Lifesouth Community Blood Centers’ eighth annual Kids Marathon broke records Friday night when 1,001 Citrus County kindergarten through eighth-graders gathered to sprint 1.2 miles on West Educational Path in Lecanto.
According to Tom Davis, Lifesouth district community development coordinator, that was the most participants of any Kids Marathons it has ever held in the Southeastern United States. More than in Atlanta, Birmingham, Mobile or Gainesville
“The Citrus Kids Marathon has set the bar in our footprint,” Davis said. “This is the most successful that we’ve had. It tops everything in our system.”
Publis school students, Pope John Paul II students, and homeschoolers volunteered in October to walk or run a total of 25 miles in their physical education classes, running clubs, and at home. They ran a final
1.2 miles at the Lecanto educational complex Friday to make a full marathon length of 26.2 miles. “Some will do even more,” said Bruce Sheffield, district health and PE coordinator.
Noncompetitively, students ran to be active and were awarded a medal for their participation in the health initiative.
“The whole idea is to teach kids about fitness and how running keeps you fit in mind and body,” Sheffield said.
“The Kids Marathon was designed to get kids off the couch, off the video games. It promotes physical fitness,” Davis said. “There were more kids signed up from one school in Citrus County than Marion County had,” Davis said. “This is the biggie.”
“This is the first year we’ve hit 1,000,” Sheffield said. “Since I’ve been in my position my goal has been to have 1,000 registrants. This is the first year we’ve hit that goal. Our’s is bigger than Atlanta’s.”