The ASSOCIATION SPORT IN THE FREE TIME is the main driver behind the big not-for-profit sport event, funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union.
General objective of RUNATHON is to encourage people across all generations, genders and abilities from 11 EU countries to run regularly and to promote running as an intergenerational team activity with significant physical, mental and social benefits for active ageing.

Under the project, Running is a No-age Business training program will be developed in order to support marathon preparation of newcomers from all ages. Its methodology will follow a time plan for gradual increase of the running distances and will have special focus on group exercise as a means to increasing the motivation and mutual support among runners. The program will promote training for marathons as joint activity, which builds togetherness and makes long-distance running less lonely and individual endeavour.

The effectiveness of the program will be tested on October 1st 2023 in Sofia by piloting four new team runs one week before the annual Marathon of Sofia, which attracts thousands of participants from all over the world. The new runs will have independent starts and will be open for participation only to teams composed of four people of different ages in four categories: 20-40; 40-50; 50-60; 60+. Team composition will ensure gender balance, as all teams will be composed of equal number of men and women.

Side-activities before the RunathonSofia main event will promote traditional and intergenerational sports and games as tools for healthy ageing and building social connectedness. A Legacy conference will encourage local authorities from 11 countries to pledge to promote sports across all generations through their annual sports calendars. The pledge will ensure that RunathonSofia leaves a strong legacy as it will become part of new policy guidelines that promote initiatives more inclusive of people over 55 in all capitals, cities and towns of sport, members of the ACES Europe network. In doing so, the project will contribute to the implementation of the HealthyLifestyle4All initiative.