“We are doing this to promote a healthy lifestyle in kids and staff,” Inglehart said. “This is our first year with an active wellness staff.”
Students from first to fifth grade began the kickoff event at 10 a.m. in the school’s south parking lot by watching and waving as Johnny Rowlands, KMBC’s Newschopper 9 pilot, flew in and landed his helicopter in the parking lot.
The students then went inside the school’s gym to hear Rowlands and Marsha Williams, marathon runner and mother of fourth-grade student Brady Williams, talk about staying healthy before heading outside to begin their first run. Students and staff ran one mile as a kickoff for the club.
The Marathon Club is a seven-week program where the kids are challenged to achieve the 26.2-mile distance before the seven weeks are up. Inglehart said the program will end the week of Oct. 17 and the school will have an event similar to the kickoff event where the kids and staff run the final mile together.
While Monday’s kickoff event saw all first- through fifth-graders running with elementary school staff, Inglehart said that the club will not necessarily be a mandatory thing.
“The neat thing is it is sort of a voluntary type thing,” Inglehart said. “The P.E. teacher will have them run a mile every Wednesday, so even if they aren’t in the Marathon Club, they will be running.”
For those students who will continue to the Marathon Club, they will run every day before school from 7:20 a.m. to 7:40 a.m.
The Wellness Committee, which organized the club, consists of Randy Renoud, the elementary school’s principal, Cherry Chrisjohn, school nurse, Paul Steeby, elementary school physical education teacher, Chris Rose, Wellville Middle School physical education teacher, Marcia Hoehn, second-grade teacher, Katie Lynch, elementary school counselor, Lorrie Glass-Coffman, Melanie Hull and Karla Face, parent volunteers, and Inglehart.
Apart from elementary school staff helping with the club and the kickoff event, several parents also have volunteered to help with the club, Inglehart said. American Eagle Outfitters and Union Pacific Railroad also donated water bottles for the kickoff event.