“are you a MILER?” is the call to run

East and West Coast “RUN A MILE TOUR” set to get rolling in April at track meets and other events leading up to RUN A MILE DAYS events at schools across the U.S.

2016 “are you a MILER?” Campaign: Last spring’s RUN A MILE events were a big hit from Gig Harbor, Washington to Grove City, Pennsylvania. American Running’s NATIONAL RUN A MILE DAYS (NRAMD) Campaign gained momentum with new schools in Iowa City, Iowa along with schools and groups in Georgia, North Carolina, California and New Hampshire to name a few. One question was answered loudly and in the affirmative; “ARE YOU A MILER?” Children from kindergarten to 8th grade joined classmates to show that running the mile can be that first step to fitness. Our growth has been fueled by word of mouth from school to school. In Iowa City, PE teachers heard about the no-cost MILER Day at other elementary schools in their school district. Calls and emails were made and now plans in 2016 will show a 25% increase in the number of students participating in the NRAMD events in May. For those of you in communities who want to add your school to our sponsored group of schools or to be involved and still receive guidance and some material support, here is the ideal “model” for a school or group in the RUN A MILE DAYS Campaign:

Gaining Support. One way to start is for a local parent or in the case of AMAA or ARA, a physician in the town or community to approach a leader at the school. Offer to volunteer as a coordinator for an event that involves the entire school and is of “no cost” to the school. The volunteer brings up key elements of the RUN A MILE Program and what American Running can provide: posters, training programs in print and online forms, flyers, a banner for the school and t-shirts for all participating students.

Identify the lead Staff Member at the School. The lead PE teacher is often the best person for an NRAMD event. The ARA staff needs the name, address, contact phone number and email address. This allows the staff to provide all materials and updates on plans in a fast and efficient manner.

SELECT a “RUN A MILE DAYS” DATE. Everything on the planning side works backwards from the event date. The American Running staff will look be able to see if one of the two “TOUR VANS” can make an onsite visit. The production of t-shirts is moved along once we have all event dates in-hand as well.

Training Program. We will provide a training plan that has been oriented to the mile and the time constraints many schools’ classrooms have each day. In addition, the plans are broken down into 3 class groups: K – 2nd grade, 3rd – 5th grade, and 6th – 8th grade. These are 8-week training plans but many schools can start as late as week 6 to get a class ready to run a mile.

MILER EVENT – How to run the MILE on the “event day”. There is one proven operation or concept that has worked best at other school’s MILER DAY. Use the PE Classes to run the mile. If a school has PE spread over 2 days, then schedule the event over two days. Each PE class comes outside the school and runs the mile on the designated mile track or course. Some schools have a measured mile loop while others have either ¼ mile track or a ¼ mile or 400m oval on grass on the grounds of the school. A second method has worked well when the Principal or lead administrator decides that he or she wants the Mile to be completed in one day. That requires the Principal or Lead person to set up a schedule of classrooms over the course of the day. We advise doing groups every 45 minutes.

PR and Promotion. Have a parent or assistant PE Teacher take photos of the event. American Running and the RUN A MILE DAYS Staff will post photos (without identifying students names) on the runamile.org site and for other post-event e-newsletters. Each school can send out photos and a story to local media as well. ARA will provide logos and other event images for each school to use as they wish.

EAST & WEST COAST TOUR. We have two “VAN TOURS” in the works again in 2016. Unfortunately we are unable to fit in drives to the Midwest at the present time, but we are looking to add a sponsor and have a team in 2017. For those of you on the East Coast and within an 8 hour drive of Washington DC and have committed for 2016, contact Dave Watt at dave@americanrunning.org to gain a spot on the MILER TOUR EAST. The west coast MILER TOUR is headquartered out of Portland Oregon. Email Dave with interest and he will put you in touch with our West Coast Partner, Dan Kesterson of Youth Runner Magazine.

ARE YOU INTERESTED? APRIL 1st deadline is the tentative date for new schools or groups to be eligible to receive the full slate of support and sponsorship for the 2016 NATIONAL RUN A MILE DAYS Campaign & Tour. Contact Maria Kolanowski via email today if you or an associate want to confirm a school or group ---- maria@americanrunning.org (Subject line – MILE DAYS 2016 Interest)