When I approached Helen Russell, co-owner of Metro Run & Walk, about the Runfit Kidz program, I don't think it took her more than a minute to reply - "Sounds great - let's do it." Metro Run & Walk is a premier running store located in Springfield, VA, and their belief in our program has been 100% from the day we met. Metro Run & Walk has supported our program from the start and continue to help put together an amazing 5K each season. We are forever indebted to them for taking that leap of faith with us and helping to launch the program to Springfield and the surrounding communities. Check them out at www.runwalklive.com
I’ve been active in youth fitness on and off for last 20+ years, which includes teaching Physical Education and coaching lacrosse and volleyball. I fell in love with running more than a decade ago and at that time I could barely run a mile – several years later I’ve accomplished 18 marathons including four Boston Marathons and NYC Marathon, numerous races of various distances, and several triathlons including 4 Half Ironman distances and 2 Full Ironman. I have been able to accomplish many of my goals thanks to my passion for running, and now I'm thrilled to be sharing my experience and expertise with a new generation of runners. There is truly nothing I love more than watching kids become stronger and more confident in their running and physical fitness.
I began brainstorming the RunFit Kidz program about 20 years ago when I was earning my teaching credential in elementary and middle school education at San Francisco State University. While studying at SFSU I examined the benefits of children being active as well as the challenges children may face in life and in health when they lead a sedentary lifestyle. This got me thinking about how vital it is to be proactive instead of reactive on teaching healthy living. This information coupled with my passion for running and fitness led me to create something that would resonate with children and get them moving.
RunFit Kidz is designed to teach boys and girls of all fitness levels in grades 2-6 (schools will vary on grades offered so check the desired school for specifics) about proper running mechanics and form, nutrition/hydration, pacing, and goal setting. The 7 or 8-week program includes dynamic warm-ups, strengthening training, speed and pace work, conditioning, and stretching. These skills will be taught through games and activities to help give kids a better grasp of the concepts in a fun and safe setting. Our commitment is for children at all fitness levels to run better, faster, and smarter. The goal is for the students to end the program with increased running knowledge and enhanced love for being active. The program concludes with a 5k run which is held locally in the Springfield/Burke area.