Marathon Kids

Marathon Kids is an exciting programme that gives primary school children the opportunity to run or walk the distance of up to four marathons throughout the school year.


Children's charity Kids Run Free has been providing FREE, fun and sustainable running opportunities for kids across the UK since 2010. They began their schools running programme in 2013, with the Marathon Kids programme being launched in 2016. Marathon Kids’ programming has been proven effective, even transformational, through world-class research, which is evident in their framework pillars of Goal Setting, Group Tracking, Social Support, Role-Modelling, Celebrating, and Rewarding.


Because sometimes, when you think you’ve gone as far as you can go, you can go a little bit farther. Marathon Kids has determined that an average kid can safely and effectively meet the goal of accumulating 168.8 kilometres, incrementally, over the course of the academic year. All distance goal recommendations are based on the fact that most kids can run, or walk, at least one kilometre every 20 minutes.


Research shows positive reinforcement around physical activity helps kids create lifelong healthy habits. Because of this, Marathon Kids takes rewards seriously, and so should you. All children should understand that rewards are earned only when they reach their mileage goals. This teaches kids about the importance of goal setting. Certificates are free and generated via the online tracking system. There are many other Marathon Kids rewards, purchasable from the Marathon Kids shop, check them out on


Goals help kids develop self-reliance and determination. They teach kids to think past the immediate future, and strive for something greater than they ever thought possible. Before running starts, kids will receive their Kilometre Logs to self-track their progress. Using these logs kids set their long-term goal (168.8km), as well as shorter goals throughout the year. These goals are key to long-term behaviour adoption.


At the heart of the Marathon Kids programme is tracking. Accurate tracking lets the Marathon Champion know when to hand out rewards and inspire runners to keep going. Kids Run Free gives each participating school a Digital Tracking System, a secure computer program, that calculates the distance run each session into marathons. Your child will also receive a Kilometre Log for each marathon to self-track their progress, and keep them motivated.