Thousands of middle school students from 14 towns and cities in Connecticut put on their running shoes on Tuesday in East Hartford to raise awareness of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Around 2,500 children hit the pavement around Rentschler Field ahead of this weekend’s ING Hartford Marathon because of the ING Run For Something Better program, which aims to change children’s lives through fitness and teach that exercise is fun and rewarding.
“It’s real exciting,” Carina Putnam, a student, said.
Since September, the students have been training by running a bit every week to complete a combined 25 miles for a full marathon or 12 miles for a half-marathon.
Today, the students from Berlin, Cromwell, Bloomfield, Middlefield, West Hartford, South Windsor, Windsor, Vernon, Hartford, Middletown, Glastonbury, Windsor Locks, Enfield and Stamford ran the last 1.1 miles.
“It's great for our kids to really learn young, good eating habits and exercise, and those two keys are so important to being active and healthy,” Janet Sisson, assistant athletic director of the Independent Day School, in Middlefield, said.
For Farth Granville, this was about meeting a goal.
“As long as I put my best effort forward, I know I can do this,” Granville said.
The students took home a medal, but the lessons that will last a lifetime are the real reward.