All of the elements came together for a lively and motivating start to the inaugural Teachers 1/10th Marathon held in Harrisonburg (VA) on September 8th. The warm and overcast Saturday morning was easily out-shined by the enthusiastic gathering of over 120 runners and walkers, along with dozens of volunteers and spectators coming together to provide both financial and emotional support to local teachers in the Shenandoah Valley.
Harrisonburg's Mayor Deanna Reed was on hand and warmly thanked all of the participants, including the significant number of teachers running the 2.62 mile course which winded in and out of the adjacent picturesque Purcell Park. Mayor Reed acknowledged to the crowd in front of the Bluestone Bike & Run's shop that she knows of the sacrifices, inclusive of personal time and money, that the "local hero's" make day after day to provide their best to the area's school children.
The novelty event was created to fund a grant to reimburse local teachers for out-of-pocket expenses they incurred in getting supplies and/or equipment for their respective classrooms. Nearly $1,800 was raised! Kyle Coleman, owner of Bluestone Bike & Run, assured all on hand that the Teachers 1/10th Marathon will become an annual event.
The post-race survey results are still coming in and the comments have been quite encouraging for both the race organizers and the various local sponsors, including Nonstop Landscaping & Lawn Service (the title sponsor). Many respondents were both surprised and pleased with the colorful atmosphere at a "local and start-up" event which provided many classroom friendly items for all participants such as mini-chalkboards (personalized with each runners' finishing time) and, of course, apples (a teacher's favorite)! All runners & walkers also received a reusable tote bag, a race shirt, and valuable giveaway items and coupons from area businesses.
The 2019 Teachers 1/10th Marathon will be held in the Fall (date and time to be announced soon). The goal for 2019 is to try to double the grant funds, provide free entries for local teachers, and to establish a "group of 10" competition level to see which team will have the best combined "full marathon" finishing time!
If you and/or your organization is interested in learning more about this event, or would like to provide any level of support for the 2019 Teachers 1/10th Marathon, please feel free to contact us.