2015 Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Grand Rapids Kids Marathon

Kick-Off Run Set for Monday, 8-10-15, 6:30 p.m.
Millennium Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Registration is open – click here to register today!

RACE DAY:  Saturday, October 17, 2015, 1:30 p.m.
LOCATION:  David D. Hunting YMCA, 475 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Download the log sheet

Kids Marathon Runners and Families:

Registration is open free of charge) for the Ninth Annual Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Grand Rapids Kids Marathon, scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 17, 2015, at 1:30 p.m., at the David D. Hunting YMCA.

**JOIN US FOR OUR GROUP KICK-OFF RUN on Monday, August 10, 2015, at 6:30 p.m., at Millennium Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The kids will kick off their training by running their first mile as a group at Millennium Park. Although the run starts at 6:30 p.m., please arrive early to register and have the kids warm up and stretch their muscles. Post-race refreshments will be provided. So that we can estimate how many kids to expect at the kick-off event, please RSVP to Jan Host (jhost@wnj.com) or Francine Robinson (frobinson58@aol.com).

If you’ve participated in this event before, you know it’s a lot of fun! If you aren’t familiar with the Kids Marathon, read on!


The Grand Rapids Kids Marathon, presented by Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, was started by the Grand Rapids Marathon in 2007 in response to a growing need to improve the health and fitness of our youth. The Kids Marathon Program was designed to  promote healthy lifestyles among our children through regular and consistent physical activity.

  1. Beginning the first week in August, children commit to running or walking two to three miles a week, in one-half or one-mile increments, with a friend or family member. They track their progress on a log sheet that can be downloaded and printed from this page (link will be available soon).  The log sheet goes through mile 25, nearly a marathon distance (26.2 miles).

    Using this approach, children learn to set goals, set aside time to reach their goals, and make exercise a priority. In the process, they learn it is fun to be active, and it feels great to be heathy and fit.

  1. By Race Weekend, children will run or walk the last 1.2 miles of the 26.2 marathon distance on the Official Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon race course.  (Children of all ages are welcome to participate in our event. On race day, the youngest ones can run with their parents, grandparents, or an older sibling.)

    Registered runners will receive an official race bib and race t-shirt
    Finishers receive a medal and certificate
    All participants will receive post-race refreshments

    After the children cross the finish line and have achieved their goal of running a marathon, it is our hope that the feeling of accomplishment will encourage them to continue their healthy lifestyles well beyond race weekend, making physical activity and good nutrition a priority in their daily lives.

The Kids Marathon is offered free of charge through the support of our Title Sponsor, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.  Other renewing sponsors and community partners include Metro Health Sports Medicine, Gazelle Sports, Life EMS, David D. Hunting YMCA, Meijer, the Grand Rapids Public Library, the Kent District Library, and Kent Vocational Options.


Volunteers will be needed on the day of the event to help with race weekend logistics. If you are interested in volunteering for the Kids Marathon, please click on the Volunteer page found under the “Get Involved” tab of this website and send an e-mail to Kristin Haight, our Kids Marathon Volunteer Coordinator.


The Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon continues to offer this event free of charge because of its commitment to bettering the health and fitness of the children in our community. We would be pleased to have local businesses, or organizations that support programs for children, partner with us in order to help underwrite the costs of putting on this event. Sponsorship could be through financial support or donations, such as healthful snacks for race packets and post-race refreshment area. For more information, please contact Francine Robinson at frobinson58@aol.com.

For answers to even more questions, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page HERE.

We hope to see both new and familiar faces at the Ninth Annual Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Grand Rapids Kids Marathon on Saturday, October 17! Have a safe, fun, and healthy summer!

Jan and Francine

Francine Robinson – Committee Chair
Jan Host – Co-Chair
2015 Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Grand Rapids Kids Marathon Committee
E-mail: jhost@wnj.comor- frobinson58@aol.com