This so-called 100 Mile Club involves elementary school students with a real challenge: run or walk a distance of 100 miles during one school year. It’s a big mark to hit but students jump at the chance to score the exact amount of miles before or after school, during recess, and at sanctioned community events, such as local road races and family nights.
Implementing the program is simple. What is needed is an area to cover miles and an app for tracking steps, and that’s all!
The 100 Mile Club takes into account all possibilities and needs of schools – students may walk or run at different times and places during the whole school year. Participants may accumulate steps and laps during physical education lessons, active hours, during lunch, before or after lessons. Participating schools adopt the format and supervision structure that best meets their needs. Anybody – teachers, parents, or school staff – may become 100 Mile Club “coaches”, overseeing runners and helping students track their laps. Classroom bulletin boards chart student progress throughout the year and keep kids excited as miles add up. Simple incentives celebrate students as they reach each 25-mile marker on their journey to 100.
Team spirit is perfectly felt during the challenge. Students do not compete trying to be the best runner, they are a team where every participant has a chance to succeed. The 100 Mile Club involved participants of all abilities, including disabled. Running, jogging, or walking 100 miles, they all remain active in a positive environment.
Because all ages can partake, the100 Mile Club forges powerful bonds across grade levels and even between 100 Milers at neighboring schools. The coveted T-shirts are the common thread. 100 Milers proudly wear their T-shirts in and out school which display their 25, 50, 75, & 100 mile-markers on the back. Students cast their vote each year to determine the new T-shirt color; the unveiling of the winning design becomes a highly anticipated event.
The 100 Mile Club has been up and running for over 20 years. Started in 1992 at Washington Elementary in Corona, CA by special education teacher, Kara Lubin, the program has caught on like wildfire. It has been replicated in over 200 schools in thirteen states. In 2012, the program made its international debut launching at the Bob Hope Primary School at the U.S. Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. This year alone, the 100 Mile Club will enroll 30,000 students, each walking and running towards their own personal fitness goals. They jog, they chase, they sprint, they walk – but every step counts.