Children at schools across the West Midlands are being given the opportunity to complete a marathon, thanks to Leamington charity Kids Run Free.
The charity’s founder Martine Verweij has launched the Kids’ Marathon in schools across Warwickshire, Birmingham and Solihull, where children aged seven to 11 can run the 26 mile-distance - regardless of their ability - over the course of the school year.
Martine said: “The aim is to get more children exercising on a regular basis, with the hope that they will sustain the exercise afterwards to keep fit and healthy.”
Those taking part will run as many 200m laps as they want during lunchtimes and after school, collecting a band after every lap and marking their progress on a card.
When each child reaches a half marathon milestone they will receive a certificate to encourage them to continue - and when they reach the end of their marathon, they will be given the opportunity to run the last 800m of the Coombe Abbey Marathon in June 2014 and be rewarded with a medal and t-shirt. The Kids’ Marathon venture has already been running successfully for two weeks at St Mary’s Primary School in Henley-in-Arden.
Martine said: “This is aimed to give children an experience of crossing a finish line and give them a real sense of achievement.”
To help support the charity, children taking part are being encouraged to raise funds through sponsorship - either per lap, per mile or for the whole marathon.
Kids Run Free provides free monthly running races at Newbold Comyn in Leamington and at locations in Coventry, Birmingham, Leicester, Stratford, Nuneaton and Coalville - for toddlers and children aged up to 16. The next event in Leamington is tomorrow (Saturday) at 9am.
To find out more, visit www.kidsrunfree.co.uk