AUSTIN (KXAN) — Olympians and top athletes stood side-by-side with students on the track at Oak Springs Elementary, Thursday morning.
Fifth grader Marques Amador, relieved to be outside running around rather than in the classroom, said, “I’m happy because they came out today.” His takeaway: Olympians are fast and give a lot of effort.
Amanda Bingson, who was in the 2012 Olympic Games competing in the hammer throw, said, “You can never start too early, you know, with doing good habits. And so we come out here, play with the kids, just kind of expose them to everything that they should be doing… as living a healthy lifestyle.”
A non-profit that got its own start in Austin, Marathon Kids organized the event. It’s a running and walking program for primarily elementary-age kids. The program, along with the U.S. Track and Field Foundation, gets students to meet and run with athletes from the top of their respective sports.
Marathon Kids encourages students to run 104.8 miles in a school year, or 26.2 miles every quarter — roughly the length of a marathon.
Since the organization started 20 years ago, three million students have ran the length of a marathon during the school year.
Visit MarathonKids.org for more information on the program.