Yes, it rained the entire time, and yes, we had to finish early – but oh the smiles!

In celebration of Youth Sport Trust’s National School Sport Week, on Tuesday we hosted our 6th Annual Festival of Running at Edmondscote Athletics Track in Leamington Spa. Giving schools on the Marathon Kids programme a chance to celebrate their running achievements from the last academic year.

It was a typical British summer day, raining heavily and continuously for the entire event, but that didn’t stop 700 children smiling, laughing and running their socks off as they smashed 3,898 laps between them. That’s a staggering 36 marathons….which they ran in just 23 minutes!!!

This year was all about getting the children engaged with different types of physical activity, not just running…


We had a Dance Zone run by the highly energetic Steph from Aspire Sports who got the kids bouncing (teachers and KRF staff also looked to be enjoying this!), and the Wing Chun Zone, hosted by the talented John Kelly. This was incredibly popular and saw the children doing some super cool martial arts moves!

And what a Volunteer Crew! Huge thanks to Nike, Mid Counties Co-op, Tesco Community Champions, Coventry & Warwickshire Year of Wellbeing Advocates, Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action, and our very own trustee, David Ingleson!

Not forgetting the delegates, trustees, and partners who attended. Thank you all for coming and showing your support:

Abi McCartney (Warwick District Council)

Anna Chalkley (Loughborough University)

Cllr. Bill Gifford (Mayor of Leamington Spa)

Jane Coates (Coventry & Warwickshire Year of Wellbeing)

James Olsen (Jamie Carragher “Watch Us Get Fit”)

Joseph Lukwago (Joy for Humanity)

Laura Huizenga (Senior Manager Social Community Impact at Nike)

Lauren Gregory (Run Like A Girl)

Manoj Sonecha (Warwick District Council)

Neesha Memetovic (Coventry & Warwickshire Year of Wellbeing)

Paul Haycock (Trustee)

Sam Payne (Daily Mile Coordinator for Birmingham)

Sean Williams (Jamie Carragher “Watch Us Get Fit”)

Sue Trotman (Association for Physical Education)

And last but not least, special thankyous to our ambassador Adam “Tango” Holland for inspiring so many children to get moving, Matt Gupwell for his ace hosting, Andrew Teverson from The Stage Bus for the quality entertainment, photographer Alexandra Tandy who braved the downpours to do the photoshoot and last but not least, Leamington Asda Community Team for supplying much needed tea, coffee, juice and biscuits!

We have had some very positive feedback from the schools/parents and our favourite comment so far is:

“My little boy is with you today and loves to run, it’s his first ever school trip! Thank you for having him and for encouraging him to run.

I asked him if it would have been better on a lovely sunny day and he said no, it was the rain that made it even more fun and exciting!”

A roundup of the school’s achievements will be coming soon…

The Kids Run Free Team