Eighty-five students from McAlister Intermediate School were among more than 650 students from 14 schools across Connecticut who recently participated in the HMF FitKids in School final mile event at Rentschler Field. The celebration was the culmination of weeks of training supported by the Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) through the Susie Beris, M.D. Youth Running Program, designed to help inspire a lifelong love of running.
The FitKids in School program is free for participating schools and has served more than 20,000 elementary and middle school students since it began in 2008. Students participated in a six-week training program throughout the fall and completed their final mile run at the October 25 celebration in East Hartford.
Each student was given a race shirt and earned a finisher medal to commemorate their weeks of hard work. After the race they enjoyed fitness activities to celebrate their accomplishments and were provided snacks, compliments of HMF and partners Dunkin’, Lesser Evil Snacks and Bakery on Main.
Through a generous endowment provided by Dr. Susan Beris, a Southbury pediatrician, HMF is able to reach more students and increase inclusion, diversity and opportunities to support the next generation of lifelong runners. In addition to this existing FitKids in School program and HMF FitKids races offered for 2- to 11-year-olds, the following new programs offered this school year will reach more middle and high school students:
Junior Team HMF (grades 6-8): new initiative to expand opportunities for select FitKids in School participants who are nominated or who apply and are accepted based on their application. Team members will be provided a custom race shirt, two free 5K races, volunteer engagement and mentoring, support and recognition opportunities.
HMF High School Program (grades 9-12): new initiative to support high school running programs and coaches in underserved communities with training resources for coaches, race entries for students, and funding to support the purchase of shoes, transportation to events and an annual field trip to inspire a love of running for youth to reap health and wellness benefits in their future.
Learn more about upcoming Hartford Marathon Foundation events and programs at www.HartfordMarathon.com.