Kids Just Wanna Reagan Run Training Next Generation of Runners

Katie Matteson’s journey to becoming a certified running coach is one marked by resilience, determination, and a profound sense of purpose. Growing up, Katie faced a formidable adversary in the form of an eating disorder in her late teens/early 20s. But amidst the darkness, she discovered a beacon of light – running.

For Katie, running wasn’t just a hobby or a form of exercise – it was a lifeline. With each stride, she found herself reclaiming control over her body and mind, breaking free from the suffocating grip of her disorder. Running became her sanctuary, her therapist, her most trusted confidante.

As Katie’s love for running deepened, so too did her desire to share its transformative power with others. So, she embarked on a journey to become a certified running coach, armed with a mission to inspire and empower others through the sport that had saved her life. Katie has been running for over the past 14 years, completing 7 marathons, and many other racing events.

For the past 8 years, Katie has poured her heart and soul into coaching others in running. This is Katie’s 5th year coaching for the Dixon Family YMCA Kids Just Wanna Reagan Run 5k training program. Through her guidance and mentorship, she helps children from 1st grade to 6th grade understand not just the physical aspects of running, but also the mental and emotional fortitude it requires.

The benefits of youth running are numerous and far-reaching. Physically, running helps improve cardiovascular health, build strength and endurance, and promote overall well-being. But perhaps even more importantly, running teaches valuable life skills such as discipline, perseverance, and resilience.

This summer, the YMCA Kids Just Wanna Reagan Run 5k training program promises to be an exciting and enriching experience for young runners. Under Katie’s expert guidance, participants will learn proper running form and technique, develop strategies for pacing and endurance, and set and achieve personal goals.

But the benefits extend far beyond the physical realm. Through running, children will learn the importance of goal-setting, teamwork, and self-confidence. They’ll discover that with dedication and perseverance, they can accomplish anything they set their minds to – both on the track and in life.

As the summer training program unfolds, participants can expect a fun and supportive environment where they can challenge themselves, make new friends, and build lifelong memories. Whether they’re crossing the finish line of their first 5k race or simply pushing themselves to new personal bests, each milestone reached is a testament to their hard work and dedication.

For Katie, coaching for the YMCA Kids Just Wanna Reagan Run 5k training program isn’t just a job – it’s a calling. It’s an opportunity to pay forward the gift of running that saved her life and to inspire the next generation of young athletes to reach for the stars.

And as she watches her young runners grow and flourish under her guidance, she knows that she’s not just coaching athletes – she’s shaping futures. With each step they take, they’re not just running toward the finish line – they’re running toward a brighter, healthier, and more empowered future.

The YMCA Kids Just Wanna Reagan 5k Training Program is for kids grades 1st through 6th. Registration is still available up until the first week of practice. The program will run for 6 weeks leading up to the Reagan Run 5k on July 6th. Register online with the link listed You can also stop by the Dixon YMCA to register in person.