It’s Mini Marathon Week!

On behalf of 800 fourth and fifth graders from the Central Point School District, we’d like to invite you out to the Sams Valley Mini Marathon this Tuesday morning, Halloween Day. The race officially starts at 9:30, but get there well early for best parking. Carpooling is encouraged, and if you’ve submitted a background check/volunteer app, you can join us on the bus as a chaperone.

The Mini Marathon was established in 1974, making it among the grand-daddies of southern Oregon running events. In fact, many of this year’s runners are the children and grandchildren of former participants.

While Halloween is normally a day of candy and costumes, the Mini Marathon represents our community’s commitment to health and fitness. True, the kids will still be in costume: Imagine 800 highlighter pens jogging down Sams Valley’s back lanes. All 800 kids—the entire population of D6 fourth and fifth graders—will be donning the neon-colored race shirts bearing the “Sore Today Strong Tomorrow” message: Patrick Elementary in neon yellow, Mae Richardson in neon orange, Jewett in neon green, and so on. The “color rush” of the mini-marathon is always an amazing spectacle, especially when juxtaposed against fields of excited horses and barking farm dogs.

On hand for the event will be mascots from all five elementary schools. They’ll compete in a dance-off prior to the awarding of medals and trophies. (Last year, Mae Richardson’s Ram “sprinklered” its way to winning the event, but rumor has it that CPE’s Roadrunner, Jewett’s Jaguar, and Sams Valley’s Hawk have all been practicing their moves.)

Crater’s championship cross country team will also be hand. The majority of these high schoolers, including Andy Monroe, Grace Hokenson, and Janz Tostenson, got their start running the Mini. This year’s favorite to win the boys’ race is Janz’s little brother, Josiah. A Jewett 5th grader, Josiah often runs with the high schoolers and as a 4th graders won last year’s Marathon in record time. But Josiah isn’t the only one who has been training. Nearly all the elementaries have fitness programs built into the school day or after-school running clubs or both.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsor, West Orthodontics, this year’s event will be chip timed for the first time in the mini’s history. Previous events have been hand-timed, with results painstakingly compiled manually. West Orthodontics has contributed approximately $7500 to make the event possible. Dr. West will fire the starting pistol at 9:30. Come join us for this incredible District 6 event!

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