Headlines

  • Republican-American: Running the Final Mile

    (by John McKenna)

    LITCHFIELD — On a perfect late-spring morning Saturday, about 500 local elementary school students finished what they started back in April.

    They did so on the track at Plumb Hill Playing Fields in the grand finale of Kids Marathon, a fitness program founded by former world class runner Rod Dixon in his native New Zealand in 1990.

    Students from Litchfield, Warren, Morris, Goshen, Torrington, Sherman and Washington, along with many of their teachers, ran one mile to conclude the 26.2 mile journey they started in April.

    After finishing, each student received a medal and walked away with a feeling of satisfaction and, Dixon hopes, a foundation for a healthy lifestyle as they age.

    "This is all about you today," Dixon told the students as they gathered on the track to start the run. "Finishing is winning, and winning is finishing."

    Dixon brought Kids Marathon to Los Angeles, Calif., where he lives, in 1990 and grew the program to the point where 27,000 students participated in it this spring. Visiting runner friends in Litchfield in 2008, Dixon decided to launch an East Coast pilot program involving Litchfield schools.

    A couple dozen students participated the first year and Dixon, with the help of Bill Burgess of Litchfield, began knocking on doors of schools across the state, as well as the office door of the Connecticut Association of Schools. Dixon and Burgess received a positive reception and Kids Marathon was on its way to being successful.

    Not only do students run and record their distances with help from teachers, they also learn about the importance of proper nutrition through an instructional manual provided by Kids Marathon. This spring in Connecticut, 5,000 students participated.

    Events similar to the one held in Litchfield on Saturday were held recently in Waterbury, Cheshire, Danbury and Norwalk.


  • Waterbury CT and KiDSMARATHON Win $120,000 USCM Grant!!

    Rod and Mayor O'Leary win 120000 Grant

    Rod with Mayor Neil O'Leary and his staff

    The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) selected Waterbury, Connecticut's Mayor Neil O'Leary and the  KidsMarathon Program as the winners of the 2014 Childhood Obesity Prevention Awards, during its 82nd Winter Meeting in Washington, DC. The awards went to cities with outstanding programs that encourage healthy weight through balanced diet choices and regular physical activity.

    (via US Conference of Mayors)

    The grant will support the 2014 Kids Marathon program, collaboration between the YMCA, City of Waterbury, Department of Education, Boys and Girls Club, and the Police Activity League (PAL) aimed at Introducing the sport of running to youth ages 7 – 12, over a 12-week period and at no charge to the participants. Based on a comprehensive analysis of the city’s environmental factors, the program is designed to target the city’s youth who are at greatest risk of obesity, and lacking physical activity and good nutritional habits. The young athletes run 1-2 miles, two or three times per week, completing a cumulative 26.2 mile marathon. 438 student athletes participated in the first Kids Marathon program in 2013; in 2014 the City of Waterbury aims to expose 1,500 student athletes to the sport of running, while encouraging physical activity as a lifestyle, along with the importance of good nutrition and healthy habits.

    We surpassed our goal with a grand total of 1607 student-athletes! Congratulations to Rod Dixon, Mayor O'Leary, his staff, and the city of Waterbury, CT on this outstanding achievement. Never stop running!

    Full description of cities and list of winners »


  • The Waterbury Connecticut Final Mile

    Waterbury KiDS

    (via Waterbury Observer)

    Rod Dixon, an Olympic medalist from New Zealand and 1983 New York City Marathon winner had tears in his eyes tonight as he took in the swarm of 1,607 kids that had poured into Library Park to finish the final mile of The Rod Dixon Kid's Marathon. The kids were all buzzing with anticipation and lit up when the Olympian paid a visit to each group to pep them up. They peppered him with questions about his fasted mile time and how old was he when he started to run. One kid asked him if he was famous. Dixon pointed to the shirt the boy was wearing and said that he was the guy on the shirt. "I'm Rod Dixon," Dixon said with a big grin. "Are you special?" The kid asked. "We're all special aren't we?" Dixon said giving the kid a high five.

