In 2017, out of the nearly 40,000 combined registered participants in the Marine Corps Historic Half and the Marine Corps Marathon, 650 were age 17 or younger. It’s a showing that offers promise from the next generation of runners but still only represents about 1.5 percent of the overall population that chose to #RunWithTheMarines.
It’s highly likely that tomorrow’s top finishers, age award winners, first timers and fun runners haven’t participated in an organized running event yet. With numerous other distractions just a swipe away, youngsters must find the inspiration to run, the dedication to train and the stick-to-it-ive-ness to see it through. It helps to have runners in the family–moms, dads, older siblings, grandparents, uncles or aunts.
Seeing a family member cross the finish. Feeling the energy of the event. These sensory moments have an impact and, hopefully, translate to a youngster’s desire to test their own running abilities. What also has an impact is the cost of participatory sports so the Marine Corps Marathon Organization is doing something about that with hopes of bringing more families and young runners to start lines in 2018.
The Marine Corps Marathon Organization has introduced the Next Generation Inspiration Initiative providing a 40 percent registration discount for all runners age 17 and under for all MCM events in 2018 from the Marine Corps 17.75K on March 24 to the Turkey Trot 10K on November 17. All means ALL including the Quantico Tri, Marine Corps Historic Half, MCM Kids Run and even the Marine Corps Marathon.
So, run families run. Find an event whether it’s on the roads or trails or through mud; whether one mile or 26.2; whether it takes five minutes or five hours; there’s a wholly positive experience waiting for youngsters with the benefit of a genuine sense of accomplishment that could lead to a lifelong pursuit. Plus, there’s the additional incentive of saving on the registration fees–and that ain’t bad either.
Thanks for visiting this archived blog. The content and details are specific only for the event year highlighted in this article. For current information, please visit the event page within the MCM website.