This Way to Running the 5K! How to Start a School Running Club

By Kristin Boza

Coming off of their big success in winning the Ridge Run Running Club Challenge trophy in 2017, Christ the King School’s running club, the CK Roadrunners, is gearing up for another fun training season. CK running club parent volunteer Bridget Segroves offers a variety of tips to get a running club started at any school.

Anyone Can Do It!

Parent volunteers need to oversee the club, but they do not need any running or coaching experience; simply email Margot Holland, mholland@bapa.org, and ask for a free training guide.  Segroves, however, was a four-time national qualifier in cross country at Saint Xavier University and coached the Marist High School girls for seven years.

“I believe that everyone can run, and running is a lifetime sport,” Segroves said. “Kids can run by themselves, and use running to get in shape for another sport. In high school, there are unlimited spots on the cross country and track teams, so students can continue to compete and participate throughout their teens.”

 ‘Together’ Time + ‘Me’ Time

Segroves was able to mobilize the CK running club by making participation productive for the volunteers. “I ask for student non-athletes and athletes, parents trying to fit in that workout, moms pushing strollers, and walkers. The parents come to run, walk, act as crossing guards, and ride bikes to monitor different groups,” she said. “It’s a way for students and parents to exercise and spend time together.”

Team Smiles Can Take You Miles

On the day of the Ridge Run, school running clubs can set up a base camp in Team Town as a place to gather and stretch before and after the run. “I love to see the teamwork between the kids. I am always shocked by their improvement, and I admire their endless energy,” Segroves said.

Training Tips

  1. Offer participation to a wide variety of students. The CK running club is open to students in kindergarten through 8th grade.
  2. Don’t compete with spring sports schedules. Segroves offers an open door policy for students to drop in when they’re available.
  3. Use email and text messages to stay in touch with parents about practices, especially when the weather is bad.
  4. Get creative. Create different routes, play some music, or create a scavenger hunt to get the kids running. The CK Roadrunners also have one training session with the Special Olympics athletes.

Email BAPA at mholland@bapa.org for a free 5K Ridge Run training program, created by Jenny Harkins, owner of Treadfit.

LITTLE COMPANY OF MARY HOSPITAL & HEALTH CARE CENTERS is presenting sponsor of the Ridge Run.