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.


At Marathon Kids, we are on a mission to get kids moving and we take our mission seriously. Research shows that when kids 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. That’s why we’ve made the Marathon Kids running program free, so all kids can participate.

our program

Marathon Kids works for any kid, at any fitness level.

Kids set goals in their Marathon Kids program and track their progress on a journey to complete four marathons, or 104.8 miles, over the course of the season. They run, walk, or jog one lap at a time, one day at a time.

Our methods have been tested and verified. Research shows the Marathon Kids running program effectively jump-starts healthy, long-lasting change. We help kids set and achieve goals, grow in self-confidence, and build relationships through a team experience.


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 research–a lot of research–into 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.

In 25 years, Marathon Kids has transformed the lives of more than two and a half million kids. 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 run and we’re here to help them go the distance.