North Country running organization embracing inclusivity for kids and teens

ABC50 NOW

CARTHAGE, N.Y. (WWTI) — Calling all little runners, big runners and all runners in between: A North Country organization is bringing inclusivity to the lifetime sport. 

Healthy Kids Running Series, based in Carthage New York, is encouraging kids and teens to join the running community. The organization is part of a national group, but got its start from Carthage-native Kylie Schell. 

Schell was first inspired to start Healthy Kids when her oldest son started showing an interest in running three year ago. Since the then, the organization has had five seasons, tripled in participants and accommodates distances for all ages. 

This includes a 50 meter dash for the youngest group, and a two mile run for the oldest teens.

However, inclusivity doesn’t stop at age differences.

“My favorite part about our program is the challenger division, which is for any kids with a physical or developmental delay or disability,” expressed Schell. “My six year old son with autism, Finley, he runs in that division. He’s completely non-verbal but you can tell how much he enjoys being able to be out there with everybody.”

But why running? Schell, a runner herself, shared why.

“The beauty is that your your mile is a mile and regardless of how long it takes. And I think that’s why running is such a good thing,” stated Schell. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if it’s this spring or next spring. We just want people to be out and be active. There’s so much going on that things aren’t able to be as they are, and we are one of the things that’s been constant this whole time.”

Concluding with, “the truth is, is that the running community is one of the most supportive communities I’ve ever been a part of.”

To learn more about Healthy Kids Running Series, visit their Carthage Facebook Page.

The 5-week Spring 2021 Series kicks off May 2, 2021 at the Carthage Park.

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