Mix passion, hope, desire and dedication and you will find Buddy Albro out running with his elementray school running club. Coach Albro’s students ran over 25,000 miles last school year. The Krueger Elementary Running Club (KERC) is an elementary school running club in Marion, Texas. It’s made up of every student at Krueger Elementary School, parents, teachers, grandparents, brothers, sisters, administrators, and anyone else who wants to have fun and improve their lives through running or walking.
How did it come about?
Six years ago Buddy Albro became the physical education teacher at Krueger Elementary. Albro has been passionate about running for many years and he wanted to share that with my students. With a generous grant from the Marion Education Foundation he was able to put in a quarter mile, crushed limestone trail around the fields behind the school. The program started as a before school program. The students ran everyday from 6:15am until the first buses would arrive at 7:30am. The problem was that this left out many of the children who didn’t have a way to get to school so early. The following year the students ran Wednesday, so every child could participate, and it’s been that way ever since.
Whose idea was the KERC?
The original idea for the running club was Albro’s, but with a lot of support from the community. The Krueger Elementary PTA and the Marion Education Foundation have given financial support. The other physical education teacher, Sean Albro, who just happens to be Buddy’s wife, and P.E. aide Jenni Aulds spend quite a bit of time and energy working on running club projects. The KERC has had more support than could have ever been expected from the Marion.
How many participants are there?
There are about 600 elementary students running and walking along with teachers, parents, and a small assortment of other friends and family.
How the participants stay interested?
Coach Albro believes children are inspired by different things. Almost all of them are inspired by being successful, so in order to make sure everyone stay’s interested the students set goals that they can achieve. Some children are inspired by praise, so the coaches praise the student’s often. Some of the runners are inspired by competition or a challenge, there is many of the club members aspire to be listed as one of the top 10 mileage earners for each grade every week. Some children are inspired to run because they want to collect awards, so members receive a necklace and they get a new award to hang on it after every five miles. Probably the thing that makes kids want to run the most is when it’s fun, so everyone involved tries to have a good time and make it something they everyone can look forward to. Brooks, a company that makes high quality running shoes and clothing, has given give the club a lot of support and one of their mottos is “Run Happy”, and that’s what the KREC tries to do
How far do the children run?
Every Wednesday, everybody runs at least one mile. They have the option of stopping after a mile, but most chose to run the whole 25 minutes. Some students that can run 3 miles in that time.
How many days a week do they run?
Club members only log their miles on Wednesdays, but run almost every day.
Do the children earn prizes for running?
Every child gets a necklace and a small award to hang on it for every five miles they run on Wednesdays. Different awards represent different distances, so they’re very proud to wear these around school. At the end of the year awards are given to the top ten mileage earners in each grade level. Last year 60 students were awarded with t-shirts, movie tickets, lunch boxes, water bottles, ZDT amusement park passes, wave pool passes, shoelaces, and anything else that the club can beg, borrow, or steal.
Have the children ever competed in any organized races?
During the fall and spring students, parents, and teachers run in races almost every weekend. Krueger Elementary Running Club has its own website, www.rabidrunning.com, where it list’s all the upcoming races that they will have runners in. The site also has links to area running resources. Last summer the site included a summer track clinic and showing summer track meets. Sometimes, when the club can find the money, they’ll take a school bus full of runners to area races. A favorite is the Jingle Bell 5K at Landa Park in New Braunfels in December. This year, we’re having our own race in Seguin called the Hallo-Wiener 5K & Kids Monster Mile.
What is the Hallo-Wiener 5K & Kids Monster Mile.
The Hallo-Wiener 5K and Kids Monster Mile is going to be at Max Starcke Park in Seguin on Sunday, October 31. It’s going to be a kid and family friendly event. The run is done on a certified 5K course along the beautiful, Guadalupe River. There’s also a fantastic one mile run for children 12 and under that is visible to the spectators for almost the entire mile. Brooks Runnning has donated about $2,500 worth of shoes and gear to give away. The students are pretty inspired to run, and the club is hoping this race may help inspire more schools in the area to start running programs of their own. Anyone that wants more information about the Hallo-Wiener or would be interested in volunteering should go to the club’s website at www.rabidrunning.com.
Coach Albro and the Krueger Elementary Running Club are pacing themselves mile by mile. Their dedication to health and fitness are an inspiration to their community. They hope to have fun, stay healthy and inspire other communities to start running clubs of their own.