Iowa Kidstrong

Founded in 2005, Iowa Kidstrong is committed to promoting healthy and active lifestyles among Central Iowa children.

The organization's many initiatives support and supplement school-based physical education activities and health programs and are designed to target elementary students at an impressionable age.

Iowa Kidstrong seeks to interrupt the controllable patterns that lead to poor health, creating a wellness culture that recycles itself for generations to come.

Since its founding, Iowa Kidstrong has achieved considerable success; most notably through its KidStriders program that encourages and incents students to run or walk the cumulative distance of a marathon (26.2 miles), the last quarter-mile of which is run as a special, celebratory kickoff for the Grand Blue Mile.

The program has been nationally recognized by former Surgeon General of the United States, Steven Galson, and author and ultra-marathoner Dean Karnazes, who described KidStriders as "brilliant" after experiencing the program firsthand during a visit to Des Moines.

In support of these vital initiatives, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Drake Relays are proud to recognize and honor Iowa Kidstrong as an official beneficiary of Grand Blue Mile proceeds. To date, the Grand Blue Mile has raised more than $91,000 for Iowa Kidstrong.