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We are proud of the nearly 200 kids who participated in last month's We Run This City program. The We Run This City (WRTC) Youth Marathon Program is a collaboration between the YMCA of Greater Cleveland, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Cleveland Marathon. Its objective is to increase the physical activity levels of 6th-grade through high-school student runners while instilling a sense of accomplishment in pursuing a challenging goal.

WRTC encourages healthy habits and exercise in Cleveland's young people. We strive to teach young people to set and achieve goals, increasing their self-confidence, fitness and endurance. Crossing the finish line is just the beginning!

Individual teams are formed at schools. The teams are led by teachers and volunteer coaches and assisted by YMCA staff. WRTC offers the students a training schedule (which includes a nutrition component) that allows them to cover the distances necessary to be prepared to run in the Cleveland Marathon. The students do not have to be athletes to participate in the program.

The goal for each student is completion rather than competition.

We thank our WRTC funder the Three Arches Foundation. Thanks to the support of funders and volunteers, WRTC has engaged more than 7,500 of Cleveland's middle and high school students in running and training to improve physical fitness, build self-esteem, promote self-empowerment, and support success in school and future pursuits.

We Run This City