Budding Mo Farahs and Paula Radcliffes got Sheffield fun run off to a sprint start at a special launch event.
Youngsters from Handsworth Grange Community Sports College helped to launch the popular annual race, which takes place this year on April 6, alongside the Sheffield Half Marathon.
Organisers are urging schools from across the region to get involved in the 3k fun run, which will start and finish at Don Valley Bowl.
Margaret Lilley, chair of the organising committee, said: “We are extremely pleased to have Handsworth Grange Community Sports College supporting the fun run. It’s a fantastic way for children to get into running, especially if it’s their first time.
“We are now challenging other schools in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire to enter a team.
“The atmosphere on the day is always amazing and it is a great way for the whole family to get involved in the event.”
There are 1,000 places available for the fun run, and 8,000 for the half marathon.
Log on to www.sheffieldmarathon.com to enter online.