Friday, September 21, 2012

Fun Day of Kids' Running: Maverick Mile and Autumn Chase 2012

Today my son's elementary school had their annual Maverick Mile fundraiser run.  We are new at the school, so I did not know what to expect.  What I did know, I liked.  First, this is the school's only fundraiser for the year.  Each runner collected pledges before the race began, either in a one-time amount or based on the number of laps they would run.  Second, it promotes physical activity for each child at the whole school. What a better idea than some other fundraisers like cookie dough sales, etc.!  

There were four runs throughout the day on two different tracks (just places marked out on the grass).  Two grades came out at a time.  I decided to volunteer for some of the earlier runs since my son's was last.  I handed out waters at the station in the left of the picture below (green tent).  

When my son came out, the first graders were running on one track and the second graders on another.  It was a festive atmosphere, with shakers, clapping noisemakers, a really fun DJ, and loud music.  The DJ would encourage the children to have fun while running and even to skip a lap!  

The laps were counted in the most interesting way--on the back of the shirts provided by the school.  The children were encouraged to try to run 30 laps, and there were 30 spots on the back for volunteers to mark the shirts.  I heard that 30 laps was around 2 miles.  I didn't know if my son would do all 30, but he did!  I loved that the last lap was a cool-down where parents were encouraged to walk with the children (it was too crowded for us to run with them during the laps so we just cheered).  

At the Maverick Mile

My new Nikes happened to be in the
school's colors--blue with brown stripes on the sides :)

30 laps done!

Each child "won" a medal for finishing.
After school, it was on to the Autumn Chase 1 mile runs held in Huntsville, Alabama.  These runs are for preschool through 8th grade students, and they are a huge tradition for me.  I ran them as a child, thanks to strong encouragement from my school's p.e. teachers.  I remember proudly wearing my shirt to school the day after each run.  I even came back and competed when I was a teacher (they have a teachers' run too).  These runs are FREE, and children get a T-shirt and a ribbon for finishing.  Normally we would not have our son do two runs in one day, but we did not have a choice.  We figured if he was too tired, he could walk the mile or not go at all.  But we wanted our daughter to have a chance to run, since she did not do the Maverick Mile.

My daughter ran the kindergarten girls' race at 4:15 with Rick--easy to spot him in the picture below---tall guy in the middle.  :) She talked a lot about a nice volunteer who held her hand and chatted with her while she ran.  She was so proud of her ribbon, especially when she used her new reading skills to read that it said "WINNER" on it!  She talked a lot that night about how she was a winner!  She also said she can't wait to come back next year and run.

Race start

Running with her new friend :)

 My son was not too tired to run the race after all.  He ran the first grade boys' race at 4:30.

Then it was on to the misting tent (a favorite for my kids) and to pick up our shirts in a nearby building. We ran into lots of other people we knew at these races.  It was a great family activity!

I love that the shirts say, "I love to run."  I truly hope both of my kids do love running now and in the future. Days like this make me happy.  Seeing them enjoy running makes me happy.  Countless adults worked hard today to help my children enjoy our sport.  That makes me thankful to have these opportunities here in my area.

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