This "Kid of Steel" is determined and undaunted as he focuses in on the finish at the 2018 Pittsburgh Kids Marathon.
The "Kids of Steel" Run the Pittsburgh Kids Marathon on Saturday
The big day is approaching where school kids in Pittsburgh will complete their journey and fulfill their goal of running the marathon. Not all on one day though. They've been logging in a mile a week for the last 25 weeks and on Saturday they will run the final mile at the Pittsburgh Kids Marathon......on the last mile and through the finish line of the Pittsburgh Marathon course.
What started eleven years ago with just 300 kids has turned into a vibrant program for Pittsburgh area schools. Most are totally into running and other schools have signed on to Kids of Steel to provide an activity for their students. This year 6500 kids participated in the program and the final mile on Saturday will be an exciting experience for them.
Patrice Matamoros the founder, was looking for a way to get kids active and wanted to impact them through running. There was a program at her kids school called "Run for Fun." Patrice took that over and it turned into "Kids of Steel" and a part of the Pittsburgh Marathon. There were just 300 kids the first year and it quickly grew to 1000 in the second year. Patrice said, " What's made it grow is that the same schools and teachers have stayed involved since the beginning They worked together to develop curriculum and training exercises adaptable to all programs during lunch and after school.
For schools that don't have a loop in their playground to calculate mileage, kids can count twenty minutes of activity towards a mile. Say, twenty minutes of playing soccer would equal a mile towards their goal. On race day parents can run along the kids if they'd like to. My guess is most kids will ditch their parents and finish ahead of them. There will be a cool medal waiting for them along with an awesome goody bag.
Some kids run for a cause of their choosing. Patrice said, "One kid had cancer and started a non-profit to raise money to buy video games for other kids with cancer. It has raised $10,000.
Kids of Steel has also reached out to urban schools who didn't have a teacher or a running coach and provided it for them. That has turned into a year 'round program for them.
Rebecca Colangelo is a teacher at South Fayette Elementary School. She says, It's been satisfying to know that many of the kids that started in the program have made running a regular part of their lives. Parents have told her over the years that the program has gotten their entire families involved in running and fitness." "It's also fun seeing the high school track athletes that started out in Kids of Steel."
Another thing that's cool about Kids of Steel is that once they achieve the mile many will jump up to the 5k. One thousand made the leap and seven hundred were under twelve years old last year.
We're looking forward to the success stories and the fun from the finish line.
GOOD LUCK KIDS OF STEEL!
Discover More about the Kids of Steel here:
Race Day Accomplishment!