What is School Marathon?

What are the benefits of School Marathon?

What does School Marathon provide to participant schools and runners?

How do I bring the School Marathon Program to my school?

What schools have held a School Marathon?

What is the cost of the School Marathon Program?

How did School Marathon get started?

What is School Marathon?

A School Marathon is a 26.2 mile group running program for children that takes place each school day over a 6-week period. The 26.2 mile "marathon experience" follows a structured process, pre-determined schedule, and includes Milestone Incentives to keep students motivated along the way.  The School Marathon is a wonderful School/Community event with parents, siblings, teachers, and local neighbors often joining the students each morning to give them support…or just to get a little exercise themselves!



School Marathon program offers kids the ability to achieve an adult-sized goal.  It is really a duplication of a marathon over a longer period of time, at school, kid style.


Participating students experience improved physical condition, increased focus, and better concentration throughout the school day.  Runners also experience a great deal of pride and self-esteem from their accomplishments. The energetic, inclusive, non-competitive, and highly social group dynamic associated with School Marathon leaves children with a positive exercise experience that gives them an Early Start to a Healthy Lifestyle!


The School Marathon Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization.  The Foundation was established to promote lifelong habits for healthy living by educating children on the benefits of staying active. The Foundation recognizes that childhood obesity is a real and growing threat to the well-being of our youngest generation and offers the School Marathon exercise and education program to schools and students around the nation.  The Foundation believes that improving the health of our youth is a critically important initiative and provides a variety of subsequent benefits to the individual, family, and community.


The goal of The School Marathon Foundation is to host 500 School Marathons yearly at elementary schools across the nation and to partner with a corporation to provide the full "marathon experience" including Milestone Incentives with minimal cost to qualified schools.


SchoolMarathon.org is our informational portal.  We regsiter all School Marathons hosted by elementary schools under our Community Network tab.  If you want to learn more about bringing the School Marathon program to a school in your community, please submit a request for more information here or call us at (720) 984-1544.


What are the benefits of School Marathon?

Children who participate in a School Marathon discover the benefits of a positive group dynamic through a daily, disciplined exercise program.  School Marathon promotes a nurturing and non-competitive environment for ALL children.  The School Marathon Foundation's program is especially welcoming to special needs children, and children that might not otherwise choose to participate in extra-curricular sports activities.


School administrators and teachers have high praise for the School Marathon program and report that participants clearly possess more energy, increased focus and concentration throughout the school day.


With the epidemic of childhood obesity in our country today, the School Marathon program promotes daily exercise for kids through Step-by-Step, Mile-by-Mile incremental group runs.  The program provides the pride of accomplishment, confidence, and self-esteem associated with finishing a very challenging physical goal...a real 26.2 mile marathon!


What does School Marathon provide?

When you become part of the School Marathon Community, you help give visibility, validity, and momentum to a growing movement of encouraging healthy and active children! The larger the community of schools who register with and utilize SchoolMarathon.org, the more schools will be motivated to join the effort and inspire school age children to get an Early Start to a Healthy Lifestyle. There is strength in numbers!


Participant schools will receive:


Rights to Use the School Marathon Program
Approved participant schools will receive all School Marathon program details, materials, setup instructions, access to registered Logos, Trademarks, and more.


Milestone Incentives
Milestone Incentives are a key component of delivering the full School Marathon experience and keeping children active and interested in reaching the 26.2-mile finish line!


Race Director Training
The complete How-To Guide on planning and organizing your event. Includes detailed instructions for laying out a School Marathon race course, securing volunteers, logging mileage, and holding a school assembly. Sample schedules are provided and more.


Race Consultation
We want to pass our experience on to you (we made the mistakes so you won't have to!). Dana and Louise will take each Race Director through a detailed planning process and be available for ongoing consultation throughout the entire School Marathon Event.


How do I bring School Marathon to my school?

If you want to learn more about bringing the School Marathon program to a school in your community, you can submit a request for more information here.  Once a school is approved for participation, a key point person will need to serve as the Race Director for the School Marathon event, acting as the liaison between The School Marathon Foundation and the participating school to ensure a successful School Marathon Experience.  Each Race Director will receive training, all materials, and consultation before hosting the event.


What schools have held a School Marathon?

The School Marathon movement is sweeping the nation to give children an Early Start to a Healthy Lifestyle, Step-by-Step, Mile-by-Mile! Our goal is to have 500 participant schools registered. You can view a current list of registered School Marathons here.


What is the cost of the School Marathon Program?

This depends on the number of runners, but funding is usually paid for by grants, community businesses, and donations.  The School Marathon Foundation provides financial support when available, and also consults with schools on how to secure funding.  Any school can easily rally support for this program.  It's success is highly visible, and undeniable within the school community. Individuals and businesses are eager to attach their name to School Marathon events.    




How did School Marathon get started?


School Marathon is the brainchild of Dana Kossow.  Dana envisioned the first School Marathon while accompanying her husband as he ran the Boston Marathon. The day before the actual Boston Marathon, a group of children from a local running club came to the Heartbreak Hill Fun Run to complete a one mile run.   As a marathoner herself Dana understood the hours of work, dedication, and commitment it took to complete a marathon. The results were worth it though; that feeling of pride, accomplishment, and the natural rush of endorphins that fill your body as you train, and as you cross that finish line.


Being a mother of three and an avid community volunteer, especially for programs that benefit the education of children, Dana wanted children in her community to have The Marathon Experience. And so, School Marathon was born.


Dana carefully crafted the ambitious plan for children at her local elementary school to complete a School Marathon. With the support of the administration at Meadowlark Ridge Elementary in Salina, Kansas, Dana was able to develop a School Marathon program that was fulfilling for everyone, including special needs students. Dana along with 10 compassionate volunteers began the fall semester with 330 children registered for the Meadowlark Ridge School Marathon.


Children were soon living The School Marathon Experience. They were experiencing so much more than a physical activity. School Marathon became a metaphor for life. The same skills; goal setting, commitment, hard work, and dedication were being used to navigate not just the marathon, but life. Dana delivered such a positive School Marathon experience, that each year the Marathon had more and more participants including siblings, family members, and individuals from the community. 

Louise Comfort first met Dana while volunteering for one of the original School Marathons at Meadowlark Ridge Elementary. It was the most thrilling school program she had ever volunteered for!  Each morning (in all sorts of weather conditions) Louise watched as nearly 400 kids piled out of their parents cars to log mileage. Each morning Louise was amazed, "I got goose bumps as I witnessed the power of the group and as I realized how much more than just a physical activity School Marathon was".  Wanting more children to have The School Marathon Experience, Louise implemented School Marathon at her own son's school, St. Mary's Grade School in Salina, Kansas.


In 2010 Louise channeled her enthusiasm for School Marathon into creating the design/launch of SchoolMarathon.org and The School Marathon Foundation, so that elementary schools nationwide would have easy access to everything needed to host their own School Marathon.