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YOUTH DEVELOPMENT:

Marathon Program Keeps Cleveland Students Running

Marathon logoThe "We Run This City” Youth Marathon program, designed to encourage healthy habits and exercise in Cleveland’s young people, was launched in 2006 with 81 middle-school runners.

It has grown steadily each year since, and in 2010, over 600 Cleveland school students took part, running in the Rite Aid Marathon after months of training.

Many of the students say they would never have gotten involved in the race if not for the program.

Marathon participants in 2010“This program is so much more than just running," says program director Tara Taylor. "It is about the triumph of the human spirit – to do something that you can’t believe you can do but want to do. We hope after the race is over, their race is still being run for years to come.”

A Marathon Program student does not have to be an athlete to become a participant in this program, says Taylor. The goal for each student is completion rather than competition.

In addition, students do not pay to participate. The program is underwritten through contributions from The Medical Mutual Foundation, The Cleveland Foundation, and the St. Luke’s Foundation, and is a collaboration between the YMCA of Greater Cleveland, Steps to a Healthier Cleveland, the Cleveland Metro politan School District and The Rite Aid Marathon.

Facts and Statistics

The Marathon Program is a 14-week program. Teams begin forming in December. For more information, visit the Marathon page web section.