Kids Run Miami is a privately-funded, county-wide program that invites all middle schools in Miami-Dade County to establish a consistent running program as part of their physical education daily lesson plans. The program’s goal is to offer every child enrolled in Miami-Dade County Middle Schools an opportunity to run their first marathon (26.2 miles), and in doing so, promote a fit and healthy lifestyle while teaching children to create and fulfill goals.
Participating schools and teachers will encourage students to run 25 miles over 15 weeks culminating at the Miami Marathon & Half Marathon (January 28, 2018) on the final 1.2 miles of the marathon course. Students will have the opportunity to run together in a safe setting on the same course used by 24,000 marathoners. Students will begin the program running one mile a week and will gradually increase their running regimen to 2.5 miles per week. Students will be able to gain mileage during PE classes as a daily warm-up routine, through other class activities, or on their free time.
It is the goal of the Kids Run Miami program to involve as many children as possible from start to finish. Recent research by the Center for Disease Control has found that middle school and high school students are those at highest risk of becoming sedentary and overweight, increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. This program aims to help reduce such risks by promoting physical education and active lifestyles through running. Because physical education classes are already part of the regular curriculum, the Kids Run Miami program will complement PE classes without changing class schedules or times.
To promote and create awareness of healthy lifestyles for the children of Miami-Dade County with a focus on health and physical education through voluntary, exciting, goal-oriented running programs that aim to improve their lifestyle. The Kids Run Miami program allows children to participate in a collaborative setting, fostering classroom participation and camaraderie in an attempt to reduce childhood obesity.
The Training Phase
PE teachers from participating schools will include a run as part of physical education class periods per week. The running regimen begins with one mile completed per week and will increase to 2.5 miles. By running multiple times per week, students will complete the required mileage amounting to the 25 miles in 15 weeks, with the final 1.2 miles taking place at the Miami Marathon & Half Marathon. The program also assigns one week to be used for make-up of any runs. This does not include the two weeks of winter vacation which the children have off.
PE teachers are asked to follow simple guidelines in order to keep documented track of the student’s participation. This allows the program coordinator to check progress and ensure that students are fulfilling the necessary distance goals. Teachers will be asked to submit the tracking reports to the program coordinator once the students complete the 25 mile program. The program coordinator will be available year-round to provide guidance and advice.
Only children who complete weekly goals totaling the 25 miles necessary will be issued a race number to take part in the Kids Run Miami Final Mile at the Miami Marathon & Half Marathon on January 28, 2018.
Teachers who participate and get involved will directly influence student participation. The Kids Run Miami program would also like to encourage the teachers to take part in the Miami Marathon & Half Marathon as well as the Tropical 5K. Teachers are entitled to a free entry into any of these events. You may contact Samantha Bailey, the program coordinator, for entry information at 305-278-8668.
Visual encouragement and tools
The Kids Run Miami program will provide the following to all participating schools:
• Program instructions
• Sample finisher medal
• Running logs for each student (2016-17 example)
• Program poster
Monday – Friday
• Provide opportunity to complete the weekly mileage (suggested four days a week)
• Take attendance on provided running logs
• Motivate children to run on their own at home
• Incorporate additional health and fitness tips to complement the program
The Final Mile
On January 28, 2018 at 9 a.m., scheduled buses will pick up the teachers and students from their school and be dropped off at the Final Mile start line. At 11 a.m. the race will begin. Imagine thousands of students wearing their Kids Run Miami T-shirts and race numbers lined up at their very own start line with smiles on their faces as they get ready to run their final 1.2 miles of their marathon. Once each student crosses the finish line, they will be able to show off their finisher medals to the world!
Benefits of involvement
Participating schools are given the opportunity to be recognized for their desire to help promote a worthwhile cause — fitness and physical education. Media exposure for the program and the Miami Marathon reaches the entire globe. There is a minimal level of commitment needed from the schools to make this program a success. Also, all participating schools completing the program will be named in a newspaper advertisement to acknowledge their achievements. During the program, some schools may be asked to host pep rallies and other events to recognize those that are participating.
Life Time Athletic Events created the program with emphasis on helping students stay healthy and feel confident when accomplishing challenging goals. Recent studies show a distinct positive correlation between grades and physical activity. They may have more in common with each other than we may realize. Influencing the physical and mental health of young people in a positive direction is a step toward reshaping the future. The opportunity to help shape our leaders of tomorrow can make a world of change.