Top News

P.E.I. Marathon: Kids Fox Trot is a signature event for marathon weekend

Participants make their way around the outdoor track at UPEI during the inaugural Kids Fox Trot on Saturday. The race, which saw hundreds of participants, was presented by The Guardian and Sobeys Extra as part of this year’s P.E.I. Marathon.
Participants make their way around the outdoor track at UPEI during the inaugural Kids Fox Trot. The race, which saw hundreds of participants, was presented by The Guardian and Sobeys Extra as part of the P.E.I. Marathon. - Mitch MacDonald
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Most of the attention for the Prince Edward Marathon weekend is focused on the race events of Sunday. That is the day you see the finish line downtown in front of the cenotaph and the day the big kids get their moment in the spotlight with the all-important five-, 10- and 16-kilometre (new in 2019) races, plus the half and full marathon distances along with the walking, wheelchair and corporate/team relay events.

If you haven’t had a chance to take in the Kids Fox Trot run, I highly suggest you take a swing by the UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place track on Saturday morning, Oct. 19, to check it out. It will leave you smiling from ear to ear and you might just find some inspiration in watching the kids have their morning on the track.

Our race committee, along with our sponsors, are incredibly proud to support this event for the kids completely free of charge to the families involved. We feel this is the best way to give kids a taste of an official race and to break down any barriers that may exist in getting kids to the start line. Although short in distance, the Kids Fox Trot can instil memories of a positive experience with the runners of tomorrow.

It is so much more than a 400- or 800-metre run, it is a community coming together to support and promote physical fitness and breaking down barriers for our children. It is their moment to shine or perhaps struggle out there and our time to fully support them as they try running and racing on.

More than 600 children from up to the age of 14 are outfitted with race shirts and bibs and receive a treat bag after they have gotten their heart rate up.

It is a sight to behold when all the kids take the track for a group warm up. Rosey cheeks and runny noses abound after a few stretches and games are played.

It is then time to clear the track for the older group of ages six to 14. An official race clock is placed at the finish line and as the piercing noise of the air horn goes off, the kids bolt off for two blistering laps of the track. These children can lay down some very impressive times but what is truly special to watch is the family members watching from the sidelines busting with pride as their loved one makes their way around the track twice to collect their finisher ribbon and treat bag. 

Just like the adult races, it takes a support network of friends and family to set you up for success to run. Whether it is taking on an extra load of family or household duties or just plain being a cheerleader, support can give someone that extra push to keep going or to just to sign up.

When the older children have cleared the track, it is now time for the real show of the day, the children of five and under get to take their spot with a family member for one lap of the track.

This is where the bundled up little ones either on their own power or in strollers or some combination of both, make their journey around the 400-metre track.  They too receive a well-deserved treat bag and finisher ribbon for their efforts along with their shirt.

These mementos can be quite a keepsake in years to come as these children grow into young adults and then adults. We do have a few participants in the Sunday events now that come from the humble start of that Saturday morning kids run. 

To avoid disappointment and what can be some lengthy lines on Saturday morning, it is advised to register in advance and to pick up your child’s kit at the expo on Friday evening.

You can register your child for the Kids Fox Trot run in advance at https://peimarathon.ca/kidsfoxtrot/ . See you Saturday morning for a really fun hour (and my favorite event) of marathon weekend.


Cheryl Paynter is a longtime P.E.I. Marathon board member. She will be contributing weekly columns leading into this year's marathon weekend, which runs Oct. 18-20.


On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend the Journal Pioneer?


Recent Stories