Unlike any other marathon, the Boreal Adventure Running Association’s Youth Marathon was not a race. Nor was it completed all in one go.
Twenty-three students from two Whitehorse schools finished the Youth Marathon, the accumulation of 42.2 kilometres during May and June, earning themselves a certificate and T-shirt to commemorate the accomplishment.
“We thought that this would be a good way to get kids active,” said organizer Keith Thaxter of the running association. “We know that all the schools have running clubs, so we thought it would be nice incentive to give them a reward for being out there every day at lunch hour – a little goal, something to shoot for.”
With students from Grades 1 to 8, some could obviously complete the assigned distance sooner than others, but the intention was to get kids running, not competing.
“It’s not a competition, it’s more or a participation thing,” said Thaxter. “If they can take up running, even just a couple kilometres a day, they can easily get to 42.2-kilometres. And they can feel like they’ve done something that is a nice reward for themselves.
“This is sort of like the old ParticipACTION thing that the government used to do 10, 20 years ago,” he added.
Although every local school was invited to join the marathon, said Thaxter, only Golden Horn and Jack Hulland schools participated. However, with the recent addition of sponsors since the completion of the inaugural marathon, Thaxter expects the numbers to dramatically increase next year.
“We sent out the offer to every school – we’d send the information to the principal and the running clubs,” said Thaxter. “This offer is available for everybody.
“We got a bunch of responses, but as it worked out, only those two schools are the ones who got organized enough to get their kids out and complete the difference.”
Gold Horn School runners
Maggie O’Connor Brook
Jack Hulland School runners
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