Looking for a great cause to help with? We have three ways to help build the Allied Running Club: Become a volunteer, donate an item or donate a dollar amount. Stop in to one of our stores or click here to learn more about the program and how to help and what it does for kids in the Madison community.
Running provides a space to challenge oneself, feel proud, and plug into positive groups of people who help each other. The Allied Drive neighborhood is one of Madison's most under-resourced and diverse communities. It is common for residents to have limited access to employment, health care, childcare and transportation. Allied has the highest concentration of in need families in the county, and 1/4 of its 1,350 children live in poverty. This is a neighborhood with well-documented challenges in regard to health, crime, drugs and safety. Just think what running can do in such a context, creating a space of joy, pride & independence in the summer world of 4th-9th graders.
The Miler-in-Training program was created by Jessica Anderson, co-owner of Fleet Feet Sports Madison,her brother Matt Groose & his wife, Molly Groose in 2008.
In addition to running, this training program includes a health education component and is specifically targeted for kids. During the program, kids learn about health-related topics ranging from nutrition to hygiene and completed running workouts to prepare them for their final one-mile race. The final race is organized and directed by Race Day Events, LLC., owner Ryan Griessmeyer with support from Fleet Feet Sports and MSCR. Thirteen children completed the program in 2009 and fifteen children completed the program in 2010. This number has more than doubled, allowing for more and more children to participate and achieve success! In 2014, we had 51 students learn that running can be a fun way to release stress and gain confidence!
It truly takes a village to raise an athlete. Fleet Feet Sports Madison is committed to procuring funds to continue this life-changing program and is deeply grateful to all the organizations that have contributed to giving these kids the summer of their lives! In 2011, Fleet Feet Sports Inc. and Brooks Running Company presented at $5,000 dollar grant to the program. In 2012, the innovative and brightly colored race, Color Me Rad, was generous enough to donate a portion of their registration fees to the program.In 2013, Color Me Rad donated entries into the race, so several children could participate in it for the first time. We also earned Ironman Foundation grants in 2012 and 2013 because of the enthusiastic Run Course Marshals of Ironman. Thank you to each of you who contributed with your time and energy as volunteers!
Recently, Allied Running Club received a $1750 grant from Madison Area Sports Commission to allow us to continue to provide quality equipment to the beginning athletes. Fleet Feet Sports Madison is also donating $5 from every registration fee from all of their training programs to the Miler-In-Training: Allied Running Club.
Lauren Birkel, Owner of Orange Shoe Personal Fitness West,along with Coach Erin Birk,facilitated the Whole30 program, from which a donation of almost $600 was given to the Allied Running Club’s “Food As Fuel Initiative.” Thank you to all of you Whole30 folks!
Make Your Own Contribution:
You can also make your own contribution to Allied Running Club by making your check out to Fleet Feet Sports Madison with Allied Running Club in the memo line or donating online through registration for one of our training programs. You can mail your check to Fleet Feet Sports Madison, 8440 Old Sauk Road, Middleton, WI 53562
Young Athletes’ Equipment:
Proceeds pay for the shoes and work out gear for each of the kids participating in the program. In an under-resourced community like Allied, the fact that the children are properly fit for and provided their own, new pair of Brooks shoes to use during the program is a highly motivating factor. The students can earn their shoes to keep by staying committed to the program and participating in the goal race. The shoes, team shirts, shorts, socks and water bottles, that are issued to them for their practices, ensure that these beginning youth runners have the appropriate equipment needed to succeed in their new sport. The certificates of achievement and race medals ensure that they know how important it is to stay committed to a goal. As a volunteer or donor, you could help children find a place where they are encouraged, challenged, and rewarded for hard work, which will build a foundation for the rest of their lives…and help them get a quality pair of running shoes in the process!