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2. Set Up

Setting up a successful program requires consideration and action in five areas:

  1. Plan your running spaces in advance so you have safe and measured courses ready on the first day kids run.
  2. You may need to secure permission or create a schedule depending upon when you plan to run or the spaces you select.
  3. Recruiting staff support at your site makes Mighty Milers even easier to manage and ensures its longevity regardless of staff turnover. Not only do the kids enjoy Mighty Milers more when adults participate, but it's also an opportunity for staff to run and walk too.
  4. If your program will be voluntary you may need to do a little work recruiting students.
  5. Setting up your site in STRIDES, the online tracking platform, requires a computer with internet access. Creating groups and entering students may take some time, but after that, weekly maintenance will be a breeze.

Physical Space

Find a Space to Run

It's a good idea to plan both outdoor and indoor courses, so your Mighty Milers can run on different surfaces, and without weather interruptions. Here are some of the places where Mighty Milers are running:

Gymnasium • Auditorium • Cafeteria • Hallways • Classroom • Schoolyard • Sidewalks
Closed street • Track • Park • Soccer field • Football field

Measure and Mark the Course

Once you have selected your running spaces, measure each course using the following guidelines:

Once around your running area will be a lap. Use the measuring device provided in your Start-Up Kit to determine the length of one lap, and then determine how many laps equal one mile. The device measures in feet. Once you have measured the number of feet in one lap, divide 5280 by that figure to determine how many laps equal a mile.

5280 feet = 1 mile
If using meters: 1609 meters = 1 mile

Take advantage of any markings or landmarks that already exist such as:

  • The perimeter of a gym's basketball court or school building
  • A fence
  • A gate in the yard

If there are no existing markings, use the cones included in your Start Up Kit to mark unclear portions of the course and corners. Using the cones to mark turns will also help prevent kids from cutting corners. Consider using spray paint, if your school permits.

Running Schedule

Create a Schedule

There are many opportunities to run throughout the day. We suggest you choose more than one. Consider these times to maximize participation:

Before school/class • Classroom break • Before lunch • During recess • Free periods
Start/end of P.E. • School-wide fitness day or fitness hour • After school/class

Course Schedule

Create a course schedule if you have limited space with several classes and/or Session Leaders using it. Assign specific time slots for each group, or post a schedule with available times and locations and ask Program Assistants to sign up for time slots.

Recruit Staff Support

School staff can assist Program Leads in many ways, the best of which is to become a Program Assistant. Program Assistants supervise running sessions and enter data, and each receives his or her own account in STRIDES.  Staff who run with the kids can join Teacher Tracking, enter mileage into STRIDES and earn a t-shirt and medals.

Schedule time at an all-staff meeting or set up a meeting to tell your co-workers about Mighty Milers. If some co-workers can't commit to being Program Assistants, encourage them to assist in other ways such as:

  • Helping count laps while students are running and reporting them to Program Assistants
  • Encouraging students to join the program (if Mighty Milers is voluntary)
  • Running or walking occasionally with kids during sessions
  • Displaying and updating a mileage meter poster in their classroom
  • Sharing information about Mighty Milers with parents
  • Helping plan special events, like a holiday or year-end race, or a run-a-thon

If you can’t schedule or speak at a staff meeting, send an e-mail explaining Mighty Milers and the type of support you’re looking for. It’s easier for people to respond if they know exactly what you need. Send them to the Mighty Milers website so they can learn more about the program.

Recruit Students

Whether your program is mandatory or voluntary, get the kids excited about being Mighty Milers. Plan a school-wide assembly or a series of small class introductions. While the program can be explained in just a few minutes, build anticipation by showing kids the incentive plan, screening the online motivational video, and planning a running-based kick-off event. You may also want to include an overview of when and where students will run; a discussion of individual, class, and school/organization goals; a display explaining Mileage Meters.

For schools/organizations that make Mighty Milers a part of their curriculum, this is an approved school/organization activity. While NYRR does not require any waivers, please make sure to gather the appropriate information and release forms required to meet the standards of your school or organization.


STRIDES is the name of the Mighty Milers' online tracking platform. It's used to track the students' progress in the program and automatically triggers shipments of incentives to schools when milestones are met.

User Guide

We have created a Quick Start Guide to help you set up your STRIDES account, create groups, add students, record progress, and many other common tasks. 


Your First Visit to STRIDES

Review your profile upon first signing in. Make sure the correct contact information and school address is listed so you receive all materials and incentives promptly. You may also change your username and password here.

Create groups so you have a place to enter students. Even if your site doesn't use a group structure, we suggest you create groups in STRIDES according to how or when your students run together. For example, the Program Assistant's name, after-school, recess, 2nd grade, etc. The groups should make sense for your program. 

Invite Program Assistants and the Principal on STRIDES.  An e-mail will be sent to the new staff member with a link to create a profile on STRIDES. Note: Only Program Leads have access to this function.


Add Students to STRIDES

There are three different ways to enter students into STRIDES:

If your site did Mighty Milers last year then you should start by accessing you last year's roster.

If your site is new to Mighty Milers or you have many new students to enter, then you'll want to get a spreadsheet of participating students in order to create rosters you can import into STRIDES.

Students may also be entered manually into STRIDES.


  • 1. Getting Started

    Let's kick off a great year of running! Read on to learn about the roles of program leaders and find out what's coming in your

  • 3. Running Sessions

    WIth setup done, you’re ready to run and have fun! Read on to put together your running sessions and figure out how to count laps.