Registration and packet pickup for the Bear-ly Moving 5K begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, with the 5K slated to start at 3 p.m. The fun run starts at 3 p.m. Registration closes at the end of the day Friday and is $25 for the 5K and $15 for the fun run. For more information, visit http://www.fivestarntp.com
Since the school year began, 175 students at Mashburn Elementary have run more than 5,300 miles through the school’s run club.
Paraprofessional Miriam Niemira started the group this year and to celebrate, as well as raise some money, she has organized the Bear-ly Moving 5K and fun run event Sunday.
“It’s open to anybody. We have students from another school coming,” Niemira said. “Runners, a lot of times, will do a race just to support a cause for whatever the race is helping.
“Runners like to help other people. As corny as that sounds, they like to support a cause they like to believe in.”
In this case, the cause is encouraging students to be physically active. As part of that, Niemira gives students “bling” to reward them for their effort. For every mile a student runs, they earn a little foot to attach to a necklace to show their pride.
“I’ve had a couple of individuals who’ve done more than 125 miles just by themselves,” she said. “They’ve run their rear ends off.”
In addition to funding the small rewards, the 5K profits will go toward playground equipment and anything related to encouraging physical activity.
“Our model for the club is you don’t have to go fast, you just have to go,” she said. “They’re in complete control as to how far they go and how fast they go.”
The 5K will begin at the school, looping runners around trails and roads. The fun run will be on a closed road.
The race will also be a qualifier for the Five Star Championship race held in December. Those who participate will also receive free entry into the Five Star Turkey Trot held on Thanksgiving.