Austin-On Saturday, Oct 4, thousands of Central Texas area K-5th grade school children and parents ceremonially begin running/walking 26.2 miles in increments of ¼ to ½ mile at a time over six months, coloring in their Marathon Kids Running Logs©. They also are challenged to eat 26.2 days a month of 5-a-day fruits and veggies, coloring in their “Fuel Logs”. Together in a free, glorious, ceremonial Kick Off Celebration, they will start their first mile of their marathon, with other Central Texas families, University of Texas Athletes and Marathon Kids Dad, Lance Armstrong.
Last year there were 50,544 registered Central Texas Marathon Kids who achieved an 85% completion rate. This year 53,000 are expected to register.
In its 12th year in Central Texas, the nationally acclaimed, free Marathon Kids running/walking and nutrition program is expecting 20,000 children, parents, siblings, extended family, teachers, and community runners to be at their free celebration. Oct 4 ceremonially begins their 08-09, six month, free project. Their glorious, community-wide, free ceremonial Final Mile is graciously hosted by University of Texas Athletics at the UT Mike Myers Track & Soccer Stadium. The stadium, traffic police and free garage parking is also provided by UT Athletics.
Marathon Kids’ target market for their free, six month running/walking, nutrition and schoolyard gardening program is children who are most vulnerable to sedentary lives and type 2 diabetes.
The net is thrown wide. All children can be Marathon Kids: fast/slow, overweight/slender, rich/poor, sighted/blind, able/disabled, deaf/hearing. Parents join in with the children, as the children worked hard through Physical Education classes and/or at home, coloring in their incremental miles and learning to make healthy food choices. The little children are ALSO offered “Marathon Kids 5-a-Day Food Gardens” on their campus, receiving a weather-proof, “Marathon Kids Schoolyard Garden” sign, once the schoolyard garden is started.
During the six months, the children run, eat healthy and incrementally color in:
Marathon Kids Running Log© They color in as they run at school and/or with their family in 1/4 to 1/2 mile increments, over five months.
Marathon Kids Fuel Log© They color in the Marathon Kids Fuel Log when they eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day for 26.2 days of every month! A marathon of healthy eating!
Marathon Kids is presented to 17 area public school districts, home schools, private schools, by Whole Foods Market. Major Supporting Sponsor is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.
Physical Educators are a critical conduit for Marathon Kids curriculum, encouraging a lifetime of physical activity and health for children. These teachers integrate the program as a key element in their ongoing goal setting, activity and nutrition work. Austin area Physical Educators, community volunteers tireless run the stadium for the Kick Off and Final Mile Medal Celebrations. Volunteer Coordinator is Courtney Perry, Physical Educator, of Austin ISD. Courtney@MarathonKids.org
Marathon Kids® is a 12 year old non-profit that began as an Austin grassroots initiative. It is now in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Rio Grande Valley, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Chicago. There are a projected 150,000+ K-5th graders now doing the nationally recognized, free Marathon Kids program. Marathon Kids target market are those children most vulnerable to childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes. There are over 300 towns and cities on the Marathon Kids waiting list, as well as 14 foreign countries.
At the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Austin Kick Off Celebration, selected VIPs will run with selected children in the ceremonial flag lap. Also in the opening, ceremonial flag lap will be elementary children from selected elementary schools. Marathon Kids will hand bouquets to each adult dignitary.
As all the children cross the balloon-arched Kick Off Celebration Finish Line, after running in concentric circled “rounds”, they will be given their EARNED free Reward Water Bottles as well as bright green bicycle/bumper stickers and autographs from elite University of Texas athletes. During the six month program, all incentives must be EARNED. Their Final Mile Medal Celebration will be Feb 21 at Austin ISD’s Burger Stadium. Later in the year at school assemblies in March and April, they receive their bright Marathon Kids Finisher T-shirts.
Families with questions about Marathon Kids should visit http://www.MarathonKids.org/ or ask their school PE teacher about participation.
The program is free because of funding from Whole Foods Market, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, RunTex Inc, Organic Valley, PECU, Ginny’s Printing and other corporate sponsors. Major funding is provided by The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, The Moody Foundation. The Michael & Susan Dell Center for Advancement of Healthy Living is conducting a research study of Marathon Kids.
Marathon Kids® was featured in the Runners World Magazine as one of Ten Inspirational Heroes of Running. It has been showcased in The Weekly Reader, Scholastic News, USA Today, Nurses Digest, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, Austin American Statesman, Los Angeles Times, CBS Evening News, etc. The free Los Angeles Marathon Kids program received the national Saucony “Run for Good” Award. Recently Marathon Kids was on President Clinton and CNN’s “Solutions to Childhood Obesity” panel in NYC.
Contributions to keep the six month program free? www.MarathonKids.org
If you are a teacher, interested in receiving a Teacher Packet© for 08-09 school year, please email Marinda@MarathonKids.org .
Questions regarding Marathon Kids? Kay@MarathonKids.org
Our Mission: Marathon Kids® is a free, endurance building running/walking, nutrition and schoolyard gardening program for kindergartners through 5th graders. Our mission is to build joyful community around children and be quickly accepted into public, private and home schools as a free, innovative celebratory fitness program, resonating with the child…and with the child’s family. The goal is for the child to develop the love and habit of moving through space and to carry forward the power of muscular, nutritional and psychological well being.