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Rainbow Rockets Girls Running Club enters the race world

Fifth-graders in the Rainbow Rockets Girls Running Club include Lucy Ramsey, from left, Emily Mecklenburg, Leah Lessmann, Jessica Cochran, Kirstie Gaston, Siri Grace, Anna Grider, Danielle Cupero, McKinley Harris, Eleanor Matheney and Josie Lyons. (CONTRIBUTED)
Fifth-graders in the Rainbow Rockets Girls Running Club include Lucy Ramsey, from left, Emily Mecklenburg, Leah Lessmann, Jessica Cochran, Kirstie Gaston, Siri Grace, Anna Grider, Danielle Cupero, McKinley Harris, Eleanor Matheney and Josie Lyons. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Watch out running world! The Rainbow Rockets Girls Running Club has completed their first timed event.

The new 40-member club competed in the 2014 Autumn Chase Fun Run at the Jaycees Building in Huntsville on Sept. 18. Because September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, all donations benefited the Pediatric Oncology Unit at Huntsville Hospital, Rainbow parent Alice Lessmann said. (huntsvillehospital.org/funrun)

For sixth grade, Rainbow’s Gabrielle Samaros won first place (6:51.26) and Rachel Roberts, seventh (7:19.07). For fifth-grade girls, Lucy Ramsey was tenth (7:36.08).

Rainbow Elementary School teachers Tammy Brunton and Rachel Eubanks organized the club “to promote enthusiasm for running to fifth- and sixth-grade girls. Students interact with peers while developing physical fitness awareness and teamwork skills,” Lessmann said.

Lessmann is pleased that her daughter Leah joined the runners. “Tammy Brunton and Rachel Eubanks … are instilling the importance of supporting each other and striving to excel — a wonderful balance of instruction, challenge and encouragement.”

Leah likes the club “because it’s fun and healthy for your body. A lot of my friends are in it.”

Any fifth- or sixth-grade girl can join, but the cutoff is 40 members.

The Rainbow Rockets Girls Running Club is gaining physical fitness, confidence, energy, memory and optimism, Lessmann said. “The girls (must) learn to balance schoolwork and athletics, which develops a strong work ethic.”

“According to Michele Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign (letsmove.gov/active-schools), regular physical activity helps students succeed in school — and in life. Physical activity increases children’s focus, boosts academics and improves classroom behavior,” Eubanks said.

The club meets once each week after school. Leaders encourage at-home running.

The club will enter the Rocket City Marathon on Dec. 13. Open to students in grades K-8, entrants can run or walk a marathon’s distance (26.2 miles) during 13 weeks. “They train for the their marathon’s last mile by running a total of 25.2 miles from September through Dec. 12,” Lessmann said.

The timed run allows children to chart their progress throughout training until race day (runrocketcity.com/rocket-city-kids-marathon).

 

 

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