(Fort Worth, Tx) – The Board of Directors and C.A.L.F. Council today announced COVID-related modifications to The Cowtown Kids 5K race event. Traditionally held on the Saturday of race weekend with 8,000 plus youth in attendance, the 2022 edition of the Kids 5K will be staged at multiple locations, across several weekends throughout March, April and May. This will provide the safest and best experience for area youth, volunteers and school leadership. This is the only event modification planned for race weekend, February 25-27, 2022, at Will Rogers Memorial Center. In-person races in February will include the Adult 5K, 10K, Half, Full, Ultra, and Healthy Hig Marathon Relay events.
The Cowtown Marathon is committed to the health and safety of all athletes as we continue to make accommodations within a COVID environment. In particular, we want to provide a safe and fun experience for our youth runners, while increasing the number of youth who may participate in 2022.
In 2021, as part of a modified event held in May, instead of hosting the Kids 5K event at Will Rogers, we visited more than 25 school-specific locations over the course of three months hosting pop-up runs for an estimated 1,700 youth. Remaining concerns in 2022 around vaccinations and spread risk for school-age children, hosting our traditional 8,000+ youth at Will Rogers on Saturday, February 26, seems unreasonable.
The plan for 2022: The Cowtown will host C.A.L.F. run events by school district at up to six geographically convenient track and field locations between March and May. We hope to divide run events by school, capping the number of youth on each field at any given hour. We are exploring, for example, hosting multiple FWISD schools at Farrington Field and then again hosting at Clark Field on a following day, with each school arriving at a different time. Each school team will run three miles with all the fan-fair of attending an off-site event but within the safety confines of COVID accommodations for large youth gatherings. This consolidation of runs by schools on specific days in convenient district-oriented locations helps with volunteer recruitment, parental planning, school leadership coordination and community engagement.
Details will be finalized in December. Our goal is to engage 100 schools or 6,000 youth in 2022.
ABOUT THE COWTOWN: The 44th running of The Cowtown will take place on February 25 through 27, 2022, at Will Rogers Memorial Center. Run annually, The Cowtown is a Fort Worth tradition with a $10.5 million economic impact on the City. In order to ensure the safety of all athletes, volunteers, spectators, and sponsors many COVID protocols and accommodations will continue to apply this year. In-person races including the Adult 5K and 10K will occur on Saturday and the Half Marathon, Full Marathon, Ultra Marathon and the Healthy Hig Marathon Relay will occur on Sunday. Virtual options to run all distances are available. Proceeds from The Cowtown benefit the C.A.L.F. Program. Cowtown Marathon is a Gold certified event by the Council for Responsible Sport.
The Cowtown C.A.L.F. (Children’s Activities for Life and Fitness) Program:
As part of The Cowtown mission to promote a lifelong love of fitness, The C.A.L.F. Program was created in 2009 to help tens of thousands of area children lace-up and cross countless finish lines. Adhering to social distance protocols, this year, we are providing virtual training to hundreds of North Texas school youth. Courses in proper running technique, monitoring one’s heart rate, the importance of hydration, proper nutrition and living an active lifestyle are being delivered. We continue to offer our school grant program as well, identifying low-income children and delivering a new pair of running shoes and socks through their school P.E. teachers. Through the C.A.L.F. program, we have made running a 5K race a reality for 43,000 children in the last 12 years.