JUST RUN Youth Fitness Program Celebrates Success

Photo: Running USA.org

Photo: Running USA.org

More children than ever before are participating.

From: Running USA.org

CARMEL, Calif. – (June 9, 2011) – A record number of children, schools, good deeds and miles were logged in the JUST RUN youth fitness program for the 2010-11 school year. The seven-year-old program, administered by the Big Sur International Marathon, continues to grow in size and stature. Numbers achieved at the school year end surpassed all preceding years.

Nearly 7,500 children, ages 5-12, participated in the schools-based running and fitness program. Collectively they logged an impressive 306,000 miles through their JUST RUN sessions at school, at home, and even at local races. This number surpassed last year’s total of 200,238 by more than 100,000 miles.

This year, 93 schools and youth groups representing 14 states and Canada, participated in JUST RUN. In addition to recording mileage, the students tracked “Just Deeds” or acts of good citizenship. The number of good deeds listed was 23,217, up from 14,213 recorded last year.

“It’s about the kids learning that exercise, healthy eating and running can be fun, and easily incorporated into their daily lives,” said Susan Love, program administrator of the Big Sur Marathon’s JUST RUN program.

Mike Dove, program developer added, “We also encourage them to respect each other and help their friends and family members by performing good deeds. Our group of kids this year excelled at both running mileage and good citizenship. We’re very proud of them.”

Of the 93 schools and groups, which include during school, afterschool and park & recreation programs, 41 were located in Monterey County where JUST RUN was initiated. Runners in Monterey County schools have the opportunity to participate in two annual ‘goal runs’ organized by the Big Sur International Marathon. The recent JUST RUN! Just Kids 3K race, held in late April, drew more than 3,000 participants.

In March, 2011, the collective total of miles run surpassed the one million mile mark. By year’s end, 28 classes received certificates for running 3,200 miles across the USA which is tracked on an interactive map on the program’s website, www.justrun.org.

The web-based program enables teachers and leaders to implement JUST RUN in any locale. Students are logged into the system so that miles and good deeds can be tracked. Instructional videos, downloadable forms, running drill suggestions, nutrition items and more are readily available on the website. A Leader Manual was written last year to assist program leaders while working with their kids in the field.

JUST RUN is among the top youth running programs in the country. Since its inception in 2004, it has won numerous awards including the Governor’s Council on Physical Activity and Sport, and Running USA’s Youth Running Program of the Year. Earlier this year, JUST RUN was endorsed by two national fitness organizations: the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

Program administrator Susan Love was also featured on the May cover of Spry Magazine, a national monthly publication which features inspiring stories of real people to help motivate the audience to make healthy changes in their lives.

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