The Live Red Foundation: Creating Change Through Youth Fitness

It’s hard to talk to Michael Harlow and not feel the enthusiasm that he has for the youth of our community – and it doesn’t stop there. Michael is the owner of Endorphin Fitness a company that provides coaching to both adults and youth in Richmond with both group and individual training sessions available. To say that Michael is enthusiastic about training would be an understatement – he, in fact, is one of the premier triathlon coaches in the country. Not only does he lead presentations throughout the country for USA Triathlon, but he also has been invited to participate in the USA Triathlon Elite Mentorship Program at the US Olympic Training Center.  This honor is only awarded to top coaches in the industry.

It was his love of the triathlon and through his work at Endorphin Fitness, he found a passion for working with youth.

One of his main goals has been to be the top of forethought leaders in youth and sports fitness. With this goal in mind, his business grew. While striving to achieve this goal he noticed that not everyone had access to the fitness programs that he was providing at Endorphin Fitness.

In fact, he found that many children did not have access to fitness programs at all.

Realizing the need for youth fitness programs, Michael created the Live Red Foundation. There was a real need to focus on the big picture of fitness – to bring life to people, children and family all while promoting fitness and supporting the communities in which they live by teaching 8 core life skills. The more participation he got in the events, the more they were able to do in the neighborhoods in and around where the events occur as the programs are funded largely by participation in the children’s races throughout the community.

The Regency Mile

Today the Live Red Foundation provides events throughout the community, including the Regency Mile, formerly the Short Pump Mile.  The event not only promotes fitness but also school pride and family fun all while building community.  This year’s event will be held on October 27th.  There will be 2 races – one for athletes 18 years and younger – and another express mile – for 5 years and younger.  The Regency Mile is the largest timed youth event in Richmond – often having 1300 runners participating.  Looking to register for the race or for an awesome volunteer opportunity? You can do so here.

Splash and Dash

The Short Pump Mile isn’t the only event that the Live Red Foundation produces.  There are others as well. Every summer there is a Splash and Dash series that is held in both Richmond and Hampton Roads which is a fun and safe way to introduce kids to multi-sport. Each race has a short swim followed by a short run.  The last portion of the event gets parents in on the action with a parent-child relay.

Run For Mukhanyo

Started by a student at the Veritas School, the run that takes place annually on Columbus Day is a youth planned run that benefits not only the Live Red Foundation but tow additional organizations, as well.  One of the organizations is the Mukhanyo Christian Academy is a school in Mukanyo, South Africa dedicated to cultivating a new generation of community leaders.  Another beneficiary is the Youth Life Foundation of Richmond which operates learning centers in at-risk communities throughout Richmond.  Their goal is to develop leaders by making long-term investments in the children they serve in those communities.

Through these events, as well as the VHBG Youth Triathlon and the East Coast Triathlon Festival, the Live Red Foundation anticipates impacting more than 4,000 youth in 2019 alone – locally, in different states and in different countries.  The children that are impacted by these programs will be the leaders of tomorrow bringing fitness back to their communities, as they grow.  Through the programs that Michael and his team have created, the Live Foundation is bringing to reality the full circle of the impact that fitness can have on the leadership and development of a community.

If you would like more information on the Live Red organization or how you can get involved as a participant or volunteer, please visit them at