The Boston Athletic Association is committed to introducing and encouraging the sport of running in the lives of Boston-area youths. Focusing on the fundamentals of running, team participation, and health benefits, the B.A.A. Relay Challenge offers a running program in the spring to promote a healthy lifestyle, while encouraging fitness through running.
The program is offered to middle school students and commences four weeks prior to the signature event - the B.A.A. Relay Challenge - on the weekend of the Boston Marathon. The race is conducted on Boylston Street in Boston, where the participants experience the thrill of competing near the iconic Boston Marathon finish line. Clubs are concentrated in the eight cities and towns along the Boston Marathon route; the program is also offered, as space allows, to facilities and administrators that have shown an interest in hosting.
Much of this success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of the coaches and facility coordinators. Commencing annually in mid-March, training begins at select middle schools and community-based organizations. Coaches train participating youths each week in one hour sessions, providing instruction that includes concepts such as teamwork, motivation and goal-setting.
The B.A.A. Relay Challenge and the corresponding training program are part of the year-round youth program initiative created from the partnership that exists between the B.A.A. and adidas. Close to 20,000 Boston-area youths have participated in the B.A.A. Relay Challenge since its inception in 1997.