Triumphant results for the end of the 2016/17 Marathon Kids programme

During the 2016/17 academic year over 20,000 children from 93 UK primary schools took on the Marathon Kids challenge of running a marathon over the course of the academic year. We are proud to announce that the results are in and they are fantastic.

One of the distinguishing features of the Marathon Kids programme is its measurement framework, the Digital Tracking System (DTS), which allows schools and charity Kids Run Free to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of the programme.

The DTS allows schools to measure the overall performance of the school as a whole, as well as separate classes and each individual child’s performance, which in turn allows teachers to better support and incentivise students.

During the 2016/17 academic year the programme saw a 93% participation rate from those students to whom the opportunity was offered, with equal participation from both girls and boys proving the inclusiveness of the programme.  Children have collectively run an impressive 215,692.5km, the equivalent of 5,111 Marathons or 5.4 times around the world. This represents an average of 19.17km per child. Furthermore, 58% of students have run 10km or more, 33% ran a half marathon or more, 22% ran 30km or more and 15% completed a Marathon or more.

Martine Verweij, Kids Run Free founding CEO, said: “Since the pilot of Marathon Kids in 2013 we at Kids Run Free have strived to evaluate the impact on children’s participation in regular physical activity in order to improve the programme. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that, four years on, we look at this year’s results and see the positive influence our programme is having on inspiring children to participate on a regular basis. We are also excited to launch our new and improved programme for the 2017/18 academic year with the increased challenge of running, or walking, up to four marathons. With our new support tools and improved DTS we can only expect that next year’s results will be even more positive.”

For the current academic year, over 120 primary schools have already accepted the Marathon Kids challenge and we welcome all UK schools to take advantage of this fully supported and free programme.  Register now and start running straight away. To learn more and to register please go to