Project information

Marathon Kids

When children are young they naturally love to run, play sport and be active. Kids’ Marathon inspires youngsters to run the distance of a marathon over a school year; instilling good exercise habits at an early age and raising fitness and confidence levels.

December 2016 - June 2019

Charity information: Kids Run Free Ltd

Kids Run Free Ltd logo
  • Need


    Globally, 1 in 4 adults is not active enough and 80% of the world’s adolescent population is insufficiently active. In the UK, around 27% of children are overweight and 66% of children will be obese or overweight within 20 years, unless action is taken now.
    Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of developing serious disease as well as mental health and musculoskeletal conditions so early introduction and commitment to regular exercise is essential for a healthy, active life.


    The Kids’ Marathon program aims to combat growing obesity and inactivity levels through promoting healthier lifestyles and encouraging sustained physical activity. The initiative introduces running to children in Primary Schools in a fun, safe and encouraging environment, inspiring the next generation of active adults and building exercise habits from an early age, that will last a lifetime.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    1. Implement the Kids’ Marathon program across 30 primary schools in the UK


    » The charity will formalise partnerships with schools who have shown interest in taking part in the project and recruit additional sites as required.

    What success will look like

    Applications will be received from each site taking part plus data will be received from each school indicating the performance of each pupil.

    Aim 2

    Create a ‘festival of running’ event for the children to celebrate completion of the project.


    » Planning for the end of year celebration will start at least 10 months in advance with schools being informed at the start of the project.

    What success will look like

    An event plan will be created and implemented with records taken on the day of attendance and individual performance of each school. The attendance goal will be 150.

    Aim 3

    Inspire and motivate participating children to run the distance of a marathon over the school year


    » Schools will motivate the children to regularly run so that they can achieve the target. Certificates and prizes will be awarded.

    What success will look like

    Schools will be monitored throughout the program to see how many marathons have been run and the percentage of the school who took part (target over 90%).

    Aim 4

    Recruit and train older children in the school to support the participants


    » Each school will be instructed to provide at least five older children to support the project and training will be given before the start date.

    What success will look like

    At least 5 older children from each school will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of Kids' Marathon. The team will be monitored at the time of the launch/training.

  • Impact


    Kids’ Marathon has been designed to have a long term impact on those taking part. By encouraging the children to perform daily/weekly exercise over a school year, they will not only become fitter but will develop the habit of regularly exercising.
    Success will be measured by an 80% participation rate in each school with at least 90% of children achieving at least a 10km distance and 30 schools taking part in the whole project.


    The risks of this program include poor weather and lack of staff to oversee the initiative in schools. Kids Run Free has dealt with these risks by offering advice on appropriate surfaces to run on in the event of wet weather (grass versus playground) and providing training for the schools on how they can best support the children to achieve their goals.


    Donors can receive regular updates on the progress of the Kids’ Marathon initiative.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £39,232

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £24,500 Program Support Staff costs, travel,IT, materials
      £5,000 Festival of running event banners, track hire, t-shirts, refreshments, stands
      £4,732 Equipment prizes, course set up, monitoring
      £5,000 Evaluations Data collection fom participating children
  • Background


    Kids Run Free has received an unprecedented number of enquiries across the UK from teachers and parents who are keen to launch Kids’ Marathon in the following areas: Leicestershire, Northampton, Ipswich, Kent, London, Oxford, Worcestershire, Stirling, Inverness, Flintshire and Cardiff.
    Over the next few years, Kids Run Free hopes to grow Kids’ Marathon considerably across the UK and has particular interest in establishing projects in line with demand and need.


    Primary aged children across the UK will benefit directly from taking part in Kids’ Marathon but the project also has far reaching benefits for the friends and families of the participants who will become more active as they support the participant to achieve their goal of running a marathon.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Kids Run Free is a charity that is based in the Midlands (Leamington Spa) so is well placed to serve the whole of the UK. It also has experience of working with children through their previous project: Kids Run Free (Parks). This experience has enabled the charity to be able to focus on how to inspire, motivate and encourage long term participation among school aged children. Along with skilled staff, this makes it an ideal charity to oversee the launch of Kids' Marathon across the UK

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Martine Verweij

    CEO and Founder of the charity: Martine is also a triathlete and mum of two. She will oversee the implementation of the Project.

    Samantha Young

    Sam will be the Project Manager responsible for the day to day running of the project. She is an experienced event manager and administrator.

    Julia Travis

    Julia is the office administrator who will be on hand for admin support for the project where needed.