Students Run Philly group gathers before a run


Students Run Philly Style is the only program in Philadelphia that offers marathon training to help youth succeed in life.

We do this by connecting students with adult mentors who help them accomplish goals beyond their dreams, including the completion of a marathon. Since 2004, Students Run Philly Style has served more than 4,000 students, ages 12-18, from neighborhoods across Philadelphia.

Through the leadership of more than 200 adult mentors, called Running Leaders, more than 50 schools, recreation centers and community leaders will host Students Run Philly Style teams this year. Students train side-by-side with their mentors three days a week from March to November. Along the way, they complete eight road races, and engage in leadership and character development.


Student runners and mentors in the Students Run Philly Style program make a commitment to


Almost half of Philadelphia’s children are overweight or at high risk for becoming overweight. Students Run students addresses childhood obesity by getting students off the couch and into a healthy lifestyle. Program outcomes have consistently shown a decrease in student Body Mass Index (BMI) and an increase in cardiovascular fitness. We build life-long athletes by getting youth involved in running -- a sport that anyone can do, anytime, anywhere!

In a city where almost 7,000 juvenile arrests were made in Philadelphia last year*, Students Run combats soaring youth violence by providing students with a safe after-school activity led by strong adult role-models in the form of our running leaders. 74% of our students have reported fewer incidences of threatening others.

After training for something as difficult as a marathon, getting an A in History doesn’t seem so impossible anymore! The self-esteem, goal-setting and discipline our youth learn through running translates into improved performance in the classroom. The program has a participant high school graduation rate of 90%. Now that’s something to be proud of!