Getting kids up and active is the heart behind the brand-new running club, called the Arrow Runners, at Lovett Elementary School.
Teachers Abby Smith, Ashley Hall, and Amanda Pennington have brought Marathon Kids, a nationwide running program specifically geared towards kids, to Clinton.
Smith, Hall, and Pennington came together after receiving a district wide email about an opportunity to apply for a grant from Marathon Kids. Knowing this was a fantastic opportunity for Lovett since there are not any fitness clubs available, the teachers knew they should take advantage.
The Marathon Kids Program is a Nike affiliated, nationwide program that provides guidance for coaches and sponsors of clubs through training exercises, manuals, progress tracking for students and incentives to reach certain mile markers. For students participating in the Arrow Runners, meetings will begin with a series of stretches and then, of course, running.
Participants will set goals for themselves and work to reach those goals by running a couple of miles each practice. Their sponsors will be running alongside them, but if they aren’t running, “…we will be on the side cheering them on,” said Smith.
When students reach their running goal, Marathon Kids and Nike will provide a reward and certificate of achievement and the student will be recognized at school for their accomplishment.
“We hope they will enjoy running together and pushing their limits,” said Hall. Running is important and something that all three of the Arrow Runners sponsors are passionate about. Their hope for the participating students is through the process of setting goals and working to achieve and potentially even pass those goals, students will build up self-esteem and confidence, grow in character, and learn to enjoy the camaraderie that being a part of a team cheering each other on affords.
Having experience with the feeling of accomplishment that comes with training to run long distance races and achieving their goals, Smith, Hall, and Pennington hope their students will soon feel that sense of achievement as well.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Hall, “you suddenly feel like all those long training miles weren’t so bad after all…all the hard work you put in got you to your goal and no one can take that away from you.”
With this opportunity to essentially be a part of a team, and cultivate a love of running early on, Hall, Smith, and Pennington hope that the students who participate in the club at Lovett will go on to continue running throughout their school careers, eventually going on to join the junior high club and high school teams.
“We hope this creates a bridge from Lovett to the cross country and track clubs beyond, we’d love for this to be a stepping stone that allows kids to cultivate a love and passion for running,” said Hall.
For more information about the Arrow Runners please email any of the sponsors at
Click here for more information about Marathon Kids: https://marathonkids.org/.