Running Is Elementary, now in its 8th year, took place Monday, May 2, 2016, on the 1 mile cross-country course located behind Elm Road Elementary School. The 700 student-athletes ran on wet ground under cloudy skies, but their spirits were warmed by the hundreds of spectators cheering them on. Enthusiasm for this event—including student participation and family support—grows every year!
This exciting program gets its momentum from the schools’ running clubs, formed early in the spring and led by staff who act as coaches for the fourth and fifth grade boys and girls who choose to participate. The clubs meet, run and train for several weeks ahead of the public RIE event in May. On that day the students, in their colorful team T-shirts, gather at the start line, eager to give the rugged course their best effort. Superintendent Jerry Thacker and TCU’s Chris Griggs-Huppert signaled the start of the first heat, with P-H-M Board members and patrons starting the other heats.
Every student, from the first to cross the finish line to the last, is cheered on. Some even have companions or support runners who help them keep the pace and finish the race.
One goal for all involved is personal fitness—a healthy pursuit made all the more fun since RIE takes place as outdoor recreation among friends. Some youngsters with a bent for running set speed goals as well. One fifth grader finished the mile with a remarkable time of 6:04!
Running Is Elementary is sponsored by Corporations for Education, the corporate arm of the P-H-M Education Foundation. Much credit also goes to Horizon Elementary P.E. teacher and RIE coordinator Cindy Batalis, who, along with her committee and many volunteers, works hard to make the event safe and successful.