Soccer is so 1990s. Apparently running is the new in sport for kids.
” ‘Kids’ runs are taking off,’ says Bart Yasso, a writer and running expert at Runner’s World magazine, who attends races almost every weekend.”
“Yasso says that in recent years many race organizers have added 1-mile ‘fun runs’ to their agendas in an effort to accommodate adult runners who drag their little ones along to events. More proof of the trend: Until recently, the youngest award category at many races was “18 and under,” but now you see that group broken down further by age, says Kathy Dalby, event director for Pacers Running Stores in the D.C. area.”
“The Marine Corps Marathon 1-mile fun run, which took place a week ago in Washington, drew 3,000 children this year, many of whom are the kids of marathoners, says Tami Faram, public relations coordinator for the event.”
The event started 11 years ago with only about 670 kids.
Girls on the Run International, a non profit non-profit that provides schools and communities with the blueprints for a 12-week program that culminates in a 5K race, is popular in many Atlanta schools.
Founded in Charlotte in 1996 with 13 girls the group now has more than 70,000 participants ages 8 to 12 in 3,700 locations.
” ‘Our mission is to educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. So while running is part of the program, it’s just a piece of it,’ says Elizabeth Kunz, president of Girls on the Run International.”
So are your kids picking up the running bug? Is your school encouraging running as a sport or after-school activity? Does your school have a Girls on the Run or similar program at it? How do you feel about running as a tool to help build esteem? How do you feel about it as a solitary sport versus a group sport like soccer?