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This picture was taken 12 years ago at the very first Boosterthon Fun Run at Shades Mountain Christian School in Birmingham, AL. Chris Carneal, our President and Founder, started Boosterthon out of his college dorm room. Needless to say, our program has experienced over a decade of innovation, so it’s much improved. But it’s fun to look back at the early days.

So, here are 6 things you’ll find in this picture that you won’t see at your next Boosterthon Fun Run.

1. A Bullhorn – You won’t see a bullhorn. Instead, our team uses microphones in rockstar fashion to generate excitement, thank parents, and encourage students.



Fun Fact: Chris had to hold the bullhorn up to the 2nd item on our list so students could hear music as they ran.

2. A Boombox – You won’t see a Boombox. Instead, we have a soundboard and giant amplifier so students and parents can dance and run their hearts out. Also, we now play our own upbeat Boosterthon-produced and fan favorite tunes on 4 jumbo speakers, and sometimes the neighbors can hear the celebration. Search “Boosterthon” in iTunes or your app store to listen to our music.

Fun Fact: What music was playing in this picture? Answer: The Rocky soundtrack. On loop. It was the P.E. coach’s.

3. A GIANT track – You won’t see a GIANT track. Instead, our track is about 1/16 of a mile. In this picture, it’s gi-normous, with students running for 45 minutes instead of for 30 minutes like they do today.

Fun Fact:  Chris changed the Fun Run's time limit to 30 minutes the very next run. #TrialAndError.

4. Chris’s first business logo on a truck door – You won’t see that. Even before the first Boosterthon, Chris started a sports tutoring company where he taught sports lessons to students and taught character traits. Today, we promote an entire character theme alongside the Fun Run—full of character-building videos, music, and books. Check out this year’s theme.

Fun Fact: It was a student through Chris’s sports tutoring company who helped inspire the idea for the Boosterthon Fun Run.

5. A red truck – You won’t see a red truck. Instead, we have red and blue cones, tunnels, and tents as decorations for the Boosterthon Fun Run event. During the first Boosterthon, Chris was the only person in the middle of the track. At today’s Fun Runs, hundreds of parents flock to the center of our tracks to cheer on their students, waving handmade signs and snapping pictures.

Fun Fact: Inside the truck’s toolbox were extra prizes. It’s where Chris got the Boombox.

6. Just 1 team member – You won’t see just 1 team member. Because of Chris’s perseverance and great schools giving him a chance on his idea, we now have over 300 Boosterthon team members. Instead of 1 team member, at a typical Boosterthon Fun Run you’ll meet around 3 team members leading the fun, running laps with students, dancing, and thanking parents. Learn more about our team.

Fun Fact: Remember that student who inspired Chris to come up with Boosterthon? He’s now a team member on our Birmingham Team. Stay tuned for a blog post with him soon.

Even though you won’t find these original items at your next Boosterthon Fun Run, you’ll still feel the same passion to impact students and strengthen schools from our team members as Chris had that first Fun Run. We’re so grateful for all of our wonderful school partners, and maybe 12 years from now you’ll chuckle at today’s program having experienced another decade of Boosterthon innovation.

Last Fun Fact: Since this picture was taken, we've served 2.5 million students, led 3,500 programs, and hosted over 10,000 Fun Runs.


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