By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Elementary school children are invited to participate in an April 27 running race specifically geared toward them.
The Boern to Run Kids’ Challenge is for children in kindergarten to sixth grade. It is open to any students, not just those in the Tupelo Public School District. Entry is $3, and the deadline to register is Friday.
“Our cause is the participants,” said Lawndale Elementary P.E. coach Bo Boatner, who is co-directing the race along with Lawhon Elementary’s Terry Leigh Clayton. “The mission is to make it really cheap and make it as good as a race that costs more money.
“We are hoping to draw kids who have been to races and whose parents run, but we’d also like to get kids who have never been to races and who don’t have runners in their families.”
The challenge will be held at Ballard Park in Tupelo in conjunction with “Boerner Be Wild Day,” which honors the life of former North Mississippi Medical Center Wellness Center Director Hank Boerner, who died in December.
“The race is in memory of Hank Boerner, but it also carries on his cause,” Boatner said. “A big part of his life was leading fitness in Northeast Mississippi.”
Registration forms are available at all Tupelo elementary schools and can be turned in to elementary P.E. teachers. They also can be downloaded from the Tupelo Parks and Recreation website, www.tupeloms.gