We Run This City

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History and Mission

The mission of We Run This City Youth Marathon Program is to encourage healthy habits and exercise in Cleveland’s young people. With our running programs, we strive to teach young people to set and achieve goals, increasing their selfconfidence as well as their fitness and endurance. Crossing the finish line is just the beginning!

Starting line at the Mmarathon We Run This City Youth Marathon Program was launched in 2006 with 81, 6th through 8th grade runners from seven Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools. The program nearlydoubled in 2007 to 192 participants, including participation of one high school. Other changes to the program in 2007 included the addition of a team of 10K runners.

In 2008 WRTC expanded training options to add the half marathon and a change in venue for race day events. Previously the students were housed at the downtown YMCA before the race began, where they picked up their t-shirts, signed poster-sized thank you cards, posed for group pictures and listened to motivational speakers. Due to the increase in numbers, the staging area was moved to CSU Woodling Gymnasium (a move made possible by a generous donation from the Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Department at CSU).

The big news in 2009 was the decision by CNN to cover the WRTC program as a Fit Nation feature. The program was treated to coverage by a CNN crew both on race day and the night before. CNN in partnership with the Y-USA, replicated parts of the program in other YMCA markets: San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Chicago and Seattle.

During the 2010-11 program year there were 871 students recruited and 550 students from 35 schools that crossed the finish line of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon on May 15, 2011. Of the 550 that crossed the finish line 25 completed the half marathon, 106 ran the 10k, 414 completed the 1.2 mile run and for the first time we had one student complete the full marathon.

For more information about the program, call Tara Taylor at (216)263-6298 or email her at ttaylor@clevelandymca.org.

Just The Facts

2009 Overview of We Run This City