Turkey's biggest children's marathon will take place in Istanbul for the second time at the Maltepe Orhangazi City Park this week on May 8 with hundreds of children accompanied by their families. Similar to its previous edition, this year's marathon will celebrate Mother's Day and World Athletics Day marked in May.
On the initiative of Spor A.Ş., the sports enterprise of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, the children's marathon is held in different age categories, hosting child runners up to 15 years of age. Families accompany children in three age categories: 0-3, 4-5 and 6-7, while older children compete with each other without a parental guide. This year's motto has been announced as "Koşsun da Büyüsün" (Let them run to grow up) and 10,000 children are expected to come to the event to compete in seven categories.
The one-day event also raises awareness about children with Down syndrome through a special running section. A playground and entertainment stalls will also be set up at the park with concerts and other fun activities. Prior to the marathon, informative training on marathon awareness and sports culture will be provided for children as well as their parents as part of the scheduled event.
Last year, 7,000 children aged 0 to14 participated in the marathon aiming to instill sports culture among youngsters. Children under 3 years of age ran and walked 100 meters with their parents and children aged 4 and 5 completed 200 meters. Children aged 6 and 7 ran 400 meters and others aged 8 to 10 ran 600 meters. Children over 10 were asked to run 1 kilometer at the park. Children aged 6 to 14 were accompanied by guide runners throughout the races. Runners will be given certificates and various gifts. More details and the full program schedule for the marathon are available at the event's official website, cocukmaratonu.istanbul.