YEMS runners take to streets bright and early

If you’ve ever driven through Youngsville on a Thursday morning and seen a large group of kids running, it’s okay.

They’re not skipping school.

Over 50 students from Youngsville Elementary Middle School take part in Running Club.

The name is exactly what is sounds like.

“The primary goal is to make kids fall in love with running,” said YEMS teacher Lori Hahn. “Running is one of the fastest growing sports in America., and it is something you can do at any age. The kids love it!”

“I got the idea initially from going to cross country invitationals and seeing the local schools that had elementary running clubs,” she explained. “I thought it would be a great way to boost participation in Youngsville’s cross country program. I also, in my own reading and training, heard about several other national running programs for kids and wanted to bring that here.”

Each club day, the students spend between 20 and 30 minutes running throughout Youngsville Borough. In addition to running, another key aspect of the club is teaching appropriate form and exercise techniques.

Students are also encouraged to run on their own and track their miles, as well as run in local races.

“”I had several kids run the Sasquatch Race (at Chapman State Park) and even more sign up for the Turkey Trot (on Thanksgiving in Warren),” she said.

And the community has shown its support.

“We have had some great feedback. People wave and honk their horns,” Hahn said. “Parents have emailed me thanking me for starting this and I have even gotten Facebook messages from community members saying how great it is to see the kids out running.”

The goal at the beginning of the year, with all of the students’ miles added up, was to run enough miles to “Run Across America.” While Hahn said that she’s not sure how far they’ll get they will “hopefully (get) to the Mississippi River!”

But even if they don’t make that goal, one thing is clear they will keep on running.