Building Healthy Habits for Life

iDo26.2 is the Center for Well-Being’s innovative walking/running program that encourages Sonoma County youth to perform regular physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. Students are challenged to run or walk at least 26.2 miles – the distance of a full marathon – over the course of the academic year – logging miles at their own pace. Completing this marathon teaches students the benefits of goal-setting, determination, and taking small steps to reach the finish line. Perhaps more importantly, it inspires a child’s belief in the ability to succeed!
Fun Fact! iDo26.2 students travel the equivalent of 10 times around the Earth during the academic year!
Interested in your child joining iDo26.2? Contact Beni Merlin at
iDo26.2 students

Free for all Sonoma County Students

The iDo26.2 program is fun and absolutely FREE to all students and schools in Sonoma County – with over 12,000 students participating annually from more than 50 schools and after-school programs! There is no equipment required, and it offers teachers an easy, fun way to help their students reach the CDC’s recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day. iDo26.2 serves ALL children regardless of financial standing since opportunities for exercise should not be a privilege but a right!

2022-2023 Highlights

0 Miles

Completed by K-1st graders

5,000K Miles

Completed by 2nd – 6th graders

7x Around the Earth

Run/walked by Sonoma County Youth!

iDo26.2 Benefits

  • Improved physical fitness
  • Improved general health and lower risk of multiple disease
  • Improve emotional health
  • Improved academic achievement and success in school
  • Supports the ability to set, reach, and exceed goals
  • Encourages healthy socialization with friends
group of children holding up signs
group of children running outside

Fostering Positive Social Support

What makes the iDo26.2 program so compelling is that many of the children we serve are disproportionately impacted by social determinants of health and live-in areas with less access to safe outdoor play areas. For many children, iDo26.2 is the only vehicle for them to get out and play. Additionally, completing the marathon challenge teaches youth the benefit of goal setting, endurance, and commitment to achieve an objective. Students have their own goals, so they are only competing against themselves. This allows peers to cheer each other on and foster positive social support.

Perhaps most importantly, the iDo26.2 program inspires a child's belief in their ability to succeed while improving their physical, mental, and social health! It is crucial for students to have intentional physical activity practice to support their physical, mental, and social health. Now more than ever, this program is key to motivating, supporting, and energizing the youth in our community to be well again.


Dr. Joe Clendenin, a retired Santa Rosa family physician, was concerned about the growing childhood obesity rates in Sonoma County. He recognized the success of school-based initiatives to improve the health and well-being of both students and families. This inspired Dr. Joe to design an easy physical activity program that all schools could participate in across Sonoma County. With the support of a dedicated steering community comprised of school district representatives, public health staff, and community organizers, the iDo26.2 program launched in 2012. To date, the iDo26.2 program has served over 70 schools and after-school programs!
children running in race

iDo26.2 Success Stories

"For the last few years, our school has participated in the iDo26.2 marathon program. It was awesome to have a whole-school activity where we all had something that we were working towards together. Running helped me feel balanced so I could focus on my school work. It was also fun getting to do active things with my friends. If we finished the whole thing, we got our own wristband or t-shirt! We also got shoe charms every five miles."
– Rylo Wyre, 6th Grade Valley Vista
“My students really enjoyed participating in iDo26.2! The students felt so accomplished as they saw their miles accumulate, and the students pushed each other to succeed and hit their milestones. It was the perfect way to warm up their minds for learning and to get all of the end-of-day wiggles out. I think it taught many students how rewarding being active can be."
– Kara Billinger, 2nd grade Teacher
“The positive, competitive atmosphere that this program created lightened my students’ moods and created a healthier environment on campus.”
– Sarah Deering, Middle School History Teacher
“This program gave students the opportunity to set goals and work hard to achieve them. They loved seeing their progress and felt pride when they were able to run for longer periods of time or increase their speed. I plan on continuing this program when students return to the classroom.”
– Megan Corcoran, 1st & 2nd Grade Teacher