At about 3:15 pm on Thursday, April 6, if one stood in front of the school in Middle River, they would have seen one or two elementary students at a time round a corner, taking a quick break with a walk in front of the playground fence. Then either Greenbush-Middle River teachers Tina Taus or Ashley Duray would encourage them to finish their lap, and many would almost instantly speed up into a run to finish that last lap on a sunny, 50-plus-degree day.
Taus and Duray both started this program from their own passion to run and their desire to give students, ones perhaps not involved in after school sports, a chance to get involved in something.
“There’s kids that maybe wouldn’t feel comfortable in an organized sport or that feel confortable going and spending half an hour with their friend (and) will run with them,” Duray said. “We have a couple kids that stick together the whole time because they run the same pace and they cheer each other on and they don’t feel pressured to get done first.”
These elementary students were running as part of Mighty Milers, a program sponsored by the New York Road Runners, and a group headed locally by Taus and Duray for the past four years. For middle school students, these two women also head “Go Noodle”, an interactive online workout program. Around 70 students in second to eighth grade participate in these programs, ones providing more than the opportunity to pick up miles by foot.
To see the full story, read the April 12 issue of The Tribune in print or online.