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 PE class or with their classroom teacher for 10-15 minutes per 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 children 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! Chicago Runners participants 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, Chicago Run provides in-class exercise options. For example, teachers and students can take advantage of our Indoor Fitness Videos to stay active or they are lead by a visiting Chicago Run coach. Chicago Run provides unique, 10-minute, indoor-specific exercise routines that 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 10, 26.2, or 100 miles, all of our students are striving to reach a finish line. No matter what their goal is, all participants can track their progress towards reaching their goal on our interactive database, mychicagorun.org. Along their journey, participants 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 have access to the site. Whether at home or in the classroom, students can actively track their mileage goal, earn prizes, 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 not only provide opportunities for students to share their running experiences with their families, but also offer a chance for our diverse communities to unite and celebrate as one. Our Chicago Run Family Fit Kit 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.