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Mighty Milers FAQs

Here are the answers to many of the most commonly asked questions about Mighty Milers:

What is Mighty Milers?

Mighty Milers is a school and community-based program that instills the daily habit of running and/or walking for physical fitness and overall health in elementary and middle school children.

How does Mighty Milers work?

Over the course of a program cycle, children in Mighty Milers set goals to run and/or walk a certain distance and earn rewards for reaching milestones along the way. Classes can earn incentives as well.  Pre-K, kindergarten, first grade and adaptive PE students are encouraged to run one quarter-mile (about 400 meters) per session.  Students in second grade or higher are encouraged to run at least a half-mile (about 800 meters) or more per session.

When and for how long do Mighty Milers run?

Mighty Milers can be done in as little as 15 minutes a day.

It is designed to be integrated into the school day. It can provide classes with a fun, focusing, fitness break; make recess time productive and orderly; supplement or become a school's physical education program; and also be done before or after school.


Are we eligible to be accepted into Mighty Milers?

To be eligible for the program, a site must include at least 20 students in Mighty Milers, however we encourage the entire school or community center to get involved with Mighty Milers.


How much does Mighty Milers cost?

It's FREE!

What staff do we need for Mighty Milers? Does my principal/director need to be involved?

While we ask that one person from each school/organization serve as the Site Coordinator and take on the role of overseeing the program and communicating with NYRR, we encourage multiple faculty/staff members to get involved.

Anyone from a classroom teacher to a recess aide can become a Mighty Milers Session Leader and assist in running the program. Session Leaders are responsible for supervising students while running, tracking laps run, and entering mileage updates into STRIDES, our online tracking platform.

You must have support from your principal or director before implementing the program. The principal or director and the site coordinator will be required to sign a Terms of Agreement at the start of the program.

What is STRIDES?

STRIDES is a web-based program management system used to track student progress. Students, teachers and principals have access to STRIDES through a username and password.

  • Students have access to a personalized webpage where they can view their progress against their goal, the incentives they have and can earn, as well as the progress of their classes and schools compared to other schools nationwide.
  • Teachers can enroll students, update mileage, and run a number of reports.
  • Principals and directors get observer access to view progress reports and compare sites locally and nationally. 

What is the benefit of Mighty Milers?

The Mighty Milers program gives kids the opportunity and encouragement to get moving and release energy constructively. Kids improve their aerobic fitness, set and strive for individual goals, and bond with their classmates by achieving collective targets. 

The program also helps improve focus and behavior in the classroom, and can even help your school meet the state-mandated physical education standards for total number of physical activity minutes per week.

Ultimately, Mighty Milers teaches students the enjoyment, importance and habit of physical activity as a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle.

What type of support does NYRR provide?

Mighty Milers enables schools/organizations with little or no P.E. assets to have a physical activity program. NYRR provides full support, including training, equipment, online progress tracking and incentive management, as well as a Regional Coordinator (NYRR staff member) assigned to support your program.  The Regional Coordinator is there to provide assistance and support when needed.

What about the incentives?

Students in most grades receive a membership card in the beginning, and earn other incentives along the way. At each marathon of miles they will receive a special medal. Classes receive a "Congratulations!" poster at collective milestones of 500, 1000 and 2500 miles.

Kids love for teachers, principals, and administrators to run with them and we encourage adults to participate in the program, too. Session Leaders who track their own mileage in STRIDES will also be sent special incentives for meeting their goals.

Progress towards goals is automatically calculated and incentives are sent out to schools every two weeks.

Do I need to be a physical education teacher?

No, as long as you have principal support, anybody who is willing to take on the role of the Site Coordinator can implement the program at a site.

Can parents get involved with the program?

Yes! Parents are encouraged to serve as volunteers at the school and help with the program logistics. Happily, many students bring the habit of running home with them and get their family involved in running as well.

If your school is not currently involved, talk to the principal at the school, introduce him/her to Mighty Milers and request they apply for the program. Your willingness to regularly assist staff might be the difference in Mighty Milers being a success at your kid's school.

My school doesn’t have a gym and/or physical education classes. Is that Okay?

Mighty Milers is a great way to add physical activity to your school’s curriculum and help the school reach the state standards for the number of minutes per week each child is required to participate in physical education.

Sessions can be run in various locations including the gym, cafeteria, auditorium, playground, school block, hallways, etc. Many of our most successful sites have been very creative in finding a safe place for their kids to participate.

I work at a community center, can I qualify?

Yes, community centers may apply for the program.

Can children with disabilities participate in the program?

Many schools have Adaptive Physical Education students participate in Mighty Milers with great success and modified incentive plans are used as well. 

How much of my time will this take? Can I get paid to do this?

The amount of time varies based on the size of your school and the number of additional personnel at the school who are committed to Mighty Milers. After the initial set-up, which may take up to a few hours, the Mighty Milers program can take as little as fifteen minutes of administrative work per week. This does not include the time spent in actual Mighty Milers sessions with the children which can be as little as fifteen minutes per session.

NYRR does not pay school personnel to implement the program, so you would need to speak to your principal or director about the possibility of getting paid through the school.

Is there a preferred age range for Mighty Milers?

The Mighty Milers program is designed for elementary and middle-school students. However, there are a number of high school students who enjoy running in Mighty Milers workouts.

Do we need to purchase any equipment?

  • All new sites receive a Start-Up Kit from NYRR that contains everything you should need, including:
  • Flyers to post in the school or community
  • An oversized Mighty Milers school banner
  • Mileage Meter posters to track class or group progress 
  • First Aid Kit
  • A measuring wheel to measure your course
  • Cones to mark your course
  • Sample incentives to motivate your students
  • Mighty Milers sweat shirt and sweat pants for the Site Coordinator

Go to the Program Guide section for an instruction guide and to the Resource section for helpful coaching materials.

Do kids carry over their miles run into the next year?

At the beginning of each program year, all student mileage is reset to zero for a fresh start, but the total mileage run from the prior year will be saved and still appear on each student's personalized webpage.