“Running Mates” is an after school program designed to prepare middle school students to run in a local 5k race. Participants in Running Mates learn about teamwork, commitment, and perseverance through a curriculum that incorporates running workouts, strength training exercises, goal setting, nutrition lessons, and team-building activities. Running Mates works to break down racial and cultural stereotypes by bringing students from different schools together for training runs, community service projects, local races, and other celebratory events.

These unique opportunities promote a deeper understanding of community and diversity, which enables new friendships to form despite the geographic and cultural barriers that exist between neighborhoods. The program meets three times a week after or before school, utilizing coaches to manage the program in a positive, active, and safe environment!

Mr. Hetland is the current coordinator for Chicago Run at Murphy School.