Fargo students ‘Run with a Loved One’It’s beautiful when two hearts beat as one. But when you get 100 hearts beating together? Students at Bennett Elementary will tell you it’s not only beautiful, but healthier, with a big dose of love.
By: By Helmut Schmidt, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — It’s beautiful when two hearts beat as one.
But when you get 100 hearts beating together? Students at Bennett Elementary will tell you it’s not only beautiful, but healthier, with a big dose of love.
About 50 students, mostly fourth-graders and a few fifth-graders, with a like number of parents and friends, got their hearts racing on Valentine’s Day with the school’s fourth annual “Run With a Loved One” 5K run.
Teachers Sheri Schulz and Cindy Varriano have been running nearly three miles twice a week with their classes since August, and they’re confident that the students be in great shape for this spring’s Fargo Marathon 5K.
“With 9- and 10-year olds one thing everyone can do, is run. It’s amazing how these kids have gotten into shape,” Varriano said.
The starting line had much of the pomp of adult running events, with other classes coming to cheer, a local radio station truck blaring tunes, and an electronic clock to tick off finish times.
Wearing numbered race bibs in the shape of hearts hung on their necks, Rebecca Sullivan and her son, Ethan, waited on the race’s start.
“Being together and running” was what the day was about, Ethan said, before sprinting off with his mom and the rest of the pack.
Schulz said running fosters a healthy lifestyle, encourages teamwork and gives the students another chance to socialize during the school day.
First place went to Jacob Rieth, who pulled in at just over 20 minutes over the roughly 3-mile course.
Panting after sprinting over the course with a Davies High School student, Rieth said he told his mother and father that he was going to finish at the head of the pack.
The event gives students “another environment to shine in, … and it pulls their family into it,” Schulz said. “It’s contagious.”
Kyle Carlson and his son Jack cruised to the finish together, with Jack adding a little sprint at the end.
“It was fun. I’m a little slower than him. He was nice enough to run with me today,” Kyle said.
Aubrie Werk and her father, Brian, decided the race was their Valentine’s gift to each other.
“Being with my father” was the best part of the day, Aubrie said.
At the end of the run, each participant received a medal with red ribbon.
With temperatures in the 20s and clear sidewalks, Varriano said the day was perfect for running.
“Nothing better than running with a loved one on Valentine’s Day,” agreed Schulz. “Good for your heart, in more ways than one.”