The Fairbanks Golden Heart Rotary Club kept 59 kids moving this past summer at their annual free summer running club. Thirty-five of those kids, between the ages of 7 and 12, earned special t-shirts displaying how many miles they ran.
Club members met every Tuesday and Thursday at Birch Hill Recreation Area. Volunteers led them in stretching, running relays and laps, and performing other training exercises “like swatting mosquitoes,” according to volunteer Wendy Cloyd.
Head coach Susan Kramer leads the club, and other rotarians pitch in to help each week. The club hosts fundraising projects throughout the year to pay for any expenses.
Volunteers keep track of how far the kids run by handing out popsicle sticks each time they finish a lap. Each popsicle stick represents a certain distance. The kids hand in their popsicle sticks at the end of each practice and the distance is tallied.
At the end of the summer, total distance is tallied. Kids can earn a T-shirt by attending at least 10 of the 16 practices. This year, 35 kids earned T-shirts and four kids had perfect attendance.
“This is a much anticipated reveal,” Wendy Cloyd said. “The kids can’t wait to see their totals and proudly show the crowd when they are handed their T-shirt.”
The awards ceremony was held at Pioneer Park this week. Runners who earned the most miles in their age group received special awards. They included:
Most Miles Boys age 7-9: Griffin Herrick, 24 miles and perfect attendance
Most Miles Girls age 7-9: Ruby Graff, 17.6 miles
Most Miles Boys age 10-12: Miles Poe, 28.4 miles
Most Miles Girls age 10-12: Lorelei Alexander, 23.7 miles and perfect attendance.
Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at email@example.com, Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris.