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Kids Run the OC Expected to Hit Significant Milestone of 10,000 for "Final Mile" Event

KIDS RUN ready to take its program to new heights and locations.

Costa Mesa, CA, February 27, 2017 --( The OC Marathon Foundation has been “Inspiring Kids to Fitness” with their KIDS RUNTM curriculum, a fun and dynamic training program with a 13-year track record of success through the Kids Run the OC presented by Nutrilite. Created to encourage healthier eating habits and battle childhood obesity in kids ages 4 to 13, the program has shown impressive growth each year. By the time the first heat begins at this year’s Kids Run the OC (KROC) “Final Mile” event on Saturday, May 6th, over 10,000 young runners will hit the pavement at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, representing 136 schools from 19 Orange County, CA districts.

In an era when sedentary lifestyles and childhood obesity are on the rise, the directors of the OC Marathon Foundation are grateful the program is expanding its reach. “We’ve lost PE in many of the schools these days,” says Gary Kutscher, long-time OC Marathon race director. “We’re offering something that is fun and engaging and easily accessible.”

“People see the beauty in this program, notice how well it works, and they tell other people,” says Kelsey Beall, KROC Program Director. “The program’s growth has been extraordinary.” The office continues to receive inquiries from new schools eager to adopt the KROC program for numerous reasons.

The KIDS RUNTM program makes fitness available to many kids who might not otherwise have the means or encouragement to get into traditional sports programs. “I chose to start up a new program of Kids Run the OC at my daughter’s school,” says one mom volunteer, “because she had such an amazing time last year at another school. We had some fabulous coaches who really taught her to love running and being more active and having less screen time. I am thrilled to see how many of our 800 students are excited to run.”

Kathy Kane, principal at Meairs Elementary in Garden Grove, which has doubled its participation in five years with the program, says, “It’s just a fabulous experience for everybody.”

The program also fills a void in school physical education programs by offering a curriculum that is both easy to adopt and incorporate by schools, and fun and engaging for the kids. Students at each participating school are led through the popular training program by an OC Marathon certified coach. “From various games and activities to running and nutritional challenges, the KIDS RUNTM program is greater than the sum of its parts,” says Kutscher.

What makes KIDS RUNTM so successful?

Easy to implement: The OC Marathon Foundation’s Plug-n-Play curriculum provides training and program materials for the coaches at each school location. No prior running or coaching experience is necessary to become a certified KIDS RUNTM coach. All that is needed is a committed group of teachers and/or parent volunteers to run the program at any school.

Comprehensive Coaches’ Curriculum: All teacher or parent volunteers become certified KIDS RUNTM coaches by attending a comprehensive coaches’ training and are given an organized, copyrighted Coaches’ Curriculum Box that includes easy-to-follow instructions printed on weekly curriculum cards. Additionally, the KROC Leadership Team, comprised of veteran KIDS RUNTM coaches, serve as mentors and resources for coaches during the program.

Nutritional Challenges: A vital portion of the KROC curriculum are the Nutritional Challenges which not only promote and reinforce a healthy diet, but also help the kids make better food choices and encourage family involvement at home through behavioral modification activities.

Fun Gets Results: During the 10- to 12-week curriculum, the kids accumulate over 25-miles’ worth of conditioning that gets them in shape to run. The “Final Mile” of the children’s “marathon” of exercise is achieved at the Kids Run the OC event held in conjunction with U.S. Bank OC Marathon event weekend. KIDS RUNTM training is not all running. Instead, kids play games including relays, tag and other dynamic and fun activities designed to improve speed, agility, flexibility, and hand/eye coordination -- not to mention confidence.

Life Changing: A father from Robinson Elementary in Trabuco Canyon said his son, prior to KROC, had never been active and always seemed to lag behind. After his second year of KROC, however, he watched his son change. A few years later, “he went on to run his first half marathon,” says his father. “He has since finished 8 half marathons and loves to run.” Now graduated, his son is returning to the same school -- but this time as a coach. “It’s great seeing him transform and live a healthy lifestyle.”

Remarkably, after the completion of the 2017 event, nearly 50,000 kids will have finished their KROC “Final Mile” since the program’s inception. Anyone attending the event will be delighted by the smiles and enthusiasm of the children as they cross the finish line.

For more information or to get involved, please go to or contact or call (949) 222.0456.

About the U.S. Bank OC Marathon: In its 13th year, the U.S. Bank OC Marathon and half marathon welcomes runners from more than 25 countries and all 50 states. The course is considered one of the best destination races on the West Coast. The three-day event, May 5 - 7, 2017, includes the OC Lifestyle and Fitness Expo, the Kids Run the OC, and the Wahoo's OC 5K on Saturday, May 6th at 5:00 p.m. For more information on all events, please visit
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Julie Karges

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