Highland News Leader
Students from Alhambra Primary busted out their running shoes this semester, as they participated in the 8th Annual Cruisin’ with Character Mini-Marathon.
This wellness event concluded in early May at Alhambra Park.
“I am very proud of all students and their efforts,” said Cindy Tolbert, the principal at both Alhambra and Grantfork Elementary. “Running is not every child’s thing, yet they all work hard to complete their laps on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning in February.”
On May 10, students and teachers ran the last (13th) mile of their 13.1 mile journey they started in January. Students had been training one mile each week up until the day of the mini-marathon. Prekindergarten students stood on the sidelines holding signs and cheering for their older peers, according to a news release submitted by the school.
Meanwhile, the students in the Grantfork Marathon Club also took part in leading each class along the path and cheering.
“I hope the students understand the importance of exercising,” Tolbert said. “Our students learn throughout the 13 weeks of training the benefits of exercising and why it is important.”
According to the news release, each kindergarten through third-grade student received a T-shirt to wear for the day of the run provided by the Highland Optimist Club.
Parents, grandparents, siblings and community members volunteered to help with the mini-marathon as well as to cheer the runners on with posters, clappers and chants.
“I ran the whole way without stopping,” a first-grader said.
“My favorite part was when I crossed the finish line!” said a second-grader.
Upon crossing the finish line, the news release noted, students were awarded a medal provided by the Parent Teacher Organization and had their picture taken with the school mascot, Lulu the Leopard. Students then sat and enjoyed bananas and water provided by the PTO and then cheered on their remaining classmates.
Tolbert stressed the importance of this activity.
“The mini marathon promotes health and wellness for students,” she said. “They learn about the benefits of exercise as well as nutrition.”
Along the way, students held a Penny War at school for Leaps of Love, a Highland organization dedicated to supporting families and children with childhood brain tumors and late affects of childhood cancer.
Additionally, the Grantfork Marathon Club members offered their support for the mini-marathoners. To be included in the club — which completed its second year of existence — students had to walk a total of 26.2 miles (20 times), per the news release.
Students were awarded a wristband for each milestone they completed: Five walks, 10 walks, 15 walks, and 20 walks. Walking began March 4 and the deadline to reach “marathon status” was April 17.
Students who accomplished “marathon status” were awarded a Grantfork Marathon T-shirt and a trip to Alhambra to cheer for students in the mini-marathon. Overall, 40 of the 52 students attending Grantfork Elementary earned full marathon status.
“Students whom participate in the Grantfork marathon club volunteer whereas Alhambra is not voluntary,” Tolbert noted. “I am very proud of the students for choosing to give up their recess time to complete the marathon.
“The Grantfork Marathon Club promotes health and wellness for all students.”