My school doesn't have a walking or running program yet. How do we get started and track miles?
Music to our ears! The beautiful thing about running and walking is that you need no special equipment or training to get started. There are many excellent, well-established school-based running and walking programs that you can use as a model, or you can start your own. We encourage you to begin your search by visiting our Explore Run Clubs page.
As far as tracking miles, there are a wide range of options. A good starting point is to map a one-mile course on your school grounds. This might be 5 times around the soccer field, 3 times around the building's perimeter, 18 times around the gymnasium, 8 times around an indoor hallway loop, etc. Use free tools like Google Maps or Map My Run to calculate. Once you've determined your route, there are myriad ways to track student miles, from high-tech to zero-tech. Determine a method that works for you with the time and resources available. It's okay to estimate. Our free online calculator can help you convert time, distance, or steps into miles.
Do I record miles for each of my individual students on the Billion Mile Race website?
No. When you log miles on your Race profile, you will be reporting new miles completed as one cumulative batch. This approach encourages students to work as a team toward common goal, rather than emphasizing competition. Here's how mileage reporting works: imagine Lucinda ran 4 miles, Fergus ran 6 miles, and Napoleon ran 3 miles since the last time you reported miles on your Race profile. You would tally 13 miles and input that total. These miles will automatically be added to your school's existing total. If you already had 100 miles on the board, your school's mileage count will bump up to 113.
How often should I update my school's mileage count?
We encourage participating schools to post new miles once a week. Any adult (and as many as you like!) can take charge of posting miles. To request additional account users for your school, email [email protected], with ‘Add New User – [Your School Name]’ in the subject line. Include the new user's name and email address in your email.
If your school can post more frequently than once a week, that's even better!
What are some ideas for keeping my school engaged and enthusiastic about the Billion Mile Race?
Acknowledge and celebrate your school's progress regularly. There are many creative ways to keep up momentum:
- Feature your school's latest mileage totals in morning announcements weekly or even daily.
- Integrate miles achieved into math and geography lessons.
- Your school profile comes equipped with a feature for setting a schoolwide mileage goal. It may be adjusted at any time - perhaps you set a big target for the year or a smaller one that resets month to month. However you define your school's goals, use this feature to create moments to celebrate. Reward students with an extra recess block or a pajama day. Enlist your principal or headmaster to perform a silly stunt when your school achieves a goal. (We've seen principals do it all - dress in costume, dye their hair purple, even kiss a pig!).
- Team up with a sister school participating in the Billion Mile Race and start a pen pal program.
- Make www.BillionMileRace.org the home screen on your classroom computer(s).
My school participates in a program where students track steps with pedometers. Is there an equation we can use to convert steps into miles?
If you're looking to convert steps to miles, check out our nifty mileage calculator, which makes the conversion easy! The exact number of steps per mile varies from one kid to the next, based on factors like how long their legs are and how fast they're going. For the calculator, we used a pretty conservative estimate of 2,470 steps/mile, based on research about typical stride lengths in kids ages 6-12.
Can more than one person have administrative access to a school’s profile?
Yes. We can create a log-in for additional users after the first user has enrolled a school on the Race website. To request additional users, email [email protected], with ‘Add New User – [Your School Name]’ in the subject line.
My school participates in a physical activity program that is NOT based on running or walking (such as a dance, sports, or classroom-based movement program). Can that physical activity count towards the Billion Mile Race?
First of all, awesome sauce for being so active. The Billion Mile Race is designed to celebrate school-based running and walking programs. For now, this is the only type of activity that will count towards the one billion mile goal.
Do miles achieved outside of school count?
No. Miles completed by students at home or in other venues (such as sports practice) do not count toward the Billion Mile Race. Before you throw a rotten tomato our way, hear us out. The Billion Mile Race is designed to inspire schools to be more active. Since not all children have equal opportunity to participate in extra-curricular sports or to be physically active in their home settings, it is important that as a nation we prioritize integrating physical activity into the school day. If your school’s running and walking program catches fire and kids are motivated to keep going outside of the school day, that’s fantastic, but those miles will not count in the race.
How can my school involve students with disabilities in the Billion Mile Race?
Students of all abilities are invited and encouraged to participate in the Billion Mile Race. There are as many modifications as there are disabilities, and every single individual is different. Use your best judgment or talk to your adaptive physical education teacher or case carrier about appropriate adaptations for your students. Schools participating in 100 Mile Club will find helpful resources on this front. Over its twenty-year history, 100 Mile Club has developed specific mile modifications and equivalents appropriate for students with a range of disabilities.
Why one billion miles?
It’s a lofty number that matches our big vision for this movement. We believe that collectively moving one billion miles has the power to change the landscape of America’s schools.
I have a question that's not answered here.
We are here to help. Send us an email at [email protected].