Join The Squad

We’re always looking for more help! Come out, volunteer, and change some lives.
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Save the Date!

The fourth-annual 504k and Youth Run NOLA's premier fundraiser is set for March 18, 2017. See you there!
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Race calendar is live!

Join us in our 7th season as a walking/running buddy or event volunteer!


Youth Run NOLA creates and empowers a community of healthy, young leaders through running.

  • The Problem
  • The Plan
  • Our Program
  • Across the Greater New Orleans region, many youth — especially those living in lower-income communities — lack consistent exposure and access to healthy ways of living at home, at school, or in their neighborhood. Gaps in healthy habits throughout youth can result in obesity or other long-term physical and mental health problems. Many young people could also benefit deeply from healthy relationships with a supportive peer network and positive role models.


    of Louisiana youth ages 6-17 participate in regular vigorous physical activity.


    of children ages 10-17 living in Louisiana are obese.


    of Louisiana high school students have attempted suicide.

  • By partnering with schools and community sites, we believe we can help youth develop healthy habits for life through distance running. The individual act of putting one foot in front of the other instills the importance of endurance, focus, and committing to a goal. By participating with Youth Run NOLA year after year, our youth become addicted to this sense of accomplishment felt at each finish line and the love of their supportive teammates. Running becomes a metaphor for achieving goals. We believe the next generation should truly run this city.

  • Youth Run NOLA is a locally grown non-profit organization that supports 10-18 year olds across St. Bernard, Orleans, and Jefferson Parishes. Guided by teacher-coaches at school and community-site chapters and volunteer running buddies at monthly races, our youth — many with little or no prior experience running — develop a commitment to healthy choices. Each week at practices, youth train alongside their coaches through a rigorous curriculum of sprint and distance workouts, nutrition and physiology education, and team-building.

    In the process, our participants develop the endurance required on a running route and in life, a strong belief in themselves and others, and an expanded sense of all that is possible. All the while having an epic amount of fun.



Founded in 2010 as an after-school club in St. Bernard Parish, Youth Run NOLA benefited from a wealth of generosity and guidance as a project of the Young Leadership Council. Since its founding, the organization has served more than 600 students at 22 school sites, run more than 20,000 miles, and logged more than 25,000 volunteer hours. We create and empower a community of healthy, young leaders through running, with an intensive eight-month guided training program of twice weekly practices and monthly events overseen by teacher-coaches and volunteer running buddies. Our program combats the obstacles facing our youth - many of whom cope with unsafe, unhealthy, and unsupportive circumstances - with positive, structured after-school engagement.

Our Values

  • Inspire positive, healthy choices

    We believe that a healthy lifestyle is a path we can choose every day, not a destiny we're dealt.

  • Find Fun And Joy

    We are enthusiastic and hopeful.

  • Believe in Each other

    We are champions for ourselves and our community.

  • Foster Endurance

    We set goals and are committed to achieving them.

Meet the Youth Run NOLA Team

Our committed team of board members, staff, and advisors guide us through every turn and straightaway.

Support the Movement

Make a Donation

A tax-deductible donation to Youth Run NOLA helps us keep running. It's a great way to support community and health in New Orleans.

Donate Now

Keep Up With Us

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the latest updates and stories from the people of Youth Run NOLA.

Stay Informed

Our e-mail newsletter will alert you to upcoming races, special events, and fundraising efforts. Sign up today!

Sign up to Volunteer


Keep students motivated on race day by running alongside them. You'll find a friend and they'll find the support they need to reach their goals.


Be a part of the magic when youth check-in for another 10k race to beat their best time.


Support a head coach two days a week at one of our twenty five school or community sites. Build relationships that will last a lifetime.


Work with our staff to make race day a smooth success by helping us check our runners in, cheer them on, or pass out water!

Youth Run NOLA News

  • Celebrating Global Running Day with Youth Run NOLA
    The/Studio 06.06.16

    Celebrating Global Running Day with Youth Run NOLA

    Custom badge makers from The/Studio interview ED, Denali Lander, to celebrate Global Running Day! After supplying our Chalmette Trailblazers with the coolest patches for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, The/Studio followed up to learn more about the young runners.

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  • Tribute to our Coaches

    Tribute to our Coaches

    We would not be the program we are without the hours of love and support and guidance from our volunteer teacher-coaches. Here from a few of our young runners in this special video to honor our coaches who have been with us for at least three seasons. We love ya’ll!

    Watch here
  • Making a Difference: Children run their way to better life
    WDSU 01.26.16

    Making a Difference: Children run their way to better life

    Twice a week in City Park, a group of kids can be seen running in formation. It’s all part of a project aimed at keeping the youth of New Orleans focused on goals, healthy lifestyle and a supportive community.

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  • Allstate Sugar Bowl Believes in Champions
    WDSU 01.13.16

    Allstate Sugar Bowl Believes in Champions

    The Allstate Sugar Bowl serves as the title sponsor for the Crescent City Classic, a popular 10-kilometer road race. The event has a very strong charitable component, Run For It, which has raised over $1,000,000 for area non-profits in the last three years, including Youth Run NOLA.

    Watch here
  • Youth Run NOLA promotes healthy living for students
    Natural Awakenings 10.08.15

    Youth Run NOLA promotes healthy living for students

    Youth Run NOLA, an organization dedicated to creating and empowering a community of physically and mentally healthy young leaders through running, has three races planned for October and November in which 300 kids will participate by running throughout the city.

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  • September 2015 Runner’s World Magazine
    Runner's World 08.04.15

    September 2015 Runner’s World Magazine

    At the 2015, Crescent City Classic, Keith Davis, 22, wears the same canary yellow Youth Run NOLA shirts as the kids, but today he’s a volunteer “running buddy,” helping a sixth-grader named A.J. finish his first 10K.

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  • Running Toward a Better Future
    Biz New Orleans 06.15.15

    Running Toward a Better Future

    Denali Lander, executive director of Youth Run NOLA, helps young people choose better options for health and life through running.

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  • GiveNOLA Day supports area nonprofits with all-day fundraiser
    WDSU New Orleans 05.05.15

    GiveNOLA Day supports area nonprofits with all-day fundraiser

    The Greater New Orleans Foundation kicked off its annual GiveNOLA Day at the strike of midnight Tuesday. It’s the second annual GiveNola Day — a 24-hour online giving campaign supporting 571 area nonprofits.

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  • The 504K Run + Festival for Our Music Is Loads of Fun
    WWOZ 02.18.15

    The 504K Run + Festival for Our Music Is Loads of Fun

    More than 1000 runners, walkers, and dancers gathering on the Reily Foods lot between North Peters and Decatur, Mandeville and Spain, soon after New Orleans’ dawn emerged into blue sky and sunshine.

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  • 504K run set for Saturday
    New Orleans Advocate 02.08.15

    504K run set for Saturday

    It can take a new road race many years before it becomes a hit with local runners.

    The 504K has not had that problem. In fact, it’s had quite the auspicious start. The worthy causes benefitting from the race have helped make that so.

    Read More

Our Partners

Our work wouldn't be possible without the generous support of our partner organizations.