Schools Half Marathon has announced an expansion across the UK for this inspiring and potentially life-changing initiative, to encourage primary schools to get their pupils active and work towards an exciting half marathon goal whilst being rewarded for their achievements.
Schools Half Marathon started out as a trial in 2017 and went on to become the Shropshire Primary Schools Challenge in 2018, welcoming over 850 children from 21 schools. It proved such a success that it has quickly grown to become a nationwide Schools Half Marathon, with challenges taking place across the UK over the next year.
Events confirmed for 2019 include Shropshire (6th April), Telford and Wrekin (15th June), Brighton and Hove (22nd June), Stockport (1st July) and West Sussex (14th July).
Initially aimed at primary school children, the Schools Half Marathon gives children aged 4-11 the chance to complete their very own cumulative half marathon in a supportive, non-competitive environment. With a half marathon representing 13.1 miles, the challenge sees young runners complete the first 12 miles at school over the course of a term or half term, before running the final 1.1 miles on a set day in front of family and friends at a large scale running event.
The Schools Half Marathon is a fantastic way for children of all abilities and backgrounds to achieve something as significant as a half marathon and earn their own medal for their efforts. It is very much an inclusive challenge where over a period of time children can develop new, healthy habits to exercise regularly, whilst stepping away from screens and electronic gadgets, gaining confidence and sharing the joy of their sporting achievement with their peers.
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With a dedicated achievement chart to log each mile run, a tracker chart for each classroom to log the miles, a glow in the dark wristband at Mile 6 and a technical t-shirt at Mile 12, there is motivation every step of the way.
The culmination of all the hard work is race day, where children are treated to a full race day experience including race bibs, a marshalled 1.1-mile route, music, commentator and a start and finish line gantry. For many, this is their first, thrilling experience of a big sporting event.
Schools Half Marathon Director Joe Williams commented, “We are delighted to launch the Schools Half Marathon after years delivering the challenge locally in Shropshire. We have received incredible feedback so far and it is very exciting to now extend the challenge to schools nationwide. As a father of three, I am a big believer in getting kids outside and creating downtime from screens and electrical devices – and if we can make an activity fun, with an exciting end goal, then it’s much more likely to become a long-term habit changer. We can’t wait to welcome youngsters from all over the UK to the Schools Half Marathon in 2019.”
Schools Half Marathon Director Rebecca Richardson added, “Joe and I are hugely proud of what we are building here together and with the industry supporting. I firmly believe in the power of sport to enhance people’s lives, and I am passionate about making a difference for future generations by encouraging a positive attitude towards sport from an early age. We encourage teachers, schools, parents, governors, business owners and the sports industry to support Schools Half Marathon and help children across the UK to achieve their own amazing half marathon goal.”
Any school wishing to take part in the Schools Half Marathon can find out more and fill in an Entry Form on the event website www.schoolshalfmarathon.co.uk/event-directory , or get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
The cost to each school is £12 per child, which represents effective spending of their PE and Sports Premium.
Go to www.schoolshalfmarathon.co.uk for further details, like UK Run Events on Facebook and follow @ukrunevents on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest news #SchoolsHalfMarathon
UK Run Events also organises the highly successful On Shrewsbury Half Marathon and The Running Festival at Goodwood.