Kerry Hill and Rod Dixon went to Waimea College, Nelson – New Zealand, during the 1960’s and were involved together at the Nelson Athletics Club. Kerry has been the key Coordinator/Coach for the KiDSMARATHON development @ the Counties Manukau and inspiration and Coach for schools around New Zealand. Kerry is Sport Bay of Plenty “Coach Force Athletics Manager” – coaching coaches throughout the Bay, from Foundation level to High Performance, Athletics New Zealand Technical lead, Relays, Speed & Agility Trainer to NZ Sevens men’s’ & women’s squads, Speed & Power Conditioner at Waikato University Adams Centre for High Performance.
Read more about Kerry, here.
Leanne lives in rural Glenbrook, south of Auckland New Zealand, with her husband and two teenage boys. They play various sports and enjoy keeping active together. Although not a runner, (more of a jogger and walker), she has completed a marathon and several half marathons, thoroughly enjoying each experience! As a Breast Cancer survivor she understands the importance of keeping active daily for general health and mental wellbeing, for both herself and her family. Leanne is a Teacher Aide at Mauku School in South Auckland and has been in this role and co-chair of the PTA for 7 years, during which time she has been the organiser for their KiDSMARATHON. At the school, they have used the KiDSMARATHON over the last 6 years and students complete their “final mile” at our annual Mauku Fun Run, a community focussed fundraising event for the school. Seeing them cross the finish line with such pride and receiving their medals is very special. The students enjoy the sense of achievement in ticking off their kilometres on our daily track runs. Working on individual goals, and also as a class they encourage each other to keep going and try their best – “finishing is winning, winning is finishing!” as Rod says. Students often top up their run training with optional laps or the teacher led road runs during their lunchtime breaks. Encouraging health and wellbeing in our children is invaluable and using the KiDSMARATHON programme is a way to get everyone involved at an achievable level.
Cathleen is a resident of Trumbull, CT and the mother of three children. As a Physical Therapist she has spent the last 20 years working with patients of all levels of disability. Cathleen is an active member of the town’s Parent Teacher Association. She has served as an elementary school PTA president and is currently the Chairperson of the Health and Wellness Committee. As a lifelong runner she successfully brought Rod Dixon’s KiDSMARATHON to her children’s elementary school. One year later, approximately 600 children from five schools in the district participated in the KiDSMARATHON Final Mile Event held at the local high school. Cathleen’s favorite part of RDKM is seeing children running with smiles on their faces. Their smiles reflect the joy and pride that their accomplishment provides them.
Susannah lives in Waterloo, Lower Hutt, and is currently teaching at both Wellesley College and Chilton St James School as a French specialist teacher. Susannah first heard about the KiDSMARATHON while listening to an interview with Rod Dixon on Dirt Church Radio, and she thought it sounded like a fantastic program and decided to see if she could get it going at her children’s school. With the support of the sports coordinator, principal, and staff, she got the KiDSMARATHON underway at Waterloo School in Term 1 of 2021. She finds running with a goal in mind to be incredible rewarding and empowering and loves that it’s a sport that you can continue to achieve in at any stage of life. For kids to have a tangible running goal to work towards is such fantastic motivation for them, and it’s something she hopes that running is something they’ll continue on with through life. Susannah loves running and couldn’t live without it! She has completed the Queenstown Marathon, a number of half marathons and has the Taupo Ultra 50km as a goal for this October 2021. She also regularly runs in the Xterra events with her kids, which are her absolute favorites in terms of community spirit and running on the trails near her home in Lower Hutt is where you’ll find her!
Ken Itahara has been associated with Rod Dixon’s KiDSMARATHON Foundation for over ten years serving as facilitator for several schools in the Inland Empire and the East San Gabriel Valley. Currently, he is working with the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District in developing a pilot program for year-round after school running and nutritional education. Ken’s goal is to implement a healthy lifestyle program to school districts throughout Southern California, and he has been awarded a grant from Saucony Run For Good Foundation to combat childhood obesity. He is a founding director of the Inland Empire Running Club currently with over 500 members and is a certified USA Track & Field coach.