    Waterbury has gotten behind The Kid's Marathon and the event tonight helped the kids and their support crews celebrate the hard work they have put into running the marathon over the course of the past few months. The program has doubled in participants since it began last year and Waterbury hopes it continues to grow and educate youth about healthy living.

    It was hot and muggy, but the participants bound across the finish line pumped up and proud of their accomplishment. Way to go kids!


    Waterbury KiDs and their KiDSMARATHON medals



  • We Made It! 10,000 Miles Run 4 Good

    10000 miles for saucony

    A screenshot from Rod Dixon's phone. His 3 miles this morning were definitely part of the final mile in hitting our goal of 10,000 in the month of May!

    36 hours to spare.

    Thank you Saucony and the Run4Good Foundation for your generosity to, not just our program, but all programs promoting physical activity in today's youth. In Rod's own words: "Together we can do something great."

    Our goal might be met, but never stop running!




  • KiDSMARATHON Honored in Waterbury Memorial Day Parade

    Rod NZ Flag Memorial Day Parade

    In 1976 Rod Dixon was an Olympic runner for New Zealand and was chosen to carry the Kiwi flag into the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada. A shoulder injury kept Dixon from actually carrying the flag, and he came in 4th place in one of the most dramatic 5000 meter races in history.

    Thirty eight years later Rod Dixon had the opportunity to carry the New Zealand flag through the streets of Waterbury during a parade Saturday morning at The Gathering.

    Dixon was in town to help celebrate his Kid’s Marathon program in Waterbury that will culminate with 1500 city kids completing the final mile of a marathon June 4th in Library Park.

    “It’s been a life long dream to carry the New Zealand flag in a parade,” Dixon said Saturday, “and today, my dream came true.”

    How cool is that?


  • Rod at the Boys & Girls Club in Waterbury



  • CT Gov Malloy Praises the Success of the Waterbury Program

    Rod Dixon with Connecticut Governor Dannel P Malloy

    250 KiDSMARATHON students, along with their Mentors and Coaches walked in the parade in support of the Waterbury KiDSMARATHON program. Governor Malloy gave his support and congratulations to the office of Mayor O'Leary for the success of the program. 

    1650 KiDS are currently signed up and "in training" for the June 4th Final Mile Celebration!

    To the left: KiDSMARATHON Rod Dixon with Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy at the City of Waterbury Parade Saturday, May 17th.




  • KiDSMARATHON Chosen as Run4Good Foundation!

    Global performance running footwear and apparel brand Saucony and the Saucony Run for Good Foundation, established to help combat childhood obesity by providing financial support to community-based youth running programs, have announced KiDSMARATHON as it's grant recipient for the month of May!

    1. Download the app
      http://run4good.saucony.com/
    2. Run your miles and earn funds for Rod Dixon's KiDSMARATHON Foundation!

    Also, if the app records 10,000 miles for the KiDSMARATHON Foundation in the month of May, Saucony will double their contribution to the Foundation. So please share with your running friends and make every mile count!


  • Rod Dixon, Mayor Neil O'Leary Help Launch Kid's Marathon In Waterbury

    Rod Dixon - "Lots of schools and students are signing up and the enthusiasm is growing in Connecticut. Schools are really into it and there's such a different in acceptance of the idea than years ago."

    Just yesterday in the Waterbury Observer - "Long-distance running legend, Rod Dixon, of New Zealand, was back in Waterbury Thursday morning to help kick-off the second year of his Kid’s Marathon running program in the city. Dixon won the bronze medal in the 1500 meter run at the 1972 Olympics, was a World Champion cross-country runner, and the winner of the 1983 NYC Marathon. Now 63, Dixon has dedicated his life to bringing his passion of running and healthy living to elementary and middle school students in California and Connecticut. In time, Dixon hopes his Kid’s Marathon program spreads across America."

    On right: A passionate man, Rod Dixon implored students at North End Middle School in Waterbury to fully participate in the Kid's Marathon program, and to bring the message of activity and health back into their homes.

