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Course for Change is a mentoring program, which uses long distance running as a vehicle for change for at-risk and juvenile justice involved youth. Youth between the ages of 12-18 years of age train with adult mentors to run a half-marathon after 12 weeks of training.



How does Course for Change train?

During the season, youth and mentors log approximately 135 miles together in training.

We train two days per week:

  • Thursday in collective running groups at  6:00 pm

  • Saturday in collective running groups at 6:00 pm 


Where does Course for Change train?

Youth and mentors train on the Oklahoma River Trails, meeting at the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower for each training session.


Do youth runners pay to participate in the program?

No, through our program funding youth runners are provided everything they need for the season, from new running shoes to race entry fees.  Course for Change is supported by the Arnall Family Foundation, along with the very generous support of many community partners.

Purple Sneakers

When I first decided to bring some of my students, I didn’t expect this program to hold their interest. Of the 8 students who started, I expected no more than 3 to finish. And since I was going to run as long as they did, it might have been the first time I hoped they would quit something. But they blew my expectations out of the water when all 8 were at the final training sessions, and all but one participated in the half-marathon. To say I was impressed is an understatement.


I’m a fan of anything that gets other positive influences engaging in the lives of young people. The mentors were all down-to-earth and from a wide range of occupations. They were extremely encouraging to the students, and even though they were all experienced runners, they had a patience and humility about the way they responded to the kids. Several of the kids hope to participate in Season 2, and I think that speaks volumes about the mentors and program as a whole.


Director of Urban Missions at Hope for Generations



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Course for Change Weather Policy


If thunder is heard or lightning is seen, the training session will be suspended at that time. All runners will immediately begin heading back to the Finish Line Tower from the running trails and remain undercover or indoors at the Finish Line Tower.  At the Program Manager’s discretion, the training session will either be cancelled or resumed 30 minutes after last thunder / lightning occurrence. 

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