Cowtown Marathon C.A.L.F. Program Wins Youth Program Award at 2020 Running USA Industry Conference


(Fort Worth, Texas) – At the Running USA Industry Conference held earlier this week in Las Vegas, Nevada, The Cowtown C.A.L.F (Children’s Activities for Life and Fitness) Program was recognized for its outstanding work with schools in Fort Worth and the surrounding areas. Opening night awards at the international conference were presented in several categories. The C.A.L.F. Program was the sole recipient of the Youth Program award and donation of $10,000 to support the mission.

Executive Director, Heidi Swartz accepted the award on behalf of the Fort Worth non-profit.

“We were both surprised and elated to receive recognition from industry peers for the passion-filled work we do in conjuction with The Cowtown Marathon,” states Heidi Swarz. “This motivates us to innovate and expand the program, to serve area youth and inspire them to a life-long pursuit of healthy exercise.”

The C.A.L.F. Program is a school-based initiative that teaches running technique, heart-rate management, pacing, nutrition and much more to youth of all ages. The hope is that making exercise fun will encourage children to continue to be active throughout their lives. C.A.L.F. programming offers monetary assistance for race entries and new running shoes to qualifying students, as well as the camaraderie that comes from running with a club. Each year, there are more than 5,500 shoes fit onto elementary, middle school, and high school students in need.

This school year marks the sixth year of The Cowtown Challenge for Commitment Scholarship Program, also a component of C.A.L.F.  Scholarships are for Fort Worth ISD students in the 9th through 12th grade. The program promotes volunteerism, as well as participation in running races.  In its five years of existence, the number of Cowtown Scholarship students has grown steadily--from one student to currently include 21 scholars from Fort Worth ISD high schools.


ABOUT THE COWTOWN: The Cowtown Marathon, the largest multi-event road race in North Texas, has a $10.4 annual economic impact in Fort Worth, Texas, and hosts one of the largest youth races in the nation. Recently voted a fan-favorite race in Texas by RaceRaves, the 42nd annual Cowtown is scheduled for Friday, February 28 through Sunday, March 1, 2020, at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Proceeds from The Cowtown go directly to The C.A.L.F. Program.

The Cowtown C.A.L.F. (Children’s Activities for Life and Fitness) Program: 

As part of The Cowtown mission to promote a lifelong love of fitness, The C.A.L.F. Program was created in 2009 to help tens of thousands of area children lace up and cross countless finish lines. Program leaders and volunteers visit approximately 400 schools across North Texas annually, training students in proper running technique and educating them about resting heart rate, the importance of hydration, proper nutrition and living an active lifestyle. Through its school grant program, low-income children are identified and properly fit with a new pair of running shoes, as well as provided grants to make entry fees more affordable. The program has made running a 5K race a reality for 42,000 children in the last 11 years.