Sat, Nov 18, 2023 10:00 AM

Rod Dixon inspires kids to run for success


Staff Reporter


“Kids aren’t born to sit down and keep quiet,” Rod Dixon reckons, and so he welcomes a school culture where children are encouraged to get up and run.

The Olympic-medallist and New York Marathon winner was at Brooklyn School on Monday to run alongside the Year 3 and 4 children in their final mile of the KiDSMARATHON.

Teacher Kerryn Ferneyhough said that the class has been training for the event since July, doing a few laps of the sports field at a time, and by this week, they were finally ready to cover the last mile of the 26.2 mile event.

Dixon hails from Tāhunanui and remembers his own teachers sending the students out to burn off some restless energy so that they could settle back into their learning.

The KiDSMARATHON, established by Dixon, is an in-school running program that enables students to complete a full marathon (26.2 miles) by running approximately 3 miles per week.

Throughout the program, the kids learn the value of good exercise and nutrition habits for healthy living.

“Once it gets into the culture of a school, you’re away,” Dixon said this week.

A quartet of Nelsonites - Nelson Mayor Nick Smith, Whakatū Marae Poutohuwhakahaere Kim Ngawhika, Saint Paul’s School Board Chair Lester Binns and The Guardian’s own Top South Media Managing Director Andrew Board – have just completed the New York Marathon, as part of a fundraising campaign to get the KiDSMARATHON programme in more Nelson and Tasman schools.

The team is aiming to raise $40,000 – a nod to the 40-year anniversary of Dixon’s own New York Marathon win.

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