The Gastineau Marathon Club racked up 126 miles in less than an hour on May 15 at Twin Lakes as part of the American Diabetes Association Walk to Fight Diabetes. And over the past month, the school club has raised more than $2,000 in donations for the cause.
According to the Diabetes Association, 23.6 million Americans, children and adults, are living with diabetes - including Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Part of the mission of the association is to fund research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes.
The young runners ran and walked the one-mile bike path along Twin Lakes, with aid stations at the turn-around point. Afterward they celebrated with a picnic at Project Playground.
There were 63 runners who participated in the diabetes walk, from kindergartners to fifth-graders.
"It's been great for our school, to give the kids a purpose in running and the chance to help battle a disease that's challenging our nation," said Dirk Miller, marathon club coach. "The students picked up on that theme."
"It made me feel good because it will help people get better," said second-grader Caitlin Pusich, whose mother has diabetes.
The marathon club meets three times a week at Gastineau School in the morning before the school day starts. The students run a mile a day, hoping to accumulate a total of 26 miles. More than 50 of the runners completed their marathon this year and got to run down the hall at school to collect their medal.