Operation Smile is a charity organization for children – donate non profit
Operation Smile is a charity organization for children – donate non profit
You are here:

Operation Smile Final Mile

The Operation Smile Final Mile is part of The Shamrock Sportsfest, held every March in Virginia Beach, Va. The Operation Smile Final Mile is designed to teach children the importance of exercise, commitment and helping children born with facial deformities.

Over the last five years, Final Mile participants have raised enough donations for 1,000 children suffering from cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities to receive free corrective surgery and new smiles!

This past March, 3,500 elementary school students from 220 schools in Virginia and across the U.S. participated in the Operation Smile Final Mile to raise funds and awareness for Operation Smile.

In the months leading up to the Final Mile, students ran in school or at home to complete 25.2 miles. On March 19, students ran their "final mile" on the Virginia Beach boardwalk for a total of 26.2 miles, the equivalent of one marathon.

Operation Smile’s World Care patient from India, 8-year-old Nur Mahamad, participated in this year’s Final Mile alongside thousands of other elementary school students and other children in the States born with clefts.

Nur before surgery. Nur was born with a severe cleft in India. Nur after surgery at the Final Mile.

Nur and his uncle Nasi were flown to Norfolk, VA, in September 2010 so Nur could undergo four surgeries over the span of six months to correct his severe cleft. Nur was born in a village in Assam, India, with a cleft that went from his lips to his eyes, causing him to only have half a nose and eyes that were pulled down. He experienced abandonment and shame as soon as he was born, with his father deserting the family because of his son's facial deformity. 

When Operation Smile’s Co-founder Dr. Bill Magee met Nur on our medical mission in Guwahati, his surgeries were too complicated to perform in India but agreed to sponsor Nur’s surgeries and travel to the United States. Nur and his uncle Nasi returned to India at the end of March with a new smile, nose, a reshaped face – and hope for a better life. Nur will undergo more surgeries, performed by Dr. Magee, at Operation Smile's Comprehensive Care Center in Guwahati, India.

Read more about Nur on Brittany's blog >> 

I am a ...

Photos from 2011's Final Mile

Video from 2010's Final Mile

In the News

Watch 10-year-old Faith Richter's Final Mile story >> 

Running USA and YouthRunner.com Names Final Mile "Youth Event of the Year" >> 

4-Year-Old Wendy from Honduras Receives New Smile Through Final Mile >> 

In Virginia Beach, Indian Boy Gets Chance to Smile >>


Are you up for the challenge?

Join students just like you and run to make a difference in your life, and the lives of children around the world born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities. All you have to do is run a few miles a week in the months leading up to the race. Before you know it you’ll have completed 26.2 miles, totaling a marathon!

In March 2012, thousands of people will cheer you on as you run the "final mile" of the marathon at the Virginia Beach oceanfront near King Neptune.

Log your miles in your PE class, running club, or with friends and family after school. Run, jog, skip or walk your miles; just make sure you have fun while you do it!

Go the extra mile and help other children receive new smiles by collecting donations for Operation Smile. You can help raise smiles by asking family and close friends to donate for each mile you run. Create your own online fundraising page to help your efforts too! Any amount raised will go toward a surgery and a new smile for a child in need.

Start having fun, getting fit and sharing smiles:




Children ages 6 to 12 can participate in the Operation Smile Final Mile program. Final Mile participants run 25.2 miles before race day by running a few miles a week in the months leading up to the race. In March 2012, they’ll run their "final mile" at the oceanfront in Virginia Beach, Virginia to complete 26.2 miles, totaling a marathon. 

In addition, if your child should choose to do so with your support, participants can go the extra mile to help raise funds to provide free corrective surgery children in need. This opportunity allows children to run for a great cause, get fit, and help less fortunate children along the way.

Follow these three simple steps to get your child involved today:

Step 1: Register your child for the 2012 Operation Smile Final Mile at Shamrock Marathon. The registration fee is $20 through December 31. Starting January 1 the registration fee increases to $25.

Final Mile participants receive goodies from Shamrock Marathon that include a T-shirt, race bag and medal when they cross the finish line; and for the miles they run leading up to the Final Mile, Shamrock awards them with coupons at the 5, 10, 15 and 20-mile markers.

Step 2: Once registered, your child can start logging their miles in school, during PE class or running club, and at home. They can walk, skip, jog or run their way to 26.2 miles.

Step 3: Help your child understand that age does not factor into his or her ability to make a difference. For the miles they run, children can collect donations for Operation Smile and see how their efforts, combined with those of their classmates, friends and family, can have a tremendous impact on the lives of others in need. Last year, Final Mile participants raised enough money to provide more than 250 children with life-changing surgeries.

Links to get you started:

Please feel free to contact Shamrock with any questions about the event.




The Operation Smile Final Mile program is for elementary school students. Those who participate will run 25.2 miles at school, after school with a running club, or at home and then run the final mile of their marathon on race day at the oceanfront in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Each student will receive a race number, goody bag, t-shirt, medal, and certificate.

In addition to getting your students involved with running, learning about health and fitness, achieving goals, you can also educate them on the importance of service to others. By spreading awareness and raising any amount of funds for the miles they run, together the Final Mile participants can make a difference in the lives of other children around the world.

Contact Shamrock for any questions about the event. Shamrock will also award prize money to the school with the highest participation rate.




The marathon ensures that students exercise their bodies. Operation Smile now offers teachers an optional Final Mile educational curriculum to exercise students’ minds, in addition to the Final Mile running program coordinated by Physical Education teachers, running club advisors and parent volunteers.

The curriculum is separated for kindergarten to 3rd graders and 4th to 6th graders. It includes four authentic, differentiated, interactive, interdisciplinary, and student-centered lessons. State and national standards are identified for each lesson, and teachers can flexibly incorporate as many or as few components of the lessons as best suited for individual classroom needs.

New this year, are six quick and easy activities that you and your students can focus on throughout your running program leading up to the Operation Smile Final Mile race in March. The activities focus on six healthy habits of Nutrition, Exercise, Endurance, Persistence, Confidence and Teamwork. Go the extra mile in your Operation Smile Final Mile program by incorporating these six healthy habits into your schools’ running routine. Each Fitness Experience will stimulate students’ bodies and minds, by instilling the importance of each healthy habit, and educating them about Operation Smile and the children served through the help of so many.

Links to get you started:


About Operation Smile

  • Operation Smile is a worldwide children's medical charity that provides free reconstructive surgery for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.
  • Operation Smile was founded 28 years ago by Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee and is headquartered in Norfolk, VA.
  • Operation Smile has treated more than 160,000 children and young adults and has a presence in over 60 countries.
  • Operation Smile has over 5,000 medical volunteers who donate their time and talent to help children suffering from facial deformities.
  • There are more than 700 active Operation Smile Student Clubs in the U.S. and around the world. 
Book a Speaker

Free presentations for your group