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Pelican pursuit

Students, adults take part in annual run

March 12, 2014
Lehigh Acres Citizen

The kids wore T-shirts that said "Every day is a Running Day" on the back, and they were excited to be outdoors on this cool Friday morning.

The students at Pelican Elementary School, along with teachers, administrators and parents, put on their running shoes and hit the pavement at the annual Pelican Pursuit, where the object wasn't so much about winning, but rather doing your best.

The fourth- and fifth-graders ran a mile around the perimeter of the school, while the first-, second-, and third-graders ran a half-mile, with neighbors and everybody involved encouraging them all the way.

Article Photos

Chuck Ballaro

The fifth-graders, along with parents and teachers, take off at the start of the Pelican Pursuit at Pelican Elementary. The run is the culmination of the school's running program.

Pam Woodruff, physical education teacher, said the idea of the event was a culmination of the school's running program, and has been encouraged by the improvement the students have made.

"It's good to see them get excited about running and improve and teach them to better their own time," Woodruff said. "We're trying to teach them lifetime fitness habits."

And to help them get excited, many parents showed up to run with their children, and teachers ran with those in their class, with Woodruff on the microphone encouraging them to run to the finish line, even if they didn't think they could do it.

Not even a mid-morning shower could keep them from crossing the finish line.

Of course, winning was nice. Jake Chaney, for example, won the fifth-grade boys run with a time of 6:09, which certainly made his father, James, proud.

"He runs track and has a personal trainer. I was an athlete in college and couldn't run because I played football, so when I had my kids, I made sure they can run," James said. "They play Pop Warner and run AAU track. They work hard and they're good boys."

Nicole Tansey ran with her daughter, Aubrey, a first-grader, an activity she does with her kids all the time.

"It was fun keeping up with her. We do it all the time. It's a good bonding time for her and I. It just shows how to keep physically fit," a winded Tansey said. "Aubrey finished second and my other daughter finished third in her fourth-grade class."

Even Principal Ed Carter ran the mile with the fifth-graders. He said such an event wasn't possible without the backing of the community

"I'm so elated about the community support, the police support. This shows the Pelican community is really behind our school," Carter said. "I'm so grateful the stakeholders are so supportive."

He said he loves to see the progress the students have made in their times over the years, and have even become a role model to him in his running program.

"I did my best and my goal next year is to improve my time," Carter said.



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