Running a marathon is not exactly the easiest thing in the world to do. But if you break up a marathon over the course of several weeks, it can be accomplished with nearly the same physical benefit.
For the past several years, groups of brave students have taken on the Turlock High School P.E. Marathon.
The marathon is part of the students’ fourth-quarter fitness project and breaks up a marathon into smaller, more manageable parts. Students typically run two-to-three miles twice a week, over the span of several weeks.
“We've been doing this for several years now as our fourth quarter fitness project,” said THS P.E. Department Head Dee Gilmore. “We spend all year trying to give them the tools they can apply outside of our gymnasium and carry into their adult life.”
The idea for the marathon was taken from the City of Turlock Recreation Department Head Juliene Flanders, who ran a similar program at the time.
THS P.E. Teacher JoAnn Davison says that, at the time the program was implemented, P.E. testing scores were low for THS. As a campus culture of excellence was forming around then-principal Dana Trevethan, the P.E. department decided to raise the bar and reach higher by adopting the City of Turlock model.
This year, THS had 25 students participate in the 2014 P.E. Marathon. Brenden Caulkins, a freshman, was the first to finish. Joining him in this great accomplishment are Liliana Bento, Lily Ody, Jacynda Harp, Alyssa Holly, Sierra Beas, Nuvia Garcia, Sophia Gemperle, DeAndre Jones, Sean Ray, Leo Urbano, Elbra Younano, Monica Cardenas, Alex Odey, Brandon Gutierrez, Weston Miller, Anthony Aguiniga, Akashdeep Singh, Ruby Soto, Alex Ryan, Clifton Foster, Jorge Guzman, Araly Martinez, Justin Singh, and Derek Keckler.
“It makes me so proud,” Davison said. “… With the breaks and school finishing in May now, they did it even less time than in previous years. Everybody brought their A-game.
“For us P.E. teachers it makes us feel we are part of a bigger picture. We care what these kids are going to do when they get out of high school. We had students asking if they could run instead of play, which is amazing. We had kids coming up to us telling us they’ve lost 15 pounds since the beginning of the year.”
All of the P.E. teachers, including Mary Krupka, helped the students and went out of their way to buy the winners t-shirts and gift cards.