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 proven solutions that motivate kids to be more active every day to improve their entire well-being.

Research shows that when children participate in Marathon Kids, they have a much better chance of getting enough daily physical activity. That’s good news for their bodies and their minds. When kids feel healthy, they perform better in school, make better choices, and exhibit better behavior. And we made it free, so all children can participate.


our program

Marathon Kids is for all kids, at any fitness level.

Marathon Kids' purpose is to increase daily physical activity by engaging kids in a positive, goal-driven program that challenges them to run, jog, walk or move the equivalent of four (or more!) marathons over the course of a season.

Our programming is a volunteer-led coaching model that combines award-winning technology and evidence-based practices to build a structured physical education program. We provide the tools and training, while coaches bring the fun, energy, and encouragement to help kids go further than they ever thought possible.

Our six evidence-based pillars
to long-term healthy behavior adoption

Goal Setting
Marathon Kids helps you create realistic and attainable goals for your kids. We provide you with tools and resources to support these goals for your running program.

Group Tracking
Marathon Kids helps your running program keep track of individual and total miles with both paper Mileage Logs and a digital dashboard + scanning app, Marathon Kids Connect.

Marathon Kids prioritizes modeling in our programming. If the coach makes health a priority, then your kids are more likely to do the same and will carry it on for a lifetime.

It’s proven that celebrating helps to encourage long-term healthy behavior adoption. We provide clear instructions for throwing a Kick-Off Ceremony and Finisher Celebration to motivate and celebrate your running program.

Social Support
A Marathon Kids program is fun and empowering. Setting goals, staying accountable, and moving together will motivate your kids to keep active. Living a healthier lifestyle is easier and more enjoyable when you feel the support of others.

Positive reinforcement is effective. Marathon Kids incentivizes your running program by providing certificates, stickers, and other rewards throughout the season to encourage kids to keep moving and accomplish their goals.

Review our unparalleled collection of evidence-based programming proven to get kids moving, here.

Make Marathon Kids Your School's Running Partner 


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. Now, our programs have grown to include opportunities for parents and even workplaces. We want to get everyone in on the action.

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.