids Connect app to their phones. Student runners receive individualized ID cards to scan as they complete each lap, automatically uploading their mileage to their run clubs’ Marathon Kids Connect accounts.
NOW TRACKING LAPS IS A BREEZE FOR COACHES, TEACHERS, AND VOLUNTEERS
Not only does the app make lap-tracking a breeze for coaches (they don’t even need WiFi to scan IDs out on the track!), it’s also a great way for parents to stay involved with their kids’ run clubs. Marathon Kids has always been a community-based organization and effort, and the Marathon Kids Connect app enables parents to access their children’s dashboards, keep up with their progress and help celebrate milestones.
Soon after the launch of the digital tracking app, the results began rolling in as Marathon Kids run club coaches took to Twitter to celebrate the start of the season. Coach D., PE teacher at Casey Elementary, Tweeted, “Marathon Kids kickoff has begun. The kids were ready to go especially with the new digital scanners!!!” Run club coach and Kimball Elementary PE teacher Kelly F. Tweeted, “The free lap tracker from @MarathonKids worked great and really helps [students] pace themselves!”
First day of 19-20 working towards our marathon for #KimballES Ss. The free lap tracker from @MarathonKids worked great and really helps Ss pace themselves! #physed #elempe #mesquiteisdpe pic.twitter.com/qLKBtMvf5q— Kelly Featherston (@KimballPhysEd) September 12, 2019
Baldwin Elementary PE teacher and run club coach Julie S. wrote, “We are loving the new lap tracker!”
And Libby D., run club coach and PE teacher at Harris Elementary, wrote, “We love the digital tracking! We didn’t even let the rain stop us.”
We had our @MarathonKids Kick off today! We love the digital tracking! We didn’t even let the rain stop us. We Improvised and moved our kick off inside. Then we went back out when the sun came out! Way to go Bulldog runners! @Harris_AISD @AISDHealthPE #marathonkids #aisdcsh pic.twitter.com/wt5xA2MaH8— Libby Dominguez (@CoachD_HarrisPE) September 11, 2019
MARATHON KIDS CONNECT GRANT PROVIDES FREE ACCESS TO DIGITAL LAP TRACKING TECHNOLOGY
The app is included with all paid Marathon Kids run club registrations, but now through January 15, 2020, coaches can also apply for the Marathon Kids Connect Grant to gain free access just to the digital lap tracking technology. While recipients don’t receive physical rewards for runners, like the Nike incentives that come with paid clubs, they do receive free run club tools, printable reward certificates, and resources including the digital lap tracking app and reporting platform.
As of only a few months into the 2019-2020 run club season, the Marathon Kids Connect grant had already enabled more than 28,330 runners in Marathon Kids Connect-only run clubs across the country to access the digital scanning utility. The grant is open until January 15, 2020, and run clubs at elementary, middle and high schools as well as youth-serving community organizations are eligible and encouraged to apply. The grant application takes just five minutes to complete and represents the quickest, easiest and most affordable way to start a Marathon Kids run club.
At Marathon Kids, it is understood that running is for everyone. Now, with the Marathon Kids Connect grant, more runners than ever can start down the path toward a lifetime of movement, milestones, community, and healthy choices.
Apply by January 15, 2020, or visit our Grants page to be notified of future grant opportunities.