Nov. 16—DANVILLE — Around 40 kindergarteners, first-graders and second-graders took off running Wednesday afternoon to complete a mile course. The event was the end of the students' 10-week running program, Kids Run the Nation.
Tina Bartholomew, who leads the program, said the students met twice a week and completed a variety of training including sprints, relays, distance running, laps on the track and they would even occasionally run hills.
Running is a lifestyle for Bartholomew and she said she enjoys coaching the primary school students.
"Running is one of the most fun things in my life and I learned it early on at 11 years old," Bartholomew said. "It's now something I get to share with children."
Kacey Nargozki, whose 7-year-old daughter Violet Hess participated in the program, said she was a big fan.
"Violet had a blast and it gets her moving. She already loves running," Nargoski said. "Tina is amazing and loves running so much."
Nargoski said she was grateful for the programs the district offers to get students up and moving and away from their screens for a bit.
Second-grader Oliver Carroth said the Kids Run the Nation program was a great experience and one he hopes to participate in again in the spring.
Members of Danville's chapter of the National Honor Society and Key Club as well as runners from the school's cross-country team assisted in Wednesday's event.
Some of Danville's recent state gold medalists even led the kids throughout the course.
Juniors Corrine Wagner and Giana Harvey, who helped the kids stay on track, said the primary-schoolers were excited to run through the course. Harvey said she was looking forward to seeing her own sister participate.
Plenty of parents, grandparents and supporters gathered along the sides of the course with orange and purple pompoms. The kids had plenty of supporters cheering them on.