NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than 2 million people from 175 countries have pledged to run Wednesday to celebrate Global Running Day and the first-ever Million Kid Run.

Students in the Young Runners program at I.S. 223 in Borough Park, Brooklyn have each pledged to run five miles.

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Coach John Sorocco said running is contagious at the school.

“They’ve been successful over time, other students also want to join them and now I have a waiting list for the team,” Sorocco said.

Principal Andrew Frank said most of his students are English-language learners.

“There’s no language barriers with running and they become part of a team and they become friendly,” Frank said.

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Assistant Principal Kevin O’Hanlon said he’s seen the students make enormous strides through running.

“We see leadership qualities develop, and it really instills in them dedication and how to work hard and that carries on through life,” O’Hanlon said.

Eighth-grader Azwad Sourv, who came here two years ago from Bangladesh, has won several races and the team star has big dreams.

“I want to go to 2028 Olympics and also run long distance,” he said.

The program is one of many supported by the New York Road Runners, which is celebrating with a special run on Randalls Island, where 2,000 students will be joined by New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray and Olympic hopefuls.

Several events are being held across the city for Global Running Day.

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Click here to make a pledge and find an event near you.