ACTIVE youngsters have put their best foot forward to run the equivalent of halfway round the world.
More than 1,500 children from nine primary schools across the district clocked up a total of 21,526 kilometres during the past school year as part of the Kids Run Free marathon challenge.
Children were encouraged by the Leamington-based charity to run laps in their lunch breaks with the aim being to reach the full marathon distance of 42 kilometres by the end of the academic year.
Based on personal achievement rather than competition, the scheme encourages all children – regardless of fitness or ability – to take part in running as much or as little as they choose in a bid to ignite a passion for sport and physical activity from an early age.
The primary schools that took part were Cubbington C of E, Our Lady and St Teresa’s, St Paul’s, St Joseph’s, Long Itchington, St Mary’s, All Saints, Emscote Infants and Woodloes.
They were joined by a further 31 schools up and down the UK, which collectively ran 111,968 kilometres – or almost three times round the world.
Charity founder Martine Verweij set up Kids Marathon in 2013 to get children active from a young age.
She said: “We are delighted at the children’s success this year. The goal of Kids Marathon is to give all children the opportunity to run in a safe environment. The human race is made to run, which is why children love it.
“We teach our children not to run because of safety fears but Kids Marathon helps to counteract that by encouraging parents and schools to support running from as early an age as possible.”
Enrolment for the 2016/17 Kids Marathon programme has already begun with 60 school places up for grabs.
Those interested in taking part can email Samantha Young on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07711 349592.