Let Me Run is More Than Running

Boys Learn Social/Emotional Health in 7-week Running Program

By Let Me Run Staff April 3, 2024

Boys don’t cry. Don’t act like a girl. Boys hear these messages, and worse, on a daily basis. Society frequently praises boys for anger, aggression and pride while calling them weak if they show empathy and compassion. Let Me Run encourages boys to be respectful, caring and trustworthy individuals with the self-confidence to be themselves instead of adhering to a strict code of societal expectations.

With a comprehensive curriculum that applies the power of running, Let Me Run encourages boys in grades 3 through 8 to develop their psychological, emotional, and social health, in addition to their physical health. And the program is seeing results. According to an independent evaluation by the Institute to Promote Athlete Health & Wellness at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Let Me Run significantly improves boys’ attitudes and behaviors associated with healthy masculinity, increases vigorous physical activity levels, improves social competence, and reduces screen time on school days.

Both boys and parents alike love the program. At the end of the Fall 2022 season, 100% of parents who responded to a survey rating the program stated it was ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. One parent even said “I didn’t realize it was ‘more’ than running. The program is really powerful and I was shocked at how many of the activities helped my son really think about his actions and how he can be better in his community.” In as little as one season, Let Me Run can change boys’ lives – all while they have fun and enjoy time with their friends.

Twice a week for seven weeks, two trained volunteer coaches lead an elementary or middle school team through practice. Designed to amplify confidence, self-expression, and respect for others, each practice includes a lesson from the Let Me Run curriculum that incorporates running, games, and activities. Each fall and spring season culminates in a 5k race festival that celebrates each boy’s personal growth and encourages goal setting and pushing past perceived barriers.

Let Me Run has reached over 38,000 boys nationally across 39 states, but there is still so much opportunity to grow even more. Within the Columbus region, the program has been active for 9 years, helping over 2,100 boys.

The Let Me Run Columbus SpringFest 5K will be Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 9:30am and held at the Westerville Sports Complex (325 N. Cleveland Ave. Westerville, OH 43082). The race should sell out at over 275 race participants and there will be many families and friends as spectators! Community members are encouraged to participate.

To learn more about Let Me Run, visit or contact Shruti Gupta at

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