Kids Just Wanna Reagan Run (KJWRR)

Greetings and Hello fellow readers; I have been asked to write an article for the upcoming Reagan Run 5K race regarding our youth training program, the Kids Just Wanna Reagan Run (KJWRR), which helps youth start out as they want to try our region’s most attended 5K race. 

Training for a 5K run can be intimidating for a first-time runner.  However, the KJWRR program is designed to help youth properly prepare for their first race or to home in their skills as a runner.  The program meets twice a week from the end of May to the Thursday before the race.  Each child will be taught proper running techniques, nutrition habits, race etiquette, and goal setting.  The beginning runner should set realistic and reasonable goals to start a training program.  

The KJWRR program is targeted at the most significant growing age bracket of the race, six to twelve-year-old’s.   This year will be our eighth year running a partnership program.  We are very thankful for the resources of KSB Wellness, the YMCA, and volunteer organizers Amy Boss and many more.   This year we have Katie Matteson, YMCA personal trainer and health enthusiast leading the charge for the program.   We highly encourage the parents to join us as we do several runs throughout the weeks, and the more adults helping, the better we are in helping the youth meet their goals.  

I remember many of the years where both my kids participated; as they became older and ages out of the program, they became youth leaders for the runs and helped encourage our younger runners to improve their running skills. It is gratifying to see the development of our youth to have them turn full circle and coach the younger kids.   

As we approach the restoration of the race and many services throughout our community, consider enrolling your child in this healthy program to get back on track with physical fitness, healthy nutrition, and the development of the mind.  Running and learning to run is such a healthy activity.    It is very wonderful to be able to bring this program back this Spring/Summer for our youth.  We look forward to seeing the youth out and active again.

Contact us at the YMCA for more information on how to get involved or volunteer.   Registration is open through May 25, 2021. All youth registered for KJWRR will automatically be registered for the 21st Annual Reagan Run 5K on Saturday, July 2, 2021. Happy Running!   

Andy McFarlane is the CEO at the Y in Dixon, IL, runner, kayaker, and lover of the great outdoors. More information can be found at