September 16, 2017

Meet the Chick fil A Kids Marathon Coaches


The Novant Health Charlotte Marathon has partnered with Chick-fil-A to create a 7 week running program for kids 11 and under. Participating kids will train for 7 weeks, then they will join Charlotte Marathon festivities on November 11, 2017 to run their final program mile on race day and finish out with 26.2 total miles. Today we’re talking to the awesome coaches from the program to give you a few more details. Registration ends September 21, so sign up today!

Now let’s meet Alyssa and Jacqueline!

Alyssa Torres

Coach, Chick-fil-A Charlotte Kids Marathon and Creative Brand Manager, Run for your Life

What’s your background in running?

I started running youth triathlons at 6 years old. This is when I fell in love with running and I haven’t stopped since. I continued running competitively through college where I received a scholarship for Cross country and Track and UNC Wilmington. I have gone back to the basics of running and I now run for the fun of it!

Tell us about the Chick-fil-A Charlotte Kids Marathon.

The Chick-fil-a Charlotte Kids Marathon is on its second year! Over 7 weeks the participants will run 25.2 miles with the final marathon mile on race day November 11th, 2017. This program is the chance for runners of all abilities to join in all of the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon fun.IMG_5077

What can kids expect from the program?

Runners will be sent an e-newsletter each week with the goal mileage, training tips, strength challenges, and fun activities. Each week we will hold an optional training run where the runners will get the chance to work as a team to achieve their daily goals. The runners will be completely registered for race day with entry, a personalized bib, a race shirt, and a marathon program finisher medal!

What can parents expect?

Parents are the runner’s biggest support system for completing the full marathon.
They will be given all of the updates for the program each week so they are encouraged to join in on the training too!

What are the age requirements for the program?

This running program is for runners 11 and under with all different running abilities and styles.

How do you help kids build endurance and confidence with the program?

This program ends on a race but I want to make sure each runner works on his/her own personal goals and focuses more on what they wish to accomplish. Running is a tough sport but nothing is more satisfying than knowing you are getting better and better with each run. Some days are harder and more discouraging than others but being able to come back stronger after those rough days are what builds confidence.

What do you love most about coaching?

I love being around the sport I love every day. I love inspiring new runners to reach their personal goals. I know not everyone is going to fall in love with running like I did but I hope they learn new skills and fitness habits that they can carry with them in the future.

Tell us about the finish line experience for the kids.

After the race through the finish line the kids will receive their finisher medals and join all of the food, music, dancing, and celebrating going on at the finish festival.

How can kids sign up?

Registration for the Chick-fil-A Charlotte Kid’s Marathon Program will close at 11:59 PM Thursday, September 21. Participants will receive their Welcome email and training kit on Friday, September 22.

Jacqueline Saliba

Runner, shoe expert and sales associate at Run for Your Life, coach and mom

What’s your background in running?

I have been running for 30 years. I ran high school track and cross country. I also ran cross country in college!IMG_1747

What keeps you running?

I love to be outdoors and it is a great way to spend time with my three kids – Layla (17), Isabella (15), and Drew (11)!

You’re also a mom. How have you instilled your love of running in your son?

My son started running with me when he was 8 years old. I began coaching his cross country team and found he had a passion and talent for running.

What should parents of new runners know about getting their kids started in the sport?

You have to make the sport fun for the kids. Start out slowly and work you way up and take them on different running adventures.

What kind of gear do kids need to get started?

The most important gear is good running shoes and socks. Good shoes help prevent injuries and moisture wicking socks keep the blisters away.IMG_1758

How important is shoe fit for young runners, and how can Run for your Life help?

Shoe fit is extremely important because kids are still growing and you need to have the proper fit with plenty of room. Run for your Life can help by doing a gait analysis and measuring the child’s feet. They will then help pick the right shoe.

What do you love most about the Charlotte running scene?

I love the greenways in Charlotte and the running community it creates.

Where are some of the best parent/child running spots in Charlotte?

Mallard Creek Greenway, Freedom Park and McAlpine.

What if your child falls in love with the sport – what next?

If your child falls in love with running, help him to grow by entering races such as a local 5k or the Kids Marathon. There are also local kids running groups you can join. I coach the group in Harrisburg and there are several through out Charlotte!

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