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 effective 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.


Our programming is built on six evidence-based pillars for long-term healthy behavior adoption.

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Goal Setting

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

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Social Support

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

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Logging miles and measuring progress keeps kids motivated.

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

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Modeling the Way

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

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

Click here to review the collection of research.


how we run

PE teachers, classroom teachers, and community organizations across the country implement Marathon Kids to increase daily physical activity.

Our program challenges kids to run, jog, walk or move the equivalent of four (or more!) marathons throughout a season. Marathons are reached by finishing miles in achievable increments or completing minutes of heart-pumping activity.

We provide the digital platform to track, while coaches bring the fun, energy, and encouragement to motivate kids to go further than they ever thought possible.


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.

Sign up to stay connected with Marathon Kids