BLANCHESTER — Four miles down and 22 more to go for the Putman Elementary School children. Partnering with the Clinton County Health Department, the students are running for the 26th Mile program.
“They’ll run their final mile as part of a ceremony, hopefully in Wilmington,” said parent Rachael Thompson “… and they’ll get a real Flying Pig medal and a Flying Pig t-shirt. They’ll go through the banner and all the hoopla.”
Thompson, who started the group, was originally hoping for about 25 or 30 students to join the group, but she was surprised to see that about 60 joined the club.
While 60 kindergarten through third-graders can be a handful for Thompson, she thankfully has the help of several parents volunteers. These parents not only help keep an eye on the spirited sprinters, they also help with covering the healthy snacks they give them.
“All the parents are wonderful,” said Thompson. “I didn’t realize I would need them to get all of this done.”
For one parent, the club is a great opportunity for her child to spend time with her friends and use her stored energy. Teresa Hinkle, a volunteer parent, joined at the request of her very active second-grade daughter, Katie.
“(Katie) was adamant that she wanted to do it,” said Hinkle, “this also gives them good activity with their friends outside of school.”
One thing that makes Thompson especially happy about these kids joining the group is that, in the long run, they’re picking up on exercise routines with an activity she enjoys.
“I think running is a great activity,” said Thompson, “it’s something that anyone can do and it doesn’t cost any money — you just need running shoes.”
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574