By: Shannon Mann
Theme runs are all the rage these days.
Run two miles, eat a dozen donuts, run another two miles. Run five miles while zombies chase you. Run 10 miles over a muddy obstacle course. This isn’t your parents’ circular track run anymore and Neuse Charter freshman are starting a new tradition.
On Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015 the freshman class is hosting its first ‘Couch to 5K’ run. But instead of just running around a parking lot or even running cross country these 9th graders decided to liven up the events and make this year’s run a color run.
Color runs start with normal-looking, clean people and end up with people looking like rainbows and swirls of circus cotton candy.
The idea for hosting an NCS run came from two zealous physical education teachers.
“We noticed across-the-board cardiovascular issues among our youth,” said Gail Browning, middle school PE teacher. Browning said the PE teachers and coaches noticed that many middle school athletes weren’t ready for the rigorous endurance needed in high school sports.
Chase Crocker, the newest NCS PE teacher, brought the idea of a ‘Couch to 5K’ project to Browning at the beginning of the school year and the idea took off.
“Mr. Crocker showed me all these apps that can help people go from being a coach potato to running a 5K in a short amount of time,” Browning said.
They wanted to get the freshman class involved and since all NCS freshman have PE first semester this year they decided it would be the perfect project, not only to increase fitness and endurance, but as part of a final PE grade.
While running the event is the goal, the gym teachers realize that running isn’t necessarily for everyone and putting on an event like this can teach many others skills.
“They had to plan it and promote it,” Browning said. “They’ve designed brochures and approached potential sponsors.” The class has even had to look at purchasing supplies and pricing points for the run to ensure they make more then they spend.
Caleb Oakley, a freshman helping plan the NCS C25K Color Run, embraced the marketing and fundraising aspect of the event soliciting help from major businesses in the area.
“Not only is it a fundraiser, but it will also improve our cardiovascular endurance and our overall health,” Oakley wrote to Home Depot. “Our goal is to teach out-of-shape couch potatoes how to take better care of themselves! We have been learning different ways to deal with stress, and
think running in a 5K race is a great way to do that.”
While the course layout hasn’t been finalized, it will take place on the Neuse Charter School campus and will most likely be a combinationof paved and off-road running. In addition, the freshman want to cast the net wide to lure in as many participants as possible so they are offering a one mile fun run following the 5K.
The course will host three color stations in which runners will be sprayed with temporary paint.
“But we’ll have a way to avoid the stations too if paint isn’t your thing,” said Browning.
Prizes will be awarded for the finishers of different age categories and opportunities exist to sponsor the event.
Costs for participants vary, but the freshman class is encouraging everyone to register by Nov. 1 for the best price.
NCS freshman can run for $5 with registration prior to Nov. 1, 2015. Other NCS students and staff pay $15 prior to the deadline and community runners, supporters and parents pay $25. Registration will cost $30 for anyone registering after Nov. 1. All runners will receive a t-shirt.
To register for the event on-line go to http://goo.gl/3r6RMP Registration forms can also be picked up at the school. Checks for the race should be made payable to Neuse Charter School with “5K race” in the comments and dropped off in the front office.
Monies raised from the event will cover race expenses and go to a need determined by the class. Some funds will also support the purchase of needed PE equipment.