Final Mile celebration caps Kid’s Marathon program (SLIDESHOW)
Seven hundred and twenty seven runners from across Trumbull’s six elementary schools participated in this year’s Kid’s Marathon, which was held May 22.
Rod Dixon, a 1972 New Zealand Olympic Medalist and a 1983 New York City Marathon winner, developed the program that encourages health and fitness in young children through setting and achieving big goals in life.
The program has children running either at home or at recess, ranging from a half-mile to one mile, per day, four days a week over the course of ten weeks.
Trumbull students begin their program in mid-March and work hard to achieve the goal of 25 miles before the big Final Mile celebration in May where they ran the last mile of their journey together, completing 26 miles and officially becoming Kid’s Marathoners.
Daniels Farm PTA member Cathleen Kosak first brought the Kid’s Marathon program to Trumbull in 2014 and 100 students completed their Final Mile at the nearby Danbury event.
Kosak encouraged the other Trumbull schools to initiate the Kid’s Marathon program last year, which resulted in the town’s first Final Mile event held at Trumbull High School in May 2015.
For a first year event, attendance was strong with five out of six school participating and 500 young runners turning out.
Furthermore, the young program drew support from Dixon’s Kid’s Marathon Foundation, Connecticut Association of Schools, Trumbull PTSA Council and Trumbull High School Athletic Director Mike King.
In its second year, Kid’s Marathon grew exponentially with all six schools picking up the program and attending the May 22 Final Mile celebration, despite threatening weather.
On the field with the 700-plus young runners, were fans sporting school colors and balloons and banners to celebrate the achievement.
Runners began the day awaiting the National Anthem, Parade of Schools similar to that of the Parade of Nations at the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics, and participated in warm up gathered in huge circle of runners around the entire THS track lead by THS Girl’s Track Team. Students took off with their individual school around the track and continued out onto the THS/Hillcrest fields and returned to cheering fans and finished their last lap on the track. Afterwards, those who participated earned their a shirt and a medal, which is a replica of Dixon’s Olympi onec.
In addition to parents and supporters, First Selectman Tim Herbst ran with the kids and Bridgeport Sound Tiger Mascot “STORM” gave out high fives at the start and the finish.
Schools brought their own mascots, including tigers, lions, dolphins.
Perhaps notable was having the honor to be celebrated by Dixon, the program’s creator, who was in attendance signing autographs and taking photos after the finish.
Mr. Whitmoyer and his 6th grade band from Hillcrest Middle School performed the National Anthem as well as during the Parade of Schools.
THS Girl's Track Team Coach Jim McCaffrey helped organize team members to volunteer their time and lead the kids through warm ups and out on the course of the mile run.
PTA Volunteers, Mrs. Fran Basbagill and Mrs. Veronica Lenzen, DFS Father’s Club, as well as THS Facility Director, Dan Neuman were instrumental in helping the event run smoothly.
Trumbull Food Pantry benefited from a generous collection that runners and their families delivered after the race. The haul included five large shopping carts full of goods for Trumbull neighbors in need.
- Frenchtown: 54 runners; Teachers Mrs. Mary Makoski and Mrs. Christine Joyce
- Booth Hill: 110 runners; PTA Parent Mrs Rachel Branyan
- Middlebrook: 82 runners; PTA Parent Mrs. Kathleen LeClerc
- Tashua: 106 runners; PTA Parents Mrs. Christie McKenzie and Mrs. Mari Jackson
- Jane Ryan: 145 runners; PTA Parents Mrs. Patty Roth, Mrs. Donna Racicot, Mrs. Angela McDermott, Mrs. Karen D’Elia
- Daniels Farm: 230 runners; PTA Parents Mrs. Fran Basbagill, Mrs. Carrie Hall, Mrs. Chrissy Hawthorne, Mrs. Erica Baron, Mrs. Christine Wadhams, Mrs. Cathleen Kosak