Thanks to a new initiative from UK Run Chat's Joe Williams and Breathe Unity children aged 4 to 11 now have the opportunity to achieve a cumulative half marathon in a supportive, non-competitive environment. The new Schools Half Marathon is designed to be fun, inclusive and ultimately rewarding.
The 2018 Shropshire Schools Half Marathon was a triumph with 900 primary school children completing their challenge at Shrewsbury Half Marathon. This regional success has led to national acclaim with the 2019 initiative open to children from primary schools across the country including Shropshire on 6 April and Telford and Wrekin on 15 June.
Schools sign up for this challenge and encourage children to run a mile a week or two miles for 6 weeks with the aim of completing 12 miles before their chosen event. The school charts their mileage and progress and every child will receive a glow in the dark wristband at mile 6 and a technical T-shirt at mile 12.
The grand finale takes place on race day where children run the final 1.1 miles in front of cheering crowds and soak up the atmosphere the same as adults. They are given numbered bibs to wear, are treated to music and a race commentary and experience a start and finish gantry.
Schools Half Marathon directors Joe Williams and Rebecca Richardson of UK Run Events are keen to get youngsters away from their screens and engaged in physical activities. Or as Joe says: “If we can make an activity fun with an exciting end goal then it’s much more likely to become a long-term habit changer.” This is reinforced by Rebecca who believes in “encouraging a positive attitude towards sport from an early age.”