They earn a wristband for finishing the marathon as well as other prizes (most miles, age awards). Most importantly they are given a taste of the joy of running and the opportunity to get their families involved. I've signed up SkyWalker and the Princess. I thought about signing up Chewie as well but I think I'll wait until next year when she is in kindergarten. I could sign up too but I already run plenty and I want this to be the kids' "thing." So far we've all run together at the park, they've run on the treadmill, and they've run by themselves in the backyard while wearing my Garmin.
My school also has a running group for 4th grade and up that gets together to train for a local 5K. It's a great idea, but they meet at 5:30 in the morning. We're not doing that. So we jumped at this opportunity that's open to all grades and is very easy to fit into our schedule (provided it doesn't rain or snow for the next month). The gym class also does something called the stick run in which the kids run a designated route outside and collect "sticks" as they pass the gym teachers. The sticks tell them how far they've run. The kids love to compete for the highest numbers of sticks and they get really excited about it. I WISH I had been excited about anything in gym class when I was that age. Anyway, all the running they do for this will also count for their marathon logs. Awesome.
I hope it's a successful program and I'm glad my kids are a part of its inaugural year.