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Young Runners FAQs

Here are the answers to many of the most commonly asked questions about Young Runners:

What is Young Runners?

Young Runners is a New York City school and community-based program that promotes fitness by inspiring kids to be active, work hard, and achieve running distance and time goals they set for themselves. Students who participate in Young Runners enjoy all the benefits of aerobic exercise. As members of a team, they also get to practice their relationship skills and learn what it means to set goals, keep commitments, and support each other in a united effort. 

How does it work?

Through active participation on a running team that practices 2-5 days per week, kids train to run one mile to four miles. Students can earn rewards for participation and individual achievement.

What staff will we need?

To start a Young Runners program, your team will need a coach. If your team has more than 20 students who want to participate, then you may need more than one coach. Your coach doesn’t have to be an expert runner or physical education teacher. The most successful Young Runners coaches are educators with open hearts, a sense of humor, and a dedication to the health of their students. 

How does NYRR support Young Runners teams?

The Young Runners program helps NYC schools/organizations, including those with limited resources, develop meaningful running programs. NYRR provides full support, including training, equipment, and incentive management, as well as a Field Coordinator assigned to your program. The Field Coordinator comes to your site twice a month to provide assistance and support, and can also be contacted by e-mail or phone.

How do I know if my school/organization is eligible for a Young Runners program in NYC?

To be eligible for a Young Runners program in NYC you need to:

• Serve elementary, middle, or high school aged children (grades 3-12)
• Have the support of the principal/director
• Have a dedicated coach (no experience required)
• Plan to enroll a minimum of 10 kids in the program
• Commit to holding practices for a minimum of 8 weeks at least 2 days per week with each practice at least an hour long

How do incentives work in Young Runners?

Young Runners earn patches for reaching certain time and distance goals. In addition, coaches select team incentives in the beginning of the year, like clothing, bags, water bottles, or other gear, that is awarded at the end of each season according to the points that runners have earned for attending practices.

What are Young Runners Events?

For Young Runners, participating in events is one of the most exciting parts of the program. Events build team spirit, give kids something to look forward to, help them experience being part of something bigger than themselves, and give them the chance to put their running to the test.

In the New York City area, numerous races and events are offered each season, including NYRR weekend races, Jamborees, Cross Country Invitational, friendly meets, and other special events. All teams are encouraged to attend at least one Jamboree and one NYRR race each season. NYRR will arrange for buses to take your Young Runners team to the event.

What is included in a Young Runners start-up kit?

• 1 measuring wheel

• 1 clipboard

• 1 stopwatch

• 1 whistle

• 4 batons

• 10 cones

• 1 First Aid kit

• T-shirt Sizing Chart

Youth and Schools