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Attention. All entries after 4:00 Wednesday September 27 will need to be picked up at Body First 3615 Claflin Rd Thursday and Friday or at the information table on race morning.
The mission of the Body First School Fitness Challenge is to provide support and money to K-8 schools in Manhattan and the surrounding area to assist with fitness-related activities or equipment. Children register through their school in the fall and choose a distance to run. Schools are awarded money based on total number of students participating, and the percentage of students participating.
The Body First School Fitness Challenge was developed in 2008 with a simple idea to provide money to local schools for encouraging their students to be active. With local business sponsors, the Manhattan Cross Country Club provided $1,000 to area schools the first year. Since then, the event has grown tremendously, reaching a high of $12,000 provided to area schools in 2016.
Participating schools have come from Manhattan, Riley, Westmoreland, St. George and Wamego. Entries have routinely topped 1,000 youngsters in grades K-8, with a high of 1,260 in 2016. It is the largest Kids-only Fun Run in the state of Kansas and is believed to be one of the Top 5 Kids-only Fun Runs in the entire United States!
This event is made possible by the generosity of our title sponsor, Body First Wellness of Manhattan and numerous area businesses.
The 2021 Body First School Fitness Challenge will be held on September 25, 2021. This year, organizers expect to award $10,000 to participating schools based on the number of their students who participate. Through 2019, the total funds to area schools is just more than $90,000, made possible by generous support of the title sponsor, Body First Health and Wellness, and many more local sponsors. The event was not held in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.
To give a sense of how this event benefits local schools, consider that the annual budget for physical education in USD383 Manhattan-Ogden is about $600. In 2019 -- the last time this event has been held -- the money awarded to area schools was as follows:
TOTAL FUNDS AWARDED, BY SCHOOL (2019)
Amanda Arnold Elementary -- $1,131
Bergman Elementary -- $806
Bluemont Elementary -- $656
Flint Hills Christian -- $1256
Lee Elementary -- $1131
Manhattan Catholic -- $806
Marlatt Elementary -- $1006
Northview Elementary -- $606
St. George Elementary -- $656
Theodore Roosevelt Elementary -- $756
Wamego West Elementary -- $426
Woodrow Wilson Elementary -- $756
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