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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

On Notice: GoKids Program

I know, I'm blogging a lot today about nothing, but I'm doing a lot of waiting around for people at work.

So, this weekend, there was this Nike GoKids Program at the Marathon. It's a good idea in theory, and a lot like Team Tiara. Basically, the kids had an 8-week program to learn about running after school. I think that part of it is GREAT. I wish I'd been involved in something like that in high school. It keeps kids off the street and also promotes a healthy lifestyle while fighting obesity.

BUT - they then had the kids run the last mile of the marathon along with the marathoners. Um... that's the bad part. Why didn't they just have the kids run the 5k? Or maybe hold a separate one mile fun run?? Why put them on the course with runners who have just run 25 miles and are dying? I know that at 25 miles (at Disney especially), if I'd seen these kids running along all fresh, SPRINTING during my last mile, I'd have strangled at least one of them with my water belt. And that's what they were doing - sprinting, running all-out, not even breaking a sweat. As a spectator, I didn't know what the hell was going on "um... who are all of these little kids?" I don't think it really promoted a sense of the seriousness for completing a marathon and also messed up some of the pictures, in my opinion.

Next year - I propose holding a one mile fun run or else having the kids participate in the 5k. Then, they can also help out at the marathon by handing out gu, bananas, oranges, water, gatorade, or sponges... something helpful so that they will not actually be running on the course. Until then... Nike GoKids Program, you are ON NOTICE.


*jeanne* said...

Oy! I agree with you - kids running along in the way of marathoners about to finish - not really the best of ideas!
I ran Vermont City Marathon in 2004 (my 2nd marathon), and just as I got to the final 25-50 straight sprint distance of the FINISH arches and clock...these little kids came jumping out from among spectators along the course, joining their Dad as he finished (it was sweet, it really WAS).
But they darted right out in front of me! I almost went on my face in the final 50 yards of a 26.2 mile journey. Cute as they were, I would NOT have been amused.

Kim said...

Yeah, there were kids joining their parents also. And I'm totally fine with that. I hadn't seen it before because I think I'm usually delirious at the end of 26.2, and this was only my second marathon as a spectator at the finish line (the first being NCR, which only had psycho crazy runners in it). Anyway, the finish line was sparse enough that the children joining in with their parents were fine, plus they were running at the SAME SPEED as their parents, who had run 26 miles.

I know at the Baltimore marathon, a lot of folks don't like how the half marathoners join up with the full marathoners partway through and look more fresh... Imagine the same deal, but only one miles worth starting at mile 25. Blah.

Sandra said...

Kids should have a separate race, and only marathoners should be running that last mile. I am surprised that Nike didn't know better than to disturb the runners in this way. Obviously, the decider hasn't run a marathon.

Balt marathon: at least you can tell the half M's by the color of their bibs. And some of them look none too fresh!

foxdeath said...

Yeah, my finish line picture has some weird girl carrying all kinds of bags and jackets with her... (she looks like she is loaded down like a pack mule). It is a very strange photo for the end of a marathon! I will say however that even though they were only running a mile, I still was running faster than the majority of them. :-)

Ummm, Kim??? What psycho crazy runners at NCR? You are excluding me and Lori, right?

Kim said...

Psycho crazy runners at NCR? Hmmm... No... you guys are crazy.

Anyway, what I meant was that those at NCR were usually not running their first marathon, nor were they running "to finish." They were running to set times or whatever, and so kids joining in to finish with them would be highly unusual.

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