our mission

Through running, we show kids they can achieve more than they ever thought possible and put them on the path to healthier lives.


Marathon Kids is a nonprofit organization on a mission to get kids moving. We provide evidence-based physical activity programming to help kids adopt an active lifestyle and learn how being active can improve their entire well-being.

Research shows that when children participate in
Marathon Kids, they have a better chance of getting the recommended amount of daily physical activity. That’s good news for their bodies and minds. When kids feel healthy, they perform better in school, think more clearly, and improve their attitude/behavior. So we made our program free, so all children can participate.


Evidence-based pillars to long-term healthy behavior adoption

Screenshot (1257)

Goal Setting

Kids develop a growth mindset setting big and small goals alike.

unnamed (28)

Social Support

Moving together is more enjoyable when you feel the support of others.

unnamed (30)


Logging miles and measuring progress keeps kids motivated.

unnamed (27)


Big cheers and high-fives go a long way to foster long-term behavior adoption.

unnamed (29)

Modeling the Way

Role models inspire kids to build new, healthy habits in their lives.

unnamed (26)


Consistent, positive recognition fuels kids to keep striving for the next milestone.

Click here to review the collection of research.


how we run

Marathon Kids offers effective tools and evidence-based practices to support schools and community organizations that need physical activity programming.

PE teachers, classroom teachers, and community organizations across the country are using our award-winning technology and implementing the goal-driven program to help kids go further than they ever thought possible.

The program challenges kids - at any fitness level - to run, jog, walk or move the equivalent of four (or more!) marathons over the course of a season. Kids learn the fun in being active while crushing miles and conquering their goals!


Kay Morris founded Marathon Kids in 1995. She came up with a program for kids that utilized running logs to motivate, boost activity, and introduce them to the joy of running. Since then, Marathon Kids has done the research–a lot of research–on the health and emotional benefits of consistent running (or walking) for children. We’ve continued to grow the program into what it is today: one of the only evidence-based running/walking programs for children in the country.

For 26 years, Marathon Kids has transformed the lives of millions of children. However, we know that children everywhere need more access to physical activity. We’re proud to partner with Nike and our many dedicated sponsors to expand our reach and strengthen the communities we serve. We won’t stop until every school, community-based organization, or camp that wants one has a running program of their very own. Kids were meant to be active, and we’re here to help them go the distance.


Marathon Kids is a nonprofit organization on a mission to get kids moving.
To learn ways to join our mission, please visit our Get Involved page.