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Students Run Chicago bridges together communities through running for the youth of Chicago.

Students Run Chicago challenges high school students to experience the benefits of goal-setting, character development, adult mentoring, and improved health by providing them with access to a comprehensive mentor-based running program. We pair volunteer running leaders with teams of students to inspire them to push themselves further than they ever imagined. Their goal: the completion of a 5K, 10K, half, and/or full marathon. The courage and effort required, the unfailing support of invested mentors, and the excitement of its ultimate achievement results in a student who realizes anything is possible.

For many of the students, training for a race represents the first time they have committed to a specific goal. By providing them an opportunity for incremental accomplishments and a supportive environment to help them on their way, SRC gives students the inspiration, excitement, and encouragement to accomplish anything in their sights.

From April through October, students and mentors train together for major area races such as the Chicago Rock and Roll Half-Marathon and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Our students and mentors gain so much more through this process than just increased cardiovascular fitness. During the many training runs that take place each year, there are many opportunities for in-depth conversations between students and mentors on a variety of topics ranging from running form to career advice and everything in between. Mentors learn about the trials and tribulations in young people’s lives and assist them with finding solutions and standing strong in the face of adversity. Conversely, students get advice on college and career planning as well as goal setting among other things while having the undivided attention of a caring adult within their own community. Our training model focuses on developing the skills students need to be successful when committing to such a large goal, which follows them throughout their lives both on and off the running path.

Participation in the Students Run Chicago (SRC) season is completely free for all high school aged individuals who wish to participate without exception. Students are provided with all necessary information, coaching, equipment (including dry fit shirt/singlet and shoes, etc.), and nutrition during Saturday morning long runs as well as race entries to participate in any or all of the yearly race schedule. SRC is committed to provide unrestricted access to the sport of running for high school aged students within the Chicago area as our belief is that the sport of running transforms lives through the notions of goal setting, discipline to achieve that goal and lifelong friendships that are derived from participation in the sport.

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