    Read full article in Waterbury Observer »


  • LA KiDSMARATHON Final Mile @ Dodger Stadium

    KidsMarathon into Dodger Stadium

    Despite rare overcast skies, the LA KiDSMARATHON Final Mile at Dodger Stadium was run by 5000 Students! Over 500 Teachers, Mentors, and Coaches, and 12,000+ family members witnessed their achievement.

    KiDSMARATHON KiDs

    KiDSMARATHON KiDs with Lakers Legend AC Green

    NBA Lakers legend, AC Green, ran the Final Mile with the KiDs.


    KiDSMARATHON Medals

    Final Mile finishers with their medal, (replica of the 1974 USA 1500 meter Championship Gold Medal won by Rod Dixon).


  • Noosa: Our official Yoghurt

    Noosa Yoghurt! Aussie culture. Colorado fresh. Noosa is all natural and from happy cows. KiDS love great tasting Yoghurt that is so good for them.


  • Checking in with 32nd St. School

    LA KiDSMARATHON is having it's most successful year yet!

    27,000 KiDS in school training in Los Angeles, Glendora, Inland Empire, and Chino Hills.

    LA KiDSMARATHON Final Mile Celebration will be held in Dodger Stadium on March 2nd, 2014.

  • Asics LA Marathon 2014

    Rod Dixon is pleased to announce an agreement between LA MARATHON LLC and the Rod Dixon's KiDSMARATHON Foundation. The partnership will ensure that 25,000 KiDS in the LAUSD - Beyond the Bell program will be able to participate beginning January 13, 2014 "in school" training to accumulate 25.2 Miles of their very own Marathon over 8-10 weeks. Five thousand KiDS will be selected from 230 schools to participate in the Final Mile Celebration @ Dodger Stadium March 2, 2014, along with an estimated 10,000 + family members.

    Learn more about the Asics LA Marathon Marathon on the race site.

    Please direct inquiries about how to get your kid involved in the Los Angeles area with the Los Angeles Unified School District.


  • Start 'Em Young!


    T. J. Murphy dives into the motivation and keys to success behind Rod Dixon's KiDSMARATHON...

    "The success of Dixon's program is built around the simple concept of getting kids active and inspired at a young age."

    "Former world-class runner Rod Dixon wants to end the childhood obesity epidemic."

    Read the Article »

  • KiDSMARTHON KiD Featured in Nelson Mail

    Determined Boy True Champion

    It was a challenge for all the 320

    children who ran, but none faced

    the same obstacles as 10-year-old

    Jakob Fletcher, of Hampden Street

    School. In reaching the finish line,

    he proved he’s a true champion,

    Olympian Rod Dixon said today...

    Jakob has cerebral palsy and

    other disabilities, and runs in leg

    braces. Completing the stages of

    the Rod Dixon KiDSMARATHON

    leading up to the last mile at

    Saxton Field yesterday was tough

    going. So was Sunday’s run, so

    much so that Dixon, who ran with

    Jakob, suggested that they walk

    for a bit.

    Read the full article >

  • KiDSMARATHON Event Held at Dodger Stadium

  • Launching KiDSMARATHON NZ!

    Olympic medallist and world champion runner returns home to launch KiDSMARATHON in New Zealand

    Obesity is killing us and with more than one in five kids overweight (Ministry of Health NZ) it is killing our children.

    One man that refuses let it beat us is one of New Zealand's most awarded runners, Rod Dixon.

    Founder of The Rod Dixon KiDSMARATHON Foundation, Dixon's ambition is to educate kids, their families and communities, the value of exercise, nutrition and active participation that will lead to a life-long healthy approach to living.

    Download the full Press Release


  • Best LA KiDSMARATHON Yet!

    KiDSMARATHON LA 2013

    We had an incredible 25,000 KiDs in training for 8 weeks this year!


    The Dodgers Organization officially estimated 17,000 were in the stadium for the kid's finish on Sunday, March 10. 5000+ KiDs, 11,000 parents/family, and over 1000 teachers and coaches. Amazing!


