"Coolest kids running club in Utah!"

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What is Race Cats?

Race Cats is a 7-week, twice-a-week after school running program for 1st-6th grade kids offered in various areas throughout Utah.

Our next season of Race Cats is September 18th-November 4, 2017.

Where is it Offered?

We currently have Race Cats programs offered in

  • Ogden
  • Layton/Kaysville/Farmington
  • Daybreak/Herriman
  • Draper/Sandy
  • Utah County

Find a complete list of schools on our registration page.

Want to direct a Race Cats program in your city? Paid positions available. Email your resume and qualifications to Nan Kennard at nan@racecats.org

What's the Goal?

Our goal is to introduce kids of all experience and ability to the empowering and life-enriching practice of long distance running through a positive experience that emphasizes FUN and rewards effort, attitude and personal bests.

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How does it work?

Practice is held twice a week on your child's school field right after school for one hour. Children are praised for effort and improvement. Each school has their own jersey color and comes to three races with other Race Cats teams in their city. The fourth race of the season is our Race Cats Championships, where all five regions are invited to race together in Salt Lake City on November 4, 2017.

Top 10 finishers in each gender and age division at the Race Cats Championships will be invited to race on our "Race Cats Elite" team at the USATF Junior Olympic State Meet in Provo on November 11, 2017.

Top 10 finishers and 1st place teams at State qualify for the USATF Junior Olympic Nationals in Tallahassee, Florida on December 9, 2017.

I want to get involved!

We are currently seeking coaches for our next season of Race Cats. Coaches do not need to be experienced runners or even parents at the school. Just willing adults who enjoy kids and who can follow a lesson plan and encourage an energetic group of kids. We will provide coaches with a daily lesson plan, coaching kit with supplies for lesson activities, and a small stipend. Coaches can also get one of their own children registered for free! If you are interested in leading a team at your school, please see the registration page and contact the Race Cats Director for your city. If you are interested in directing a Race Cats program in your city, please contact Nan Kennard 720-771-7704.

Meet Your Directors

Draper/Sandy Director and Race Cats Founder- Nan Kennard

"As a child, I tried everything from dance, tennis, soccer, gymnastics, ballet, swimming, and basketball. Nothing really stuck. I either never fell in love with the sport, or was cut from team. It wasn't until my junior year in high school when I finally found distance running and fell in love with it.

After a quick learning curve, I ran well enough my Senior year to run collegiality and went on to become a 2-time All-American and run on 3 National Championship cross country teams at BYU.

After college, I raced competitively on and off in between pregnancies and busy life stages. Through all the chaos and challenges in my life, running has always been a constant source of peace and joy. Running has provided me with deep friendships, emotional therapy, personal meditation, confidence, and empowerment more than I ever imagined.

My vision for Race Cats is to facilitate opportunities for youth to discover running at a younger age than I did. I've designed the Race Cats program to be fun and positive so we can ignite a love of exercise in young children. I want them to experience the positive physical and mental benefits, confidence, joy, and life-long friendships that running provides. I hope these kids will fall in love with a sport they can do for the rest of their lives.

I look forward to cheering on your child!"

Ogden - Janae Richardson

"I started running track in junior high and was fortunate enough to have amazing coaches that helped me discover my talent in running.  With their help I walked away from high school a state champ in cross country and in the 2 mile event.  I ran collegiately at Weber State University and I continue to run competitively in races ranging from the 5k to the marathon.  With a master's degree in Exercise Science and as a USATF coach I've enjoyed coaching runners of all levels of ability for the last 11 years.  I am so excited to be involved in the Ogden Area Race Cats program as a director!  I love providing my own three kids the opportunity to learn so many life lessons through running and I can't wait to expand the impact of running to other youth in my area."

Utah County - Courtney Meldrum

Picture and quote from Courtney...

