Rod Dixon's KiDSMARATHON Logo


  • Torrington Announces to be Part of KiDSMARATHON CT

    TORRINGTON >> City elementary school students will run the distance of a marathon over the remainder of the school year, according to Interim Superintendent Lynda Reitman, who discussed the planned initiative at the most recent meeting of the Board of Education.

    “We have already got on board every elementary school. Grades three through five will be running 25.2 miles during the course of the school year,” said Reitman. “That’s part of our wellness, our Fit Together program, so we’re really excited we got the commitments from all of the elementary schools to participate.”

    The exertion in Torrington is happening as part of the Kids Marathon program organized by Olympic Medalist and former New York City Marathon winner Rod Dixon, which a number of schools around the state have taken part in in recent years...

    Read the rest of the article in The Register Citizen >

  • Introducing Dublin, Ireland KiDSMARATHON!


    Over 600 sixth class pupils from 22 Fingal schools have been taking part in an eight-week program, having trained four times a week in their school. The program culminated in the students running their Final Mile at the Dublin Marathon!

    Read the full article >

    More articles from Dublin, Ireland:

  • Waterbury Students at Their Final Mile Celeration!


    Click Here to read the News8 Report.


    Click Here to read the FOXCT.COM Report.


  • Santa Barbara Final Mile Celebration!

    Santa Barbara KIDs getting ready to start the final mile of their KiDSMARATHON program! Much thanks to Ryan Lamppa and the Bring Back the Mile organization for covering it and cheering on our KIDs!

    Santa Barbara Final Mile

    Find more photos and videos on the Bring Back the Mile Instagram and Facebook pages.


  • Republican American: Marathon man is back

    (by John McKenna)

    Runner Rod Dixon returns to promote fitness for kids

    A sure sign of spring locally is the sight of running legend Rod Dixon making the rounds at elementary schools to promote his Kids Marathon program, and stressing the importance of physical activity and healthy eating habits.

    Dixon, winner of the 1983 New York City Marathon and a bronze medalist in the 1,500 meters in the 1972 Summer Olympics, visited East School and Forbes School on Friday to help students get their Kids Marathon experience off to an energetic start.

    Over the next nine weeks, students on their own and during school will attempt to run 26.2 miles — the distance of a marathon — as they work to improve their fitness while watching what they eat.

    Students from the two schools, as well as Southwest School, Vogel-Wetmore School and several other elementary schools in Litchfield County, will descend upon the Plumb Hill Playing Fields on June 13 in Litchfield for the Kids Marathon grand finale. That's when they run the final mile of their marathon with Dixon on an oval track.

    Click here to read the rest of the article >

  • Students Train for KiDSMARATHON 2015

    It's no joke, KiDSMARATHON training is in full swing on both coasts! The West Coast Community Magazine highlighted the Chino Hills program where Rod visited recently.


    Rod Dixon, Olympic medalist, New York City Marathon champion, and Kiwi (New Zealander), created KiDSMARATHON for elementary school students from 4th through 6th grades, in an effort to educate children of the importance of physical activity and healthy eating.

    Chino Hills based Inland Empire Running Club (IERC) founding board member Ken Itahara is the program's coordinator between KiDSMARATHON and Chino Hills schools.  Ken's excellent coordinating efforts help the program run smoothly in order to culminate in the Dodger Stadium finale.

    Mr. Dixon made personal appearances promoting this program to participating students and staff at Country Springs, Litel, and Rolling Ridge elementary schools.  These morning presentations were well attended and full of enthusiasm from Mr. Dixon as well as the students.

     Click the following to read it on their website.


  • 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
    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!

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 Our mission is to create a life-long commitment to good health and fitness habits in children at risk of obesity-related health problems. Help our program educate, empower, and inspire K-5 children to become and stay fit.


Saucony Run for Good

Today’s Youth across the Globe are considered the most inactive in history, as a result, the rate of obesity among children and teenagers has more than tripled over the past three decades.

The Saucony Run For Good Foundation and Rod Dixon’s KiDSMARATHON Foundation are committed to reversing this trend by offering children the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of running and healthy lifestyle programs for youth