The Running Club

Beaty club promotes fun sport

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton Ellee Irwin, Lori Hahn, Cody Howard, Anna Elinsky run on East St. on Tuesday as part of the Beaty Running Club.

To anyone who has played a team sport, it comes as no surprise that running can be used as a punishment.

But the sport is so much more than that.

And an effort is underway at Beaty-Warren Middle School to help students come to that realization.

BWMS teacher Lori Hahn said the idea started with her daughter, Naomi (who recently completed at the state cross country meet), and her friend, when they were in eighth grade. Her older daughter, Gabby, also comes down the hill to lead a group.

“They wanted to do something extra in the off-season to stay in shape,” she said. “Then, this year, we were talking about how there is no Running Revolution anymore or at least it is not like it used to be.”

So in an effort to get kids running, the Running Club was born.

“We started it November 14 with about 17 kids signed up,” Hahn said. “Since then, even more have signed up and we are up to 31 kids… We run every Tuesday and Thursday after school. It’s not mandatory to come; some come one day a week, most come both.”

While some of the kids come from the track and cross country teams, not all do as five have never before been involved in a sport.

“Our goal is to get kids interested in running, but even more than that is to just show them how fun running can be,” Hahn said. “That it is a sport that you can do anytime, anyplace and with anyone. I always stress to my track kids in the spring that the only competition you have is yourself — and with winter running we want them to just have fun and better themselves.”

“It’s a lot of fun and it prepared me for the Turkey Troy,” Holden Creal said.

Lilly Branthoover added that “before this I could barely run a mile and now I am running three miles.”

“It’s fun because we pick our own group,” Mady Perry added. “Gabby makes it fun because she talks to us and helps us through the run. We went from walking some to being able to run the whole thing.”

“It is a fun sport to do after school to get ready for the spring for track,” Anna Elinsky added.

“Overall, parents have been supportive,” Hahn said, “and the kids are so enthusiastic every day we run – even the day we ran in the rain, they loved it!”

She added that another goal of the effort is to “bridge the gap between high school and middle school running — having the high schoolers come and help with the runs has been wonderful. The younger kids really look up to them and the older kids like helping.

“It’s nice having students lead students.”