The Cowtown C.A.L.F. Program
The C.A.L.F. Program
(Children’s Activities for Life and Fitness)
As part of The Cowtown Marathon’s mission to promote a lifelong love of fitness, The C.A.L.F. Program was created in 2009 to help tens of thousands of children from area school districts and community centers lace-up and start crossing finish lines. Our staff and volunteers visit approximately 400 schools across North Texas annually, training students in proper running techniques and educating them about resting heart rate, the importance of hydration, proper nutrition, and living an active lifestyle.
But there’s so much more…
Through our school grant program, we identify low-income children and fit them properly with a new pair of running shoes, as well as provide grants to make entry fees more affordable. We then give those children tips and training to make running a 5K race a reality.
In the past 12 years, we have awarded over 43,000 financial grants and pairs of running shoes.
Our Kids Run Presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors was named “The Top Kids’ Running Program in The Nation” in 2011 and 2020 by Running USA.
By running any Cowtown race, YOU make all of this possible. Thank you!
Beads of Courage
Beads of Courage, Inc. is a nonprofit organization with a mission to support children coping with cancer and other serious illnesses. Through its flagship arts-in-medicine program, youth in more than 300 children’s hospitals around the world receive colorful beads that chronicle their treatment journey, helping them communicate and celebrate important milestones along the way.
Each bead a child receives tells a story of courage, honor, and hope. A white bead represents a chemotherapy treatment. A black bead represents a needle poke for an IV, injection, blood draw, or port access. A yellow bead symbolizes each night a child spends in the hospital.
Beads of Courage supports children facing major surgeries, difficult procedures and long hospital stays away from the comfort of home and loved ones. You can be part of a child’s treatment journey when you participate in the organization’s Carry a Bead program:
Simply “carry” or wear a bead during the Cowtown Marathon by ordering a Carry a Bead kit on the Beads of Courage website at www.beadsofcourage.org/cowtown. When you order a kit for just $15, Beads of Courage will send you two matching beads to carry with you during your run. After the event, return one bead to BOC with a note of encouragement for a child coping with cancer or another serious illness.
C.A.L.F. Program Documents
Cowtown Challenge for Commitment
ATTENTION ALL FWISD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS:
The Cowtown Challenge for Commitment is a scholarship program for students (9th through 12th grade) in Fort Worth ISD. You must log a MINIMUM of 24 volunteer hours with The Cowtown, as well as, participate in one of The Cowtown races throughout the year. If you start your freshman year and follow the guidelines each year, you could receive $4,000 at the end of your senior year. For more information, please contact us at [email protected].
Cowtown’s Commitment to Sustainability
The Cowtown Marathon is committed to the research and implementation of policies and procedures to be a more sustainable event. We are fully certified as a responsible event by the Council for Responsible Sport, which is an independent organization providing guidelines and best practices for events in Planning, Procurement, Resource Management, Accessibility and Community Legacy.
Our focus and initiatives include:
(1) Prevent the creation of waste in the first place, then divert recyclable and organic waste materials from being sent to the landfill.
- Please help us out by sorting waste into the proper bins on race day! If you are not sure look for signage on our trash receptacles for help!
- We are also partnering with Soles4Souls to give a second life to unwanted shoes and clothing. We currently have a donation box at our office location!
(2) Identify and reduce barriers to participation so that anyone can be a part of The Cowtown.
(3) Help build community and promote a healthy lifestyle for our local youth with the C.A.L.F program (Children’s Activities for Life & Fitness) — learn more here (https://cowtownmarathon.org/community-involvement/).
(4) Inform participants about sustainable transit options for race weekend including free hotel shuttles, bike valet, and information on the new TEXRail public transit.
(5) Inform participants on various sustainability options in Fort Worth through partnerships with Keep Fort Worth Beautiful, City of Fort Worth, Cowboy Compost, and Soles4Souls.
Here Are Some Ways to Help Us
These options may not be available due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- The Dash
- The Cowtown is partnering with Trinity Metro to make transportation to our expo easier. The Dash runs from the Trinity Metro Central Train station to the Cultural District which includes the Will Rogers Memorial Center. For more information on riding The Dash see https://ridetrinitymetro.org/dashanddiscover/
- We need your help with our Zero Waste/Waste Diversion initiatives. All of our garbage areas will have a can to dispose of compostable, recyclable, and trash items. Be mindful when you are throwing away items of where to properly put them. Thanks to the City of Fort Worth, Cowboy Compost, Republic Waste, and Soles4Souls for their help with these initiatives!
- The Cowtown is partnering with the City of Fort Worth, Keep Fort Worth Beautiful, Cowboy Compost, and Soles4Souls on its sustainability initiatives. For more information about these organizations see the links below:
- City of Fort Worth Waste Management
- Cowboy Compost
- Keep Fort Worth Beautiful
- Republic Services
The 2022 Cowtown C.A.L.F Running Camp
Help keep your child active this summer with a summer camp hosted by The Cowtown and Tarrant Area Food Bank! The Cowtown C.A.L.F. Camp will be held Monday through Friday. Campers will spend their mornings at The Cowtown, where we will cover a variety of running topics and have fun running activities. Then, the campers will walk to Tarrant Area Food Bank where they will be educated on gardening and nutrition, be presented with opportunities to volunteer, and be provided with a healthy lunch. Each participant will receive a camp shirt, pedometer, daily lunch, and a swag bag on the closing day!
Advocates of Inclusivity
The Cowtown Marathon supports the call for racial justice and social equity. We recognize that implicit and institutional racism obstructs the ability of those affected to enjoy full, active, and healthy lives. Therefore, we commit to listening, learning, and continuing to produce events that offer equitable opportunities to improve health for everyone.
Running has the unique ability to unite individuals regardless of career, age, culture, religion, political view, educational attainment, or level of ability. We manifest this each year as we gather 24,000 of our closest friends, 8,000 of them children, from around the world to run our two-day, seven-distance Cowtown Marathon.
1. It can improve both physical and mental health.
2. Running can be a passion, a hobby you have in common with another human being, and can help build new relationships or keep the old ones intact.
3. Running is a life-long activity that can build self-esteem and confidence, and in turn, respect for others.
The National Black Marathoners Association, a Texas-based non-profit, is an excellent resource for supporting running in the black community, learn more at http://blackmarathoners.org/. You may also want to visit Black Girls Run! a group that invites women of all races together to combat health disparities. https://blackgirlsrun.com/.
1 Shaw KA, Gennat HC, O’Rourke P, Del Mar C. Exercise for overweight or obesity. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;(4). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003817.pub3
2 Cooney GM, Dwan K, Greig CA, et al. Exercise for depression. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;(9). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004366.pub6
3 Christine Luff, Benefits of Group Running. Verywell Fit. 2020;Feb