FROM THE MIDDLETOWN PRESS
Students and staff at the
Macdonough School have been logging miles to prepare for the big race.
the seventh year, the school will send a team of students and staff to run in
the Hartford Marathon on Oct. 11.
two dozen members of the school community will run a half-marathon, a 13.1-mile
race, led by fourth-grade teacher Sarah Claffey.
Student runners will enter and
exit the course at designated mile markers to run alongside Claffey for one or
more miles in the race. All the students will later come together at mile 13 to
cross the finish line as a team, passing under the Historic Soldiers and
Sailors Arch to receive a medal for their accomplishments.
year’s team has three staff members, including Claffey, kindergarten teacher
Kelly Lenihan and special education teacher Michelle Currier, who was recently
named one of 10 runners on the 2014 Aiello Inspiration Team in recognition of
her efforts to promote fitness at the school.
Inspiration Team represents “the best of the running community to support
health, charity, children and community initiatives,” according to the Hartford
ING Foundation selects 10 individuals from a pool of hundreds of nominees, and
selects those who have, among other things, “shown ability to use perseverance,
dedication and determination to overcome adversity or have made tremendous
contributions to the community and society which serves as an inspiration to
others,” according to the nominating criteria.
2012, Claffey won the Inspiration Team award. She was nominated by school
Principal Jon Romeo for getting others involving in running.
got me into it. From there it took off on its own,” said Claffey.
the past, Romeo has recruited a number of teachers to participate in the ING
Foundation’s Team Relay, a half-marathon where team members can run a single
leg of between three and six miles.
became involved with the school’s after-school running club as well as activities
that promote running, such as the school’s Run for Fun, where kids run at
go out and run with the kids, or they see me running in the neighborhood and
want to join. I tell them it’s healthy to stay active ... I try to inspire
them, inspire them to run and to set goals and accomplish those goals,” Claffey
told the Press.
year, about 2,700 students from 32 Connecticut schools have made a commitment
to “getting healthy and staying fit,” according to the HMF.
can particpate in the HMF FitKids In School program, designed to encourage a
healthy, active lifestyle in middle school. Over a six-week period, students
run together before, during or after school to accumulate 25 miles.
they come together with students from middle schools around Connecticut for the
culminating final mile run to complete the marathon.
Oct. 7, about two dozen Macdonough School students will join thousands of young
runners in East Hartford to complete the final mile of the 26.2 mile race alongside
students from middle schools around Connecticut, said Lisa Butler, a spokesman
a really fun event, said Butler. “We want to encourage students to become and
pulls people together. It gives you time to get to know people on a
non-classroom level, a more personal level,” said Claffey. “It also pulls the
kids together, kids who wouldn’t ordinarily be friends find that they have
something in common.”
finishing the race, students can explore the World of Fitness presented by the
YMCA of Greater Hartford, an interactive health and fitness themed expo where
kids can participate in games, activities, and demonstrations that encourage
than 7,500 kids have participated and collectively run over 142,000 miles in
the HMF FitKids In School Program since it began, Butler said.
information on the Hartford Marathon, see hartfordmarathon.com.