Cowtown Marathon Fits 5,225 Pairs of New Running Shoes on Fort Worth Kids


C.A.L.F. Program delivers shoes to 122 schools during January and February


(Fort Worth, TX) – The Cowtown Marathon helps thousands of school children cross the finish line each year, preparing them for a lifetime of fitness and wellness. From January 6 through February 21, this means visiting more than 100 school campuses and fitting 5,225 kids with new running shoes, ensuring they have the right equipment to achieve their goals.

The feat of delivering so many shoes and fitting each child may seem overwhelming, but it has become an annual highlight for Cowtown sponsors, staff, volunteers, and board members.  It is a rally point for the Cowtown’s charity mission and an incredible pre-cursor to the event weekend, where the organization celebrates with more than 8,000 youth runners.

“This is one of the most rewarding events and non-profit activities I’ve had the privilege of witnessing,” said Ashley Razo with Academy Sports + Outdoors, the presenting sponsor of the 2020 Cowtown Kids 5K. “Fitting new shoes onto kids who are likely wearing something two sizes too small brings such joy to both the kids and the volunteers.”

“2020 marks the eleventh year we’ve hand-delivered shoes to our grant schools and it’s just as impactful this year as it was in 2009,” said Cowtown Executive Director Heidi Swartz. “We’ve grown exponentially, but the base emotion is the same – pride and confidence that this is the beginning of a health journey for each child.”

Each year the Cowtown processes around 5,500 grant applications for the C.A.L.F program. This includes training, discounted race registration, and a new pair of SketchersTM athletic shoes. Criteria for being a grant winner includes financial need, coach or teacher leadership, student commitment and campus buy-in. There were 5,225 grants awarded for the 2020 program year, bringing the total shoe delivery tally for 11 years to 43,000 pairs of shoes.

ABOUT THE COWTOWN: The Cowtown Marathon, the second largest multi-event road race in North Texas, with 7 distance options, has a $10.4 million annual economic impact in Fort Worth. The Cowtown Kids 5K is one of the largest youth races in the nation with more than 8,000 athletes. The 42nd annual Cowtown is scheduled for Friday, February 28 through Sunday, March 1, 2020, at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. The proceeds from The Cowtown go directly to The C.A.L.F. Program, promoting a lifelong love of fitness for thousands of area children. For more information, visit