The Chicago Runners program is designed to instill the daily habit of running and physical activity during the school day for elementary school students. Each student runs or participates in moderate to vigorous physical activity during recess, PE class, or with their classroom teacher for a minimum of 15 minutes a day, three to five times a week. Students earn incentives (i.e. water bottle, notebook, jump rope) as they achieve certain mileage milestones on the virtual marathon website, myChicagoRun.org. The website provides a digital learning medium for students and teachers to track their mileage goal and build community pride by virtually running through different Chicago communities, unlocking historical landmarks and nutrition facts along the way. All participants are invited to two Fun Run events during the school year where thousands of students, families, and school staff gather to celebrate running!
Chicago Runners supports schools by incorporating physical activity into different areas of their day. Not only are we helping to provide teachers and students with more opportunities for physical activity, we’re also making exercise FUN! Runners get active in multiple ways. Some schools have running courses or paths that students take advantage of in good weather. Although, due to either bad weather, lack of space, or safety concerns, some students don't have the opportunity to run outside. In these cases, students take advantage of our Indoor Fitness Videos to stay active. 10-minute, indoor-specific exercise routines allow schools with limited space the chance to continue offering physical activity options to students during the school day. Mileage/exercise time is tracked on our interactive database (mychicagorun.org) so that students know just how far they've come over the course of the year.
Goal setting is a critical component of the Chicago Runners program. Whether it is 26.2, 52.4, or 100 miles, all of our students are striving to reach a finish line. No matter what their goal is, all Runners can track their progress towards reaching their goal on our interactive database, mychicagorun.org. Along their journey, Runners are rewarded with incentives as they reach specific mileage benchmarks.
The Chicago Runners program utilizes myChicagoRun.org to track student mileage throughout the year and promote digital learning among its students. School staff record and input student mileage and all students are equipped with a username and password to use to access the site. Whether at home or in the classroom, students can actively track their mileage goal, earn awards, and explore the city of Chicago along a virtual running course. One mile at a time, students discover nutrition facts and unlock historical landmarks throughout Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. This helps instill a pride for one’s community and all of their Chicago neighbors. A corresponding Family component invites a student’s guardian to join Chicago Run and set their own running goals while also being able to track and monitor their student’s progress throughout the school year.
The Chicago Run Fall and Spring Fun Runs are opportunities for students to share their running experiences with their families, but also a chance for our diverse communities to unite and celebrate as one. Our Chicago Run Family Page allows parents and family members the ability to bring Chicago Run into the home and participate alongside their child. Participation and assistance with school-based Wellness Teams and initiatives are just a few other ways that Chicago Run is helping to build active and healthy communities.