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NYRR Youth Running Continues to Expand in 2014-15

More than 200,000 kids—including 120,000 from the five boroughs of NYC—enjoy free NYRR youth running programs, highlighted by school-based programs like Mighty Milers and Young Runners. Many others participate in our weekly races or have run our new Youth Running Series this year.
As the 2014-15 school year winds down, we celebrate all of our youth running programs and the kids we’ve been privileged to serve, and we look ahead to a summer and fall when even more kids will Run for Life.

NYRR Youth Running Series

This program, featuring kid-friendly distances for youth ages 7-18, began last fall with five cross-country races in the Bronx and Staten Island. It continued with five indoor winter track meets in partnership with the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory. In the spring, four of our road races featured YRS races for kids, and everyone had some serious fun trying out new distances and venues. The series will continue as we head into the summer and fall.

Developing Our Programs

Kids were an integral part of our annual National Running Day celebration, held on June 3, when they joined adults in fun runs across the five boroughs. More than 1,700 kids from 58 NYC schools participated in our Mighty Milers Fun Run at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. This year alone, our Mighty Milers ran more than 5.3 million miles, the most ever, throughout the school year.

Fun initiatives like Miles for Books and video challenges give children in NYC and beyond a push to start running and keep at it. These programs encourage the kids to meet their mile challenges to earn kudos and rewards for their schools.

This summer our High School Cross Country program will continue, and we’re planning to double the size of our Run for the Future program for high school senior girls from the five boroughs. We’ll also be supporting 15 to 20 local day camps with multi-day track and field sessions for the NYC Parks department, the New York City Mission Society, and the Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation. The kids won’t be slowing down as the school year ends!

In the Words of the Kids

"I like doing Mighty Milers at my school because you get to have fun with your friends. You can get moving instead of sitting at home and playing video games."
-Andrew, 10
“My favorite thing about running is that it keeps you healthy. Now when I want to jog with someone I have enough energy, and I know what I need to do to pace myself.”
Amari, 9
“I can run faster now, and I feel better about myself.”
—Violet, 10

“Running helps in the classroom because you get all of your exercise, and then you can focus on your paper or your education.”
-Mariciana, 9

“Running gets my heart rate going, and it gets me enthusiastic about exercise in general. I get to be with my friends and have fun while I’m getting healthier.”
—Aidan, 10
“I go at my own pace and get to be free. We have Mighty Milers in gym class, and our teacher pushed us, so now I have better speed and endurance.”
Fiona, 9

School-year Stats

We’ll continue to help kids adopt an active lifestyle and learn healthy habits that will last a lifetime—that’s a priority for us this year and every year. Stay tuned to our site for the full report of the 2014-15 school-year accomplishments. In the meantime, check out the 2013-14 report.

Here are some 2014-15 year-end stats to give you an idea of everything that's been accomplished. More details to come this summer!

  • Mighty Milers, the largest free running program in the U.S., logged over five million miles this school year.
  • Mighty Milers kids earned nearly half a million prizes this school year by recording their miles; our incentives program really made a difference!
  • In March, 245 Mighty Milers schools earned a combined $26,150 to purchase new books, helping kids in the classroom as well as on the track. 
  • Young Runners programs were in 102 locations this school year, and 3,302 kids participated.
  • Young Runners kids earned 13,920 incentive awards this school year by attending practice and meeting running milestons, among other noteworthy achievements.

Youth and Schools