PIQUA — With healthy living and healthy fun being the motivation behind starting a Run Club at Piqua Central Intermediate School (PCIS), one of their goals of encouraging kids to staying active culminated in the club holding a mock race Thursday afternoon.
“We’re going to do our one-mile mini race today,” sixth grade math teacher Crystal Ayers said to a crowd of approximately 60 students. “Thanks to Can’t Stop Running, the Piqua Cross Country team, and all of the volunteers.”
Before the race, Ayers encouraged the group of kids to put as much effort into the race as they could.
“It is one mile. One lap. We do two, three, four every Tuesday (and) Thursday,” Ayers said. “I want you to give it all you got for one lap.”
As the kids were finishing, many of them were doubling back to help encourage other kids to keep running and finish the race.
Ryan King, co-owner of Can’t Stop Running in Piqua, set up a blow-up finish line and helped pass out medals to each of the kids who finished the race as part of the business’ support for the group.
“We think it’s great,” King said.
Parents also watched the race, supporting their kids in the run club.
“I like running. It’s good for them,” Tonya McName said, who was there to support her daughter Ellie, 12.
Felicia Wright said her son Ethyn, 12, is usually involved in most sports, including baseball, football, and basketball.
“It keeps him busy,” Wright said.
This week was approximately the sixth week of the PCIS Run Club, which is expected to last a total of eight weeks. Their end goal is to participate in a 5k run.
Each week, to help make this happen, the Piqua Cross Country team helps motivate the kids at the PCIS Run Club along with some National Honors Society students, too. Piqua Mayor Kazy Hinds also helps out along with the Piqua Police Department. The Piqua Optimist Club also donated a pair of running shoes to a student in need.
“We did it at Bennett,” Ayers said. She explained that it was a group effort between teachers and community members to bring the Run Club to PCIS and keep it going each Tuesday and Thursday during their eight-week time frame.
“It really is a huge group effort,” Ayers said.
Of the 70 kids who signed up to participate, Ayers said that only six of them dropped out.
“A lot of these kids have never run a race like this before,” Ayers said.
Overall, they aim to promote an active lifestyle.
“We just encourage healthy living,” Ayers said. “It’s fun.”
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336