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Runner stories

Students run the streets of Philadelphia

Runners exchanging high fives
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For Students Run Philly Style, every new season begins with running one mile.

From that first mile onward, young people benefit in more ways than one from running. Running promises lifelong benefits for young people including improved mental health, leadership skills, and self-expression. Through our Future Run program, we work to create as many opportunities as possible for young people to discover the lifelong benefits of the run, including supporting partners like Students Run Philly Style.

Meet Students Run Philly Style

For young people across Philadelphia, PA, and many cities like it, finding safe spaces to just be a kid can be challenging. Students Run Philly Style provides students across the city with an outlet to not only run, but to grow as individuals, and as a community. We followed the Students Run Philly Style chapter at Frankford High School in north Philadelphia on their journey to run their first ever half marathon at the Philadelphia Distance Run.

For our students in situations where life feels out of control, setting a goal and working to attain it feels really satisfying and helpful for mental health.”

Kaley Lankford Frankford High teacher and Students Run Philly Style mentor

“After I first did it was hard, but then I thought what I can do to push myself what can I do to make it to the next level of running,” says Jaiden, a junior at Frankford High School who was one of the first students to sign up for the school’s Students Run Philly Style chapter. “Running helps with a lot of things, like thinking, stress, and other stuff that you’re going through.”

Students Run Philly

Students who participate in Students Run Philly Style receive all the gear they need to run from socks to shoes to fun swag like bags and hats. The students at Frankford High School meet at 6 a.m. to run during the summer. Once the school year starts, they practice after school every day and have early-morning runs on weekends as well.

"Those barriers between a young person and an adult start to break down because you’re doing something together: you're sweating together, you’re getting through each mile together...and you just connect,” says Lankford. 

Thanks to programs like Students Run Philly Style, and our other youth running partners across the country, we can support young runners as they learn to set goals and achieve beyond their wildest dreams, on and off the run.

Students Run Philly bag
Students Run Philly

“I hope they look at themselves and what they’ve accomplished with pride and I hope that inspires them to continue to be an athlete, and to continue that healthy lifestyle, but also to give them that extra boost to work towards hard goals and work to achieve them,” says Lankford after her Frankford High students completed their first half marathon at the Philadelphia Distance Run.

For the students at Frankford High School, the half marathon is just a step on their journey to training for and finishing a full marathon at the Philadelphia Marathon.

Students Run Philly

About Brooks Future Run

We believe in the transformative power of the run. Through Brooks Future Run, we work to create as many opportunities as possible for young people to discover the lifelong benefits of the run and its powerful community. We are committed to clearing obstacles to participation, recognizing impactful coaches and mentors, and supporting our passionate partners. Read more.