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Kids Run the Nation Program®

In 1986, in response to the growing national concern for children’s health status in the United States, the RRCA launched its children’s running program.  These materials were sought after resources for over two decades with the RRCA circulating thousands of copies of the materials.  In 2008, the RRCA introduced the revised kids’ running materials, now known as the RRCA: Kids Run the Nation Program®.

The Kids Run the Nation Program is a gender inclusive, multi-week, turnkey, youth running program designed to meet the physical activity goals outlined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for children in grades kindergarten through sixth grade.  The program can also be modified to better serve older grades. Through this program, the RRCA’s vision is to help establish locally managed, youth running programs in every grade school in America. 

Launch your program on National RUN@School Day Learn more about RUN@School Day.

How the program works:

  • Order your copy of the Kids Run the Nation Program Guide today!  The Guide contains detailed information about organizing a youth running program.
  • Work with local schools or after-school programs such as a Boys & Girls Club or YMCA to help implement the program over an 8 to 10 week period.
  • Ensure your program is designed to provide at least 30 minutes or more of running activities several days a week during your program period.
  • There are NO burdensome royalty fees to brand a program as a Kids Run the Nation program.
  • Anyone can use the name Kids Run the Nation for their program, but the program must be properly insured for youth running through either the RRCA, USATF, a partner organization such as a YMCA or a local school.
  • If you want to use a different name for your program, but you still want to use the Kids Run the Nation Program Guide, no problem.  Our goal is clear, to see a youth running program in every grade school in America. Our materials were created for that purpose, so we are not picky about what you decide to call your youth running program.
  • Utilize our Tool for Program Directors designed to help you register program participants, track running progress, and more.
  • Obtain copies of the Kids Run the Nation:  A Running Guide for Kids, Kids Run the Nation backpack tag, and t-shirt to give to all participants in your program.  Learn more about this great resource below.
  • Encourage children to run after your program concludes and share the Tools for Kids and Parents so they can continue to log their miles.
  • Kids Run the Nation Program Guide

    The Kids Run the Nation Program Guide is designed to help teachers, coaches, or program directors develop youth running programs that can be implemented as a physical education or classroom wellness curriculum, as a before or after-school program, or as a community-based youth running program. The emphasis of this program is on participation and developing a healthy lifestyle as opposed to being a competitive running program. The Program Guide is a full-color, 40-page educational curriculum divided into ten lesson plans.  Each lesson plan can be taught during a one-hour class period over an 8 to 10-week time frame.  The RRCA is pleased to offer the Kids Run the Nation Program Guide as a FREE PDF document or program directors can obtain a free copy of the glossy, full-color, printed program (a small postage fee will apply for mailed copies).  Our program includes lessons on running form, pacing, goal setting, nutrition, energy balance, safety, running in an event, and more.  The printed Guide can be purchased through the Kids Run the Nation Shopping Cart below.

    Download the RRCA: Kids Run the Nation Guide (PDF - hosted by our partners at

    Kids Run the Nation: A Running Guide for Kids

    The Kids Run the Nation:  A Running Guide for Kids is designed to motivate students to continue their running program or start their own running routine at home.  This 5 x 7 inch booklet, designed specifically for children, contains 16-pages of information about running that can be shared with parents or guardians.  Program directors are encouraged to purchase the booklets and provide them to participants as an incentive and to solidify important concepts such as running form, safety, and energy balance.  Booklets can be purchased through the Kids Run the Nation Shopping Cart below. 

    Kids Run the Nation Program Incentives

    Order incentives for your program participants.  While these materials are designed as companions to the Kids Run the Nation program, anyone can purchase these materials to encourage a child or any running program leader can purchase multiple items to be given away as incentives to program participants.

    Kids Run the Nation Materials

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