If you happened to be out on the Highline Canal trail this fall, you may have found yourself swimming against a current of enthusiastic, young runners. That sea of children was the 83 members of the Hopkins Elementary School Run Club. In a school with 304 students, that was nearly a third of the entire student body!
The Hopkins Run Club was organized by parents and teachers who wanted to provide an opportunity for kids to get outside, be active and have fun with their friends. The children, ranging from 4 years old to 11 years old, showed up to run twice a week and were led in small groups by 10 dedicated parent volunteers and Hopkins staff.
The Hopkins runners gradually increased their speed and endurance as they pushed themselves to go just a little bit farther each week. Many of the older runners ended their Run Club season with an impressive 3.5 mile run. Even the littlest runners demonstrated growth with many kindergarten and first grade students completing a 2 mile run. The ultimate goal was to prepare runners for The Stride, the annual 5K/10K run/walk put on by the LPS Foundation. Hopkins had 93 participants this year, 33 from the Run Club. Many other Run Club participants competed in various 5K events throughout the community.
The parent volunteers were inspired each and every time the club met as they watched children push themselves and do hard things. Being on the Highline Canal trail and watching the swarm of children run by brought smiles to the faces of many bikers and walkers using the trail as well. It was hard for any observer to see this group and not be moved.
Parents of the Hopkins runners showed support by running with their children, standing at street corners and donating lots and lots of gatorade. They expressed their appreciation in letters and emails, sharing how much this opportunity meant to their children. Many parents noted an increase in energy, better behavior at home and at school, and an overall feeling of confidence and accomplishment. We are proud of our Hopkins Run Club Runners!