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


Marathon Kids How It Works

Marathon Kids for the 2016/17 academic year, will run from September 2016 and finish on Friday 26th May 2017. (August 2016 to April 28th 2017 for Scottish Schools)

Once you have decided that you would like Marathon Kids to start at your school we will agree a launch date with you. Prior to this launch date, it is the school’s responsibility to inform parents and guardians of the project (they will also need to ensure children bring suitable shoes to run in).

On the launch date one of our 'Marathon Makers' we will come to your school and deliver an assembly to introduce the concept to the pupils and teachers. During the morning they will measure out and set up the course/s and introduce you to the Digital Recording System - an Excel spreadsheet which is used to record each pupils distance and further data.

At lunchtime Marathon Kids begins, pupils run laps of the course; at the end of each lap they collect a lap band (elastic band). At the end of the session each pupil’s lap bands are counted and recorded onto the Digital Recording System which then calculates the distance run.

When pupils reach the 10k, half marathon, 30k and marathon milestones they will receive a Marathon Kids sticker from your Marathon Kids Starter Kit. 

At the end of the programme, you can choose to buy the Marathon Kids certificates and Marathon Finisher medals.

You will also be invited to attend a Kids Run Free Festival of Running event in June, these are fantastic events where we celebrate the children's efforts and give out awards to the top performing schools.

Marathon Kids Starter Kit

  • Event stakes to mark out the course
  • Marathon Kids corner flags 
  • Lap bands - coloured elastic bands
  • Marathon Kids reward stickers 10k, half marathon, 30k & marathon

Supervision and motivation:

As a participating school, you will need to agree to provide adult supervision for pupils whilst they are running Marathon Kids. There will need to be a minimum of 2 people at each session to hand out lap bands, note down how many bands each child has and input the data into the Digital Recording System. We suggest that some of these tasks be done by the Marathon Ambassadors, year 5/6 children. Please motivate the kids to participate and to keep running their marathons and be aware of their progress.

Fill in the Digital Recording System:

We ask you to fill in the Digital recording System each week with the number of laps run by each child. We are currently developing a central hub that will allow Kids Run Free to access your spreadsheet without you needing to email it to us, this will allow us to see how you are doing over the year and if there is any further support we can offer you during the programme. The laps run is one of the most important pieces of information to us as it allows us to see each child's/schools progress but also allows us to use that data for future funding and partnership applications; we will never share names of children.


We are currently working with Loughborough University who are delivering a research programme into the implementation and sustainability of the Marathon Kids programme. You will be asked to indicate on the application form if you are happy to be contacted by the researchers with regards to being involved in this important body of work.


It is not compulsory for pupils partaking in Marathon Kids to get sponsorship however we would encourage children to be sponsored per mile. We suggest that the school chooses two or three charities to split the sponsorship collection between. As part of the Marathon Kids project, we would require that Kids Run Free would be one of the chosen charities.


“For minimum cost, we’ve got a huge number of children doing extra regular exercise. Little effort for a large impact - it looks great on our Sports Premium report.”

Mr Ledgard - Head of Kingsway Primary school

“Children who are not normally enthused by PE have been really keen to run and take part.”

Mr Hawkins - St Paul’s Church of England Primary School

“KM has definitely inspired more children to take up running – it has really helped to increase the stamina of many children.”

Miss Brown - Knightlow Primary School



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