Layton/Kaysville/Farmington - Jami Caldwell

"I started running in 8th grade. It started out as a social thing--my friends were doing it. At my first race, I got last place! That didn't sit well with me and I kept at it and was running varsity at the high school by 9th grade. I then went on to run at BYU and was a member of 2 National Champion Cross Country teams. I've run competitively ever since (in between babies and injuries).

I love running because no matter what your ability level is, you can always improve and there is a place for EVERYBODY. Everyone on a team contributes in their own way. Running is a great way to learn the values of hard work, persistence, teamwork, and having fun.

I have been on many teams where there is a lot of positive energy (synergy!) and I'm excited to bring that to Race Cats! I believe that I was blessed with a few of the BEST coaches in the nation. Both in High School (Roger Buhrley) and in college (Patrick Shane). I'm really looking forward to paying it forward with these awesome kids in Davis County."

Daybreak/Herriman - Caisa Brown

"I started running my sophomore year of high school in Honolulu, Hawaii because my friends were doing it.  I shocked my parents and myself when I did really well in a few of my first races (we soon upgraded my Keds for some Nikes).  I had always been super shy but running gave me a new sense of confidence that carried into all areas of my life.  I loved working hard and seeing myself improve.  I also loved being a part of and helping my team.

I walked on to the BYU Cross Country and Track teams, but quickly found that my faster teammates helped me improve.  While at BYU, I  ran faster than I ever dreamed possible,  I was an Academic All-American, and was lucky enough to be a part of the 1997 Cross Country National Champion team.  While I had some success during my collegiate career, as I look back it was the many heartbreaks and disappointments that actually taught and benefited me most.

Today, I am a mom of 4 little boys and I often say I am now running for sanity.  I often run in the early mornings before they wake up but I also love to run while pushing them in my triple or quadruple running strollers.

Running makes my every day better.  Running has made me better.

I look forward to sharing my passion and love of running with your children."

Race Details

As an official USA Track and Field member club, we race our kids in the standard USATF distances for their age division so they can qualify for the USATF State Meet and USATF Junior Olympic Nationals. Athletes are placed in their race distance based on birth year (not grade in school).

Each Race Cats meet will have three races:

6 and under (and their younger siblings, if interested) will race a 1K (.62 mile). 1K is raced ONLY at Race Cats meet, not contended at the USATF State meet.

7-8 year olds (born 2009-20010) will race a 2K (1.24 mile)

9-12 years old (born 2005-2008) will race a 3K (1.86 mile)

The Race Cats Championship meet on November 4th will also have a 13+ year old 4K division so that older runners can run and qualify for our Race Cats Elite team as well.

If your child finishes in the top 20 at our Race Cats Championships, they will be invited to join our Race Cats Elite team for the USATF State Meet.

If your child lives in the Sandy/Draper area and would like to train specifically for the USATF State meet with the goal of qualifying for USATF Nationals, they can join Race Cats Elite for a longer training block that will supplement their regular Race Cats or middle school cross country training. See more info about Race Cats Elite HERE.

Congratulations to our 1st Place 2016 Race Cats State Teams and also those who went on to compete at the 2016 Junior Olympic Championships in Hoover, Alabama! What a GREAT inaugural season!

Follow us on Instagram @racecats and Facebook @racecatsrunning to see pictures of all the action.

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Want to get involved?

We are currently seeking coaches for our next season of Race Cats. Coaches do not need to be experienced runners or even parents at the school. Just willing adults who enjoy kids and who can follow a lesson plan and encourage an energetic group of kids. We will provide coaches with a daily lesson plan, coaching kit with supplies for lesson activities, and a small stipend. Coaches can also get one of their own children registered for free! If you are interested in leading a team at your school, please contact the Race Cats Director for your city. If you are interested in directing a Race Cats program in your city, please contact Nan Kennard 720-771-7704 or nan@racecats.org

Ogden - Janae Richardson   janae@utahrunning.com

Layton/Farmington- Jami Caldwell   jami.caldwell@gmail.com

Daybreak/Herriman - Caisa Brown   caisa.monahan@gmail.com

Draper/Sandy - Nan Kennard   nan@racecats.org