Whether you have a child who’s an experienced runner or one who is just getting started, there are several clubs throughout the metro Atlanta area to help support their interest.
The following five running clubs in Atlanta are designed for children of various ages.
Gotta Run Kids
Gotta Run Kids has a six-week junior program for children in kindergarten through second grade, as well as an eight-week 5K program for kids who are in third through eighth grades. A competitive division called Great Strides competes in cross-country events, and several runners have competed in the USATF Junior Olympics. Most participants are from the Cumming area, but the club is also open to kids from other areas.
Sponsored by Atlanta Track Club, this game-based running program encourages kids 5-14 to participate in running. There’s no charge to set up a program, which is run by parents, school administrators and teachers. Atlanta Track Club staff provides support, consulting and site visits.
Alpha Crush Running Club
Alpha Crush Running Club provides training for youths ages 7 to 18 who live in Alpharetta, Canton, Cumming, Johns Creek, Milton and Roswell. The focus is on preparing athletes who want to participate in high school distance running, so club members don’t train for sprint or field events. The organization is a member of USATF and AAU Georgia. Alpha Crush runners practice at Wills Park in Alpharetta.
The Heat Track Club
Located in Cobb County, The Heat Track Club follows the guidelines set forth by the USATF, AAU, the Cobb County Youth Track League (CCYTL), and Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA). Practices are held at Kell High School. Youth from The Heat have won more than 300 national medals.
DeKalb County Express Track Club (D.C. Express)
Founded in 1984, D.C. Express is a member of USATF, with practices held at Stockbridge High School. Eligibility is open to middle and high school girl athletes only. Runners from D.C. Express have set records at state and national track and field, indoor and cross country championships.
This story was originally published by Mary Caldwell in 2016 and has since been updated.