Going, going, gone: running the Marion Mile keeps kids moving

By Tanner Harding | Jul 18, 2017
Photo by: Tanner Harding Chris Adams gets kids ready to go for the Marion Mile.

Marion — “What do you do if you fall?” Chris Adams asked a group of children.

“Get back up!”

Adams stepped to the side of the Tabor Academy soccer field and shouted into his megaphone, “Go!”

The group of 71 children, all ages 6 or under, started running.

Every Tuesday children 14 and under come to the field for the Marion Mile – a one mile run around the track at Tabor for the 7-14 age group, and a half mile run for the 6 and under age group.

At the July 18 run, 125 kids finished overall, though about 190 had signed up.

“We didn’t quite get to 200, but we’re getting there,” Adams laughed.

Adams began the group 16 years ago when his own son got into running.

“My son was 8 when I started this,” he said. “He did the Marion Village Road Race, and running on the road was beating his legs up. So I thought he needed a shorter run on softer ground.”

Hence, the Marion Mile was born.

“We started with six kids,” he said. “And most of them were my own.”

Start to finish, the event hardly lasts more than a half hour. The older group goes off first and are done in about 15 minutes. The younger kids take off shortly after, and finish in about the same time. However, it’s the perfect way for kids of all ages to burn off the last of their energy.

“Parents tell me Tuesday night is the only know their kids sleep well,” Adams laughed.

The program lasts six weeks, and Adams said it’s a good way for kids to have fun and improve their running.

“The kids love it,” he said. “And their times improve usually either week to week or every summer.”

There is also a Marion Mile for adults, which takes place on Monday nights at 7 p.m., while the kids race is Tuesday nights at 6 p.m.

“We have a special giveaway next week,” Adams said about the July 25 run.

For more information on the Marion Mile, join the Facebook page, “MarionMile.”

The older group of kids do some high-knee warm ups before the run. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
On your marks... (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
Go! (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
Almost at the finish line! (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
Chris Adams high fives a group of kids as they cross the finish line. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
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