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Marathon Kids and Austin ISD Launch Partnership for Physical Activity

Elementary school students set goal to run four marathons this year

Marathon Kids and AISD will be celebrating and kicking off a game-changing partnership to take youth exercise in Austin to the next level.

Over the course of the year, all AISD elementary school students will be encouraged to run or walk the equivalent of four marathons, or 104.8 miles, during the first 10 minutes of Working out for Wellness time.

Homeroom teachers administer WOW time every day in 20-minute increments to achieve the 135 minutes of physical exercise mandated by the state. Marathon Kids will track the students’ progress through this research-based program.

What: Paul Cruz, AISD superintendent; Edmund Oropez, AISD chief of teaching and learning; Michele Rusnak, AISD health and physical education supervisor; Leal Anderson, AISD athletic director; Christine Pollei, Marathon Kids executive director; and AISD board members will run a ceremonial first lap with Ortega fourth- and fifth-graders.

When: 9–9:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 18

Where: Ortega Elementary School, 1135 Garland Ave.

Background: Physical inactivity among youth has created a nationwide pandemic, with youth obesity rates tripling since the 1980s. For 20 years, Marathon Kids has introduced youth in Austin to the joy of physical activity in a simple, fun and effective program. The program forges a lifelong commitment to exercise during the most formative years in a child’s life, one mile at a time.

Marathon Kids also recently announced a partnership with Nike, who will help take the nonprofit into 19 new cities in the coming year throughout the U.S. and Canada. For each marathon completed, AISD students and all other participants will receive exclusive Nike rewards provided by Marathon Kids.


About Marathon Kids

Marathon Kids is a national non-profit organization offering an evidence-based, scalable physical activity program for schools, community-based organizations and families through North America and beyond. It is dedicated to improving the health of children by providing them the tools, motivation and support to live happier, healthier lifestyles. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter at @MarathonKids.