Princeton Health News

Registration Open for Kids Marathon 2018

April 12, 2018
PHCS Kids Marathon 2017
Princeton Health’s Signature Community Event Turns 10 Years Old
PRINCETON, N.J.—Attention, all youngsters from pre-K through 8th grade: registration for this year’s Kids Marathon is now open.

Parents can sign up their children by visiting or calling 1.888.897.8979.

The 10th annual Kids Marathon will conclude on Sunday, June 24, with a 1.2-mile fun run on the grounds of Educational Testing Service (ETS), 660 Rosedale Road, Princeton.

Between now and then, participants will work on their own, striving to run, walk or roll a total of 25 miles, or an average of about 2.5 miles a week. The 1.2 miles on June 24 will complete the full distance of a marathon. The event provides a fun way for children to be physically active.

“Any activity can count toward the total—gym class, organized sports, riding your bike, walking to school, even household chores,” said Debbie Millar, director of Community Wellness. “We also sponsor free, kid-friendly classes in exercise, gardening, nutrition and cooking that kids can complete to earn miles toward their total. Healthy habits often start in childhood, and that is the goal of the Kids Marathon and these supporting programs: we want to give young people a strong foundation for developing healthy lifestyles.”

The marathon is open to children of all abilities from pre-K through 8th grade. The registration fee is $25, and the proceeds benefit Princeton Health programs to promote wellness and prevent obesity and chronic disease in children.

However, if cost is an issue, Millar said free scholarships are available.

“We want to encourage participation,” she said.

The Kids Marathon is presented by Community Wellness in partnership with Princeton Fitness & Wellness. Thousands of young people have participated in the Kids Marathon since it was initiated in 2009 to raise awareness of the dangers of childhood obesity and promote regular physical activity for all children.

The percentage of children with obesity in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Children and adolescents with obesity face greater risk of bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and social and psychological issues. They also tend to have obesity as adults, making them more susceptible to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer. Research shows that type 2 diabetes is a growing problem among teens as well.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children age 6 and older get 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day.

According to the CDC, regular physical activity helps to:
  • Build and maintain healthy bones and muscles
  • Reduce the risk of developing obesity and conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain types of cancer
  • Promote psychological well-being
  • Reduce feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Improve students’ grades, attendance, cognitive performance and behavior

About Penn Medicine Princeton Health

Penn Medicine Princeton Health is one of the most comprehensive healthcare systems in New Jersey, providing acute care hospital services through Princeton Medical Center; behavioral healthcare through Princeton House Behavioral Health; in-home nursing, rehabilitation and hospice care through Princeton HomeCare; primary and specialty care through Princeton Medicine Physicians; ambulatory surgery and wellness services. For more information, visit Penn Medicine Princeton Health is part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), which, together with the University of Pennsylvania’s Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine, forms Penn Medicine, one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research and excellence in patient care.

Andy Williams, 609-897-8989

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