With just eight days to go before the TCS New York City Marathon, kids helped us kick off a week that’s jam-packed with running-related festivities.
On Saturday, the NYRR Youth Jamboree Presented by Tata Consultancy Services welcomed more than 1,800 pre-K through high school students to the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in Washington Heights, where they participated in a variety of events, including 55 to 200-meter races, relays, shot put, and long jump.
As kids sprinted around the track, their coaches helped them connect the event to the 26.2-miler taking place on November 6.
“We have a whole marathon week at school,” said Nathan O’Reilly, the site coordinator for Mighty Milers and Young Runners at PS 452 in Manhattan, who accompanied his second through fifth graders at the Jamboree. “The students are just excited to be out here on this track—the site of the Millrose Games, the same place Olympians run.”
In addition to teaching kids the fundamentals of track and field, events like the Jamboree help foster traits that are important among young athletes—like teamwork.
“I wanted to go fast today, but my friend fell and I went back to help him,” said 9-year-old Matthew, a student at PS 143 in Queens, as he colored a cheer sign for a fellow student.
Following the Jamboree’s morning session for kindergarten through fifth graders, the NYRR Striders—including 101-year-old Ida Keeling, who holds the world record in the 100 meters—stole the show at the Forever Young Invitational Relay.
In the afternoon, middle and high school students took the track and just like the younger athletes, proved to be seriously speedy.
While the stands were packed with parents, teachers, and coaches, a special group stood out in their signature green tank tops. Following their last group run before the TCS New York City Marathon, members of NYRR Team for Kids, a group of adult runners who raise funds to support NYRR's free youth programs and events, made their way to the Armory to cheer on the next generation of runners.
“This is such a big thing we do—seeing where our fundraising goes,” said Christy Emmond, a middle school teacher who will run her second TCS New York City Marathon with TFK next Sunday. “This is what it’s all about!”