Fleet Feet Running Club

Kickstarters Youth Running Program

A running program for kids ages 5 to 10

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posted May 31st, 2019 by David Spetnagel, Owner, Fleet Feet St. Louis

I have good news and bad news about our Kickstarters youth running program.  The bad news is that, despite starting the process months ago and investigating a number of options, we were not able to secure an available, suitable, and affordable location for a Summer 2019 Kickstarters program.  We sincerely apologize for not making this announcement sooner, but we held out hope on finding a location until just yesterday, when our final option fell through.

The good news, however, is that we are using this unexpected off-season to improve and add to our youth running services.  I am excited to announce that we have hired Kat Foust as a Fleet Feet Running Club coach.  Kat's experience as a youth coach and PE teacher makes her the perfect person to advance our youth programs.  We have also partnered with HeartZones and will be incorporating their "To the MAX!" curriculum into our youth training classes.  Our current plan is to add some additional youth training opportunities to the list of Fleet Feet Running Club services beginning this fall - with the full menu being available by Summer 2020.

If you have any questions regarding our planned youth activities - or any questions about Fleet Feet Running Club, please send them to ffrc@fleetfeetstlouis.com and we will direct your email to the appropriate person.


The goal of Kickstarters is to instill in children ages 5 to 10 a lifelong love of running. Our 6-week, non-competitive, “open track” program gives kids the opportunity to experience running in a fun, friendly, and safe environment. Participants will learn good form, build strength and endurance, make friends, and experience how improvement is the result of consistent effort.

Program Perks:

  • KickstartersWe make running fun.  When children are having fun, they are 80% more likely to continue doing whatever they are doing.  In Kickstarters, the kids earn a popsicle stick for each lap they run and at the end of practice they trade in their popsicle sticks for lap rewards (stickers, stamps, etc.).
  • Friendship and belonging.  Being with friends and enjoying a sense of belonging are far more important to get young children running - and keep them running - than incentives parents may use to get children to run.  Among friends, kids are anchored, secure, comfortable and ready to be engaged.  Without them, kids are uncertain and less ready to take on new challenges.
  • Geared for success.  It doesn’t matter how fast or slow each runner is, all participants will receive points and prizes for their achievements!
  • Building motivators.  When children run because of the feeling of satisfaction and the simple enjoyment they get out of it, they are intrinsically motivated.  Kickstarters will help with the extrinsic motivators like a self-designed Kickstarters T-shirt, water bottle, racing bib, and baton,  Extrinsic motivators have gotten millions of children running.
Protocol:

Practices last 45 to 60 minutes. After a group warm-up (stretches, form drills and running games), kids are encouraged to run at their own pace and run as many laps as they feel comfortable running.  Our goal is to have kids run/walk 4 laps (1 mile) each practice; by the end of the season many kids are running 2 to 4 miles – and still smiling at the end!

Parents are welcomed and encouraged to attend.  Heck, we might even ask you to volunteer passing out lap rewards!

Where, When, and How Much:

In 2018, Kickstarters was held on Monday evenings, starting at 6:00pm, from June 4th through July 9th at Lutheran High School of St. Charles County.  The cost was $60 per child.  


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