Trevor Rener is not an ordinary second grader. Having moved to Austin last summer, he found himself in a new class, a new school and a new country on his first day at Hill Elementary. Unlike most returning second graders, Trevor didn’t recognize a single familiar face as he learned his way around the new halls and classrooms. His mother Joy, was concerned about Trevor making new friends.
“Instead of playing with other kids on the playground during recess, he talked over dinner about running laps alone on the track.” You see, Trevor (referred to as T-Bone by his family) loves to run. And here’s the thing – Trevor runs fast. Really fast. So it wasn’t long before some of the other kids on the playground noticed.And after a couple of weeks, a few other boys from his class wandered over to the track wanting to know his secret. T-Bone’s response? Run with me. And they did.
The Marathon Kids Running Club at Hill Elementary is one of the most active in Austin. Every class runs ten minutes a day, every day, in order to reach their yearlong goal of 104.8 miles (the equivalent of four marathons). Students earn exclusive Nike rewards for each marathon they complete and learn along the way about healthy ways to fuel their bodies. Marathon Kids provided the perfect opportunity for Trevor and his newly formed running crew to get to know one another, to set goals together, to push each other when they felt like quitting and to high five each other for getting their next cool Nike reward.
“They’ve somehow become this tight-knit group of buddies. They’ve all been over to the house and love hanging out,” Joy told us. And according to his father, Zach, Trevor’s ten year-old sister and six year-old brother have also started running.”
“We’ve seen an incredible change in his self confidence,” Zach told us. “In a year marked with so much change for Trevor, Marathon Kids has been his one daily constant. It’s allowed him to feel part of something bigger than himself.”
T-Bone’s crew has now grown to five boys, talking about running and class and homework as they lap the track together every day both at recess and their Marathon Kids running club session. So, how many miles have they run so far? T-Bone is currently on his 17th marathon (445 miles). The other boys are on their 12th – because of Trevor, who has become somewhat of a local celebrity around the once-unfamiliar halls of Hill Elementary. However, according to his parents, he seems to appreciate accomplishment a lot more than attention. When asked what he likes about Marathon Kids, Trevor’s answer was simple: “Running, my friends and cool Nike rewards. The shirt is my favorite because it shows everyone how far I ran.”
Simple, fun and effective. That’s the Marathon Kids recipe threaded throughout the story of this extraordinary young runner. We believe, at our core, in the transformative power, the sense of community, the grit and the self-reliance that are results of running with Marathon Kids.
To learn more about the Marathon Kids movement, start a running club of your own, get your family running with us or make a gift to ensure kids like Trevor can continue finding their fast, enter your email in the upper left corner above to sign up for our newsletter.