Baraboo Running Club Aims To Get Children Moving

Runners in Baraboo are making strides to combat childhood obesity.

With the no-nonsense motto “Keep Movin’,” some young runners in Baraboo hope to inspire each other as well as children in surrounding communities to get up, move toward the finish line and lead healthier lives.

Competition isn’t the point of Baraboo’s Movin’ Kids — a running club for all levels, ages 7 to 12.

“After we became familiar with the adult Baraboo running club, we decided to branch off that and design a club for the youth,” said group co-founder Renee Turner.

“If they have a good time here, they’ll go home and talk about it,” said running mentor Kim Wasilewski. “And maybe Mom and Dad might want to get out and run.”

Mary Jane Szweda said the running club is where her 7-year-old daughter, Mackenzie, finds confidence.

“You know, it gives her motivation, trying to cheer her on in doing stuff,” said Szweda. “And it makes her proud.”

“When I get older, I might run some races,” said Mackenzie. “And do some fun stuff with exercising.”

Whether they’re in first place, or in their first race, the young runners said they are learning life’s finish lines are better when celebrated together — and with a few water breaks in between.

The children run a mile around the track.

“And even if it’s just a mile, it might take (them) forward to other situations in life,” said Wasilewski. “Not to give up.”

Other than the price of a club T-shirt, the children in the running club pay absolutely nothing.

Volunteers of Baraboo’s Movin’ Kids provide the coaching, guidance, water and snacks at every weekly workout.

The group said it’s hoping to inspire other communities to start their own running clubs. Organizers are looking to network with other runners in southern Wisconsin to help start similar clubs around our community.

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