Loren’s Badass Chick: Laura McKenzie

This week’s Badass Chick is Laura McKenzie, a personal trainer and cross-country coach who started the Marathon Fitness Challenge which promotes healthy habits in children.

Laura has been an avid runner for almost 23 years, and over a decade ago, she was inspired by an article in Runner’s World Magazine about the importance of running for children. At the time, Laura’s kids went to Elmwood Elementary School in Hopkinton and each year they got to meet the elite runners of the Boston Marathon thanks to their pre-Marathon Monday visit. Laura noticed how excited all of the kids in the school were to meet the runners, so she had an idea.

Laura approached the school about creating the Marathon Fitness Challenge: an 8-week, incentive-based program designed to encourage children to run or walk 26.2 miles. This program is completed both in and out of school, and at the end of the 8 weeks, the classroom that runs the most average miles per student wins the “Golden Sneaker” and a pair of gold shoelaces for every child. It was a success, and it stuck: this Marathon Monday kicks off the Marathon Fitness Challenges’ ninth year.

I love that Laura has found a way to promote healthy habits in children and get them motivated about running simply by sharing her passion. For that, she is my Badass Chick of the Week!

The TJ Show can be heard weekday mornings from 5:30am until 9:00am on Boston’s 103.3 AMP Radio. You can follow TJ, Loren and Producer Matt on Twitter: @RadioTJ @LorenRaye and @ProducerMatt AMP and on Instagram: @RadioTJ @LorenOnAir and @ProducerMatt AMP. Listen to The TJ Show On-Demand with The TJ Show Podcast on play.it & iTunes

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