In Brooklyn, three 12-year-olds – Sara Noel, Anayah Fleary and Jessica Kaba – gather for a group run. In Austin, Dora Anne Cooper, 10, carries on a family tradition by beginning a regular running routine. Meanwhile, 10-year-old Maricio Nolasco, also of Austin, has a more tangible goal: to run one mile. This small cross section represents just a fraction of the young runners who have joined Marathon Kids since last August, when Nike announced a two-year partnership with the non-profit organization, which engages kids in a positive, goal-driven running program that challenges them to run the equivalent of up to four marathons (104.8 miles) over the course of a running club season or school year.
Nike supports Marathon Kids participants every step of the way, offering special incentives when they reach marathon milestones and encouragement from store athletes and employees. In just six months, the formula has translated into success, both qualitative and quantitative.
As Jessica explains, “I’m excited about meeting new people and getting out there and trying new skills and strategies. Mostly, I’m excited about getting in there and trying my best to work hard in order to achieve my goals.” Meanwhile, Dora Anne will take inspiration from her family, including her grandmother who won a marathon trophy and still keeps a pace every day. “Every day in the morning, after breakfast, she goes to the park and runs three miles,” Dora Anne, 10, asserts. “That makes me feel like I'm going to actually run as much as I can while I'm in Marathon Kids.”
Marathon Kids endorsements are equally strong from the adult perspective. Chris Dascalos, of the Los Angeles United School District, describes: “As a running coach for Marathon Kids over the past six years, the benefits are always clear and positive.” Elementary PE teacher Laura Borchardt of Lubbock concurs: “I am a huge fan of this program –it works! As an elementary PE teacher, I have the responsibility to start the lifelong love affair with being fit and active. When you add goals with incentives that allow you to have bragging rights, you have the right tools to get children invested in their health.”
For more information on Nike and Marathon Kids visit: http://news.nike.com/news/kids-run-the-world-nike-partners-with-marathon-kids. To learn how to start a running club visit: https://marathonkids.org/sign-up/.
About Nike Community Impact
Nike believes in the power of sport to move the world and unleash human potential. However, the world is moving less and less, and today's generation of children is the least physically active ever. That’s why Nike works to get kids (ages 7-12) active early and for life, because active kids are happier, healthier and more successful. Together with its employees, partners, consumers and athletes, Nike also supports important causes that strengthen communities across the globe. Learn more.