A charity dedicated to inspiring children to become healthier, happier and more confident.

Frequently asked questions – Marathon Kids

Q. What is Marathon Kids?

Marathon Kids is a schools initiative from the charity Kids Run Free. The project aims to give school children the opportunity to complete a marathon or more throughout the course of the school year. The concept is based on personal achievement rather than competition - this encourages all children, regardless of fitness ability to take part by running as much or as little as they choose.

Q. What does it cost?

The implementation of Marathon Kids is FREE with the option to buy the Marathon Kids Starter Kit for £150

Q. What do we get for Free?

  • A Kids Run Free Marathon Maker at your school to set up, inspire and launch the programme
  • Information on how many laps need to be run each week to keep you on track
  • Digital Tracking System - an Excel spreadsheet
  • Marathon Kids certificate to print off

Q. What do we get in our Marathon Kids Starter Kit?

  • Event stakes to mark out the running course
  • Marathon Kids corner flags
  • Race tape 
  • Marathon Kids lap-bands (multi-coloured elastic bands)
  • 200 stickers to reward children as they reach the 10k, half marathon, 30k & full marathon
  • Continued support from the Marathon Kids team at Kids Run Free
  • Teachers guide to running Marathon Kids with useful hint and tips to success
  • The monthly Marathon Kids Newsletter
  • Invitation to a Marathon Kids Festival of Running event

Q. Do you provide certificates and medals?

  • Yes we provide a FREE certificate that you can print off yourself and add in the names/distances run.

  • We also provide a medal which you can buy from us at the end of the programme or after any children have run the full marathon distance or more

Q. Our school only has a concrete playground, can we still take part in Marathon Kids?

Yes, of course. We would prefer children to run on grass as it lessens the impact on their developing bodies, however, we have implemented steps to allow schools without a green space to also be involved. These steps are very simple: 

  • Reducing the total distance a child can run during each session
  • Changing the direction the children run each session
  • You can also purchase the Marathon Kids Playground Starter Kit for £50, this will give you two footprint stencils and a large can or white spraypaint to spray a course around your playground

Q. Our field gets very muddy over the winter months can we change to running on the concrete playground over the winter months?

Yes, this is advised, so that Marathon Kids can continue and children will maintain the motivation to keep running throughout the winter months. The same small changes as outlined in the previous point will also apply. As a part of the set up we will measure out at least two running courses, space allowing, one on the school field and one on the hard playground. 

Q. How do we record the children’s total distance run?

We will provide you with a Digital Tracking System that we will set up for you with all children’s names and the distance of the course/s. The Digital Tracking System is very easy to use and we recommend that once set up older children in years 5 & 6 input the lap’s runs after each week’s event

Q. How long does Marathon Kids run for?

The 2016/17 academic year Marathon Kids will run from September 2016 until Friday 26th May 2017 (Scottish schools August 2016 until Friday 28th May 2017). Schools can launch Marathon Kids at any point between September and Friday 3rd February 2017 but the sooner the launch date the more chance there is for children to achieve running a full marathon or more by the finish date

Q. Do we have to raise money for the charity?

There is no obligation for schools to make Marathon Kids a fundraising opportunity however if you would like to do this we would suggest that you choose 2 or 3 charities. As part of the Marathon Kids project we would require that Kids Run Free would be one of those chosen charities.

Q. How does the Marathon Kids programme fit into OFSTED and the extra curriculum?

The Marathon Kids concept fits with the ethos of 2013’s OFSTED report “Beyond 2012: Outstanding physical education for all”. Furthermore taking part in Marathon Kids can contribute to OFSTED requirements on the effective use of PE and sports funding, outlined in OFSTED’s report “Inspecting primary school PE and school sport: new funding January 2014”.

Teachers can also see the positive impact on children in the classroom as children talk about the distance they have run and the positive feelings of achievement they feel as they reach the various milestones.

Marathon Kids falls into many of the criteria for your Healthy Schools Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.

Children have the opportunity to become leaders and mentors by managing the programme during the lunch breaks and encouraging each other to run the laps needed each week to achieve the overall marathon distance by the end date.

The Digital Recording System can be used in classroom learning for Maths, IT, Geography and Health and Wellbeing.

The program can also be used in line with school projects about inspirational sportsmen/women and positive role models in sport.

Q. What do I do next to set up Marathon Kids at my school?

For more information please download our Marathon Kids Information Pack. If you would like your school to participate in the 2016/17 Marathon Kids programme please download the Marathon Kids Application Form and email to:

All UK schools outside of London - Sharan Dhillon at marathonkids@kidsrunfree.co.uk

All London schools - Catherine O'Carroll at catherine@kidsrunfree.co.uk 

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