    Our goal is to have 25,000 KiDs finish next year. (75,000 "in school" participants)

    KTLA covered the event. Article | Video


  • KiDSMARATHON Partners with Dole Fruit!

    We're delighted to introduce Dole as our latest nutrition partner. They will be supplying fruit bowls to over 5,000 KiDS running their final mile at the LA Marathon.

    Check out www.dole.com/ to learn more about this healthy partner!


  • LAUSD Partnership

    The Rod Dixons KiDSMARATHON Foundation has a very close working relationship with the Beyond the Bell after school program, within the Los Angeles Unified School District.

    We have 25,000 KiDS "in training" with the LAUSD - Beyond the Bell schools. 5000 KiDS will run their Final Mile celebration at Dodger Stadium March 10. All the other KiDS will have Final Mile celebrations at school.


  • Partnership for a Healthier America Challenge

    Hi all, this past year has been incredibly inspiring and we've reached over 100,000 kids through the program! We're happy to announce we've received recognition for our efforts from "Partnership for a Healthier America"!

    Thank you "Partnership for a Healthier America". We're very supportive of the efforts you're promoting.

    Happy holidays,

    Rod Dixon's KiDSMARATHON Team


  • First Rod Dixon's KiDSMARATHON in Europe!

    Magdalene Happel, representing Frezzor, a 100% organic nutrition company based in New Zealand (the cleanest environment on Earth), has brought KiDSMARATHON to Regenbogen Elementary School, in Holzheim/Pohlheim, Germany! Magdalene and Frezzor both understand the importance of Activity and Nutrition for Children. The program in Germany will be just as it is for KiDS in New Zealand, California, Connecticut, connecting Activity, Healthy Eating, and Nutrition Education in School.

    Over 250 KiDS completed the 8 week "In School" training program and ran their 'Final Mile' to receive their medal and certificate + they received a very cool T shirt. Check out our exclusive pictures, report and letters and drawings from the KiDS. Very cool, way to go everyone! KiDSMARATHON Rocks!

    Thank you Magdalene for your Inspiration about how you and the Teachers and Parents and Regenbogen School Empowered the KiDS to Achieve their goal of Finishing. The Rod Dixon's KiDSMARATHON is all about:

    Finishing is Winning, Winning is Finishing.


  • KidsMarathon CT concludes with more than 900 students

    The biggest and, by all accounts, best Connecticut KidsMarathon grand finale drew more than 900 elementary school students to the Plumb Hill Playing Fields track on Saturday for a celebration of fitness and healthy lifestyle.

    Pictured are a group of Region 6 elementary school students leading the parade during the KidsMarathon's opening ceremony on Saturday.

    Full Litchfield.bz article »


  • Danbury kids and the rest of CT start their Marathon!

    Danbury CT Kids

    Diago Souza, 8, center, a Park Avenue School student, lets out a cheer with fellow elementary school kids prior to the start of a KidsMarathon kickoff on the track at Danbury High School Monday morning, April 2, 2012. Photo: Carol Kaliff.

    Article at NewsTimes.com »

    Article on Litchfield.bz »


  • RepublicanAmerican Give's us a Full Spread!

    RepublicanAmerican's Article on Rod Dixons Kidsmarathon in Connecticut

    John McKenna, a reporter for The RepublicanAmerican, a newspaper for Waterbury, Connecticut, witnessed Rod connecting and inspiring the kids in Connecticut's District 6. 

    Read his article »


  • KidsMarathon Gets Students Moving in Region 6

    Rod with Connecticut Kids

    Rod Dixon, right, leads Region 6 elementary school students on a lap around the athletic fields at Wamogo Regional High School on Tuesday and right, is welcomed by interim Superintendent of Schools Edward Drapp.

    Rod was back in Litchfield on Tuesday to meet with elementary school students in Region 6 who will challenge themselves in this spring’s KidsMarathon program. 

    Read more »


  • Bring Back the Mile!

