BIG SUR, Calif. - The Big Sur International Marathon's youth fitness program continued to see major growth during the 3013-2014 school year, officials said.
Now in its 10th year, the number of students participating in Just Run topped 17,800. That's an increase of more than 400 percent from its first full year in 2005-2006, and a 56 percent increase over last year's total participants.
The program is at 140 schools in 15 states -- 52 of those are in Monterey County.
Students logged a total of more than 388,500 miles this year and 22 classes earned certificates of congratulations for virtually "running across the USA" - which is a main feature of the program.
"This year far outpaces any other," said Susan Love, Just Run program director. "We're making a positive impact in the lives of so many children."
Just Run is a free, website-based, fitness program focused on running, healthy eating and good citizenship. Incentives are provided to students as they achieve mileage milestones and goals races are available or encouraged for the children.
In Monterey County, students in the program have access to the Big Sur Marathon's kids 3K races held in conjunction with the April marathon and November half marathon.
More information about the program is available online or by calling 625-6226.