Road Runners Club of America

We Run the Nation: Growing the Sport of Running Since 1958

RUN@School Day Planning Kit

RUN@School Day is the perfect time to launch a school running club that meets before, during, or after school hours, or to hold a school-wide event to promote the sport. Here you will find everything you need to plan, promote, and host a RUN@School Day event in your community.

Planning Your RUN@School Day Event

  • Work with a local school(s) to gain support from teachers and administration to host a RUN@School Day event. Download the 2016 RUN@School Day Fact Sheet to share with school officials.
  • Determine if you will host your event before school, during ​recess, at the end of the school day, or during all three times.​
  • Follow the RRCA Guidelines for Safe Events or RRCA Guidelines for Leading a Group Run.
  • Plan running activities and/or a running route for your RUN@School Day participants. Choose a central location where everyone can meet up at the specified start time. Running activities could include Capture the Flag, Red Rover, relays, and other games on the track or playing field, while a running route should be approximately 1-3 miles in distance to allow children to run or walk for at least 30 minutes. The route can be an out-and-back from a central starting point or a looped course​; use a mapping tool such as USATF’s America’s Running Routes to help you determine your route. The course should be pedestrian friendly and traverse sidewalks, paths, and trails whenever possible.
  • Create a ​system to track the number of students participating in your RUN@School Day ​event. Be sure you have all event participants' parents or guardians sign a waiver.
  • Engage volunteers to help organize the start and finish area(s) of the event. Have a run leader, a mid-pack course marshal, and an end of the pack “sweeper” to ensure your participants are supported during the run/walk.

Promoting Your RUN@School Day Event

  • With permission from your school, send an email to parents, teachers, and staff about your event.
  • Order FREE copies of the RRCA RUN@School Day poster to hang around your school(s) or in our community centers to help promote your event.
  • Work with a local sponsor or your PTA to provide incentives for your participants. Consider purchasing copies of the RRCA's Running Guide for Kids to distribute to finishers. Download the royalty-free RUN@School Day logo for printing on custom promotional items like t-shirts, water bottles, etc.
  • Plan and publicize your route before the event. We recommend keeping your RUN@School Day event on school grounds as much as possible. If you need to leave school grounds, check with the school about special permission form requirements. Be sure to remind participants that your event will be a fun run or walk and that all participants should follow the rules.
  • Call into a local radio or TV station to give them information about your involvement in National RUN@School Day and discuss the local event you are hosting. Talk about healthy lifestyle choices for kids of all ages, including the importance of getting 60 minutes of exercise every day.
  • Work with other get-active partners in your community such as your local YMCA, Parks & Recreation Department, etc. to assist with and to promote your event.
  • Post updates and photos and interact with your peers on the Kids Run the Nation Facebook page.

RUN@School Day Follow-up

  • Be sure to thank your RUN@School Day participants for running or walking.  Encourage them to continue running or walking for 30 to 60 minutes every day.
  • Share information with participants about your school's running clubs or local events and how they can get involved.
  • Start planning your RUN@School Day event for next year!

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