    KiDSMARATHON has teamed up with Bring Back the Mile in the promotion of The Mile, a track distance that has incredible cultural significance and appeal but has been diminished in favor of arbitrary 1600m and Olympic 1500m distances in today's track and field scene. One mile is the distance kids run for their celebration event at the end of the KiDSMARATHON program. Our goal with BBTM is to promote the Mile as a metric for improvement in elementary school children. It is then our hope to see kids continue to run the Mile in middle & high school programs across the country.

    Click "Join the Movement" on the BBTM website.


  • Introducing the President's Challenge!

    ING KiDS ROCK is teaming up with The President's Challenge to reach as many kids as possible across the nation. The President's Challenge mission is to promote physical activity that is fun and that you can do on your own, with friends, or family members.

    Check out www.presidentschallenge.org to find out how you can get started!



  • KiDSMARATHON Partners with ING Kids Rock

    • Phoenix, AZ | New Orleans, LA | Washington D.C. | +12 more

      (see full schedule of Cities across USA)

    • 50,000 kids participating

    Rod Dixon's KiDSMARATHON Foundation has been appointed Special Adviser, Consultant and Ambassador to the ING Kids Rock and Kids Rock program. Our shared mission is to create a life-long commitment to good health and fitness habits in children at risk of obesity-related health problems.


  • Connecticut pioneers the first Community KiDSMARATHON Website

    Rod Dixon's KiDSMARATHON is so excited with the Connecticut Association of Schools KiDSMARATHON program. Check out kidsmarathon.lhfs-ct.org, the information HUB for Rod Dixon's KiDSMARATHON™ 2012 in Connecticut.



  • A KiDSMARATHON story in Cheshire

    When the final mile started I immediately went to the back of the runners to "run/walk" with the more challenged kids, I recognized that these runners, almost all of whom had done the 6-8 weeks of training, were just going to need a little more encouragement to finish their mile. What was incredible, most of them liked the idea of the run/walk as this suddenly presented something that they could do! Lap after lap we circled and although they were challenged to keep going, the other kids who had now finished came over to encourage and cheer our few runners onto the last lap. Into the final 50 yards the cheering was so strong and everyone at the stadium knew our runners were going to Finish, and the runners knew too, and they raised their hands in Victory as they too had Finished and were Winners!!

    "Finishing is Winning and Winning is Finishing".

    Community Effort!

    This was at Cheshire final mile.

    The Big story behind Finishing is Winning and Winning is Finishing.

    "New York City Marathon 1983, I had just won the Greatest run of my life, I was the very first person from the start line at the Verrazano Bridge on Staten Island to arrive at the Finish line in Central Park New York City. I had run the race of my life through the five boroughs of New York chasing the lead runners and finally catching the leader Geoff Smith from England with just 385 yards to the Finish line.

    I had Finished First, Winning the greatest Race on earth, I thrust my arms up in Victory, dropped to my knees and kissed the ground and looked to the sky to give thanks for Winning this great Race, The New York City Marathon. I was overwhelmed with emotion, and by the excitement of the thousands and thousands of people watching. I waved to everyone, I was interviewed by ABC Television who would broadcast the race around the World, and especially to my home country New Zealand, where all my family were watching. After a few hours of all the congratulations and celebration I went back to the Finish line on my own to savoir my Winning of the Marathon. I watched as thousands of Runners were still Finishing their Marathon, I stood about 100 yards before the Finish line for over an hour, cheering on these people, watching them Finish their Race many hours after I had Finished. All these runners finishing would be so happy, most would raise their hands in Victory, some would jump up and down with happiness, some even danced! I even saw people crying with excitement that they have Finished. I realized that Every Runner who Finished that day, was a Winner, that Finishing is Winning and Winning is Finishing! All of the 20,000 runners who Finished that day were winners just like me."

    And so it is, if you focus all your energies to be the best that you can be, prepare and train to run the run of your "life" to complete what you started and Finish, you are a winner!

    "Finishing is Winning and Winning is Finishing".

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VIEW THEIR DRAWINGS

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