Elementary Students Complete Marathon Challenge

Elementary Students Complete Marathon Challenge

By Susan Neuhalfen

In October, Lake Dallas Elementary Physical Education teacher Jamie Roach challenged her students to run not one, but four marathons throughout the school year. For those of you unfamiliar with the mileage on a marathon, that’s 26.2 miles per marathon. In all, she challenged them to run 104.8 miles by May 19.

320 Lake Dallas Elementary students completed the challenge and one runner, 2nd Grader Rylee Garrison, actually completed the equivalent of 20 marathons this year (524 miles).

“It was great to see the kids set goals and track their progress,” said Coach Jamie Roach, Lake Dallas Elementary PE Teacher. “Receiving rewards for marathon milestones along the way was motiving, too.”

Marathon Kids is a national program encouraging kids, families, schools and businesses to run. Started by “middle-aged, slow runner” Kay Morris in 1995, the program provides training, rewards, tools and resources to keep people moving. They also empower and train adults to become inspiring coaches.

Sponsors such as NIKE reward the kids with various items such as t-shirts, shoe tokens, finisher bracelets and fitness trackers, giving them encouragement to reach their goals.

After the kick-off celebration held in October, Lake Dallas Elementary School parents and students alike were excited to begin running together. Roach loves it when the families get involved as well.

“I started running with my mom at a very young age,” said Roach.

“Growing up, running was a very influential part of my life.”

Coach Roach was as much a part of this as the kids. She ran with each grade level on Wednesdays and Fridays during recess. They also met twice a month at the track for open track on Saturday mornings. All the hard work has certainly paid off.

This is only Coach Roach’s first year with Marathon Kids and the success she as seen on the program has been phenomenal – so much so that she was named a Marathon Kid’s National Ambassador for the 2017-18 academic year. In this position, Roach will work with Marathon Kids to host a Leadership Academy for the community.

“I am so excited,” Roach said. “I will attend training over the summer and be able to bring everything I learned back to our students and staff.”

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