Soda Creek Elementary School fifth graders Danny LaPointe, far left, and Justin Miller, far right, lead a pack of first graders Thursday during the school's Pumpkin Fun Run. The event was organized by physical education teacher Chris Adams to promote fitness.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Soda Creek Elementary School fifth graders Danny LaPointe, far left, and Justin Miller, far right, lead a pack of first graders Thursday during the school's Pumpkin Fun Run. The event was organized by physical education teacher Chris Adams to promote fitness.

Pumpkin Run a way to celebrate fitness, have fun

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Pumpkin Fun Run

Soda Creek Elementary Students got some additional exercise Thursday thanks to the Pumpkin Fun Run.

Soda Creek Elementary Students got some additional exercise Thursday thanks to the Pumpkin Fun Run.

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Soda Creek Elementary School first graders Tia Kavanaugh, left, and Jack Houlihan rest Thursday after participating in the school's Pumpkin Fun Run.

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Soda Creek Elementary School first graders Tia Kavanaugh, left, and Maddie Brusky toss a pumpkin back and forth Thursday after participating in the school's Pumpkin Fun Run.

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Soda Creek Elementary School physical education teacher Chris Adams gives instructions to students before running in the Pumpkin Fun Run.

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Neal Sittig talks to his first grader, Jack Sittig, after he ran in the Pumpkin Fun Run.

— Students were reminded at Thursday's inaugural Soda Creek Elementary Pumpkin Run that the race was for fun - but once the whistle blew, competitive natures kicked in.

"Who hit the fast-forward button?" asked fifth-grade teacher Cindy Gantick as the mad dash through the Old Town neighborhood began.

"I can never get them to move that fast," she said.

Starting at the corner of Oak and Seventh streets, the young runners sprinted north to Laurel Street, to the spot where the new Soda Creek Elementary School is rising from the ground. Students then proceeded down Crawford Street and turned south onto Eighth Street before completing the run past a throng of cheering teachers, parents and classmates back at the temporary school, dubbed Camp Soda Creek.

Chris Adams, the school's physical education teacher, gave a pep talk to each group of runners before setting them loose on the course.

"We are here to run, to have fun and to celebrate fitness in this nice October weather," he said. "Who are we?"

"Sea Dogs!" the students enthusiastically responded.

The students ran the course by grade level, with the boys getting about a one-minute head start. After crossing the finish line, students received a small pumpkin, courtesy of the elementary school's parent information committee.

Third-graders Mackenzie Ward, Brooke Banning and Ellie Kavanaugh high-fived each other as they completed the race.

Huffing for air and doing a post-race stretch, the girls were proud that they almost caught up to the boys despite the boys' head start.

"I ran by my old school - and the new school too - and it was weird to see it," Mackenzie said. "But I like to run. My dad runs, and I run with him."

"It was hard, but way fun," said Brooke, whose cheeks were beet-red from the exertion.

"And we got a pumpkin," added Ellie, making a comment that inspired more than a dozen students to start yelling "pumpkins!"

Adams said the idea for a fun run began when he heard of similar programs at elementary schools in Denver.

"It's to get kids active and outside in the sun," he said. "The best part is seeing the reflection on their faces of excitement in finishing the run."

Comments

TarHeel 6 years, 5 months ago

Wow, what a GREAT cover picture! I wish I could bottle up the energy, joy and excitement captured in this photo. Ah, to be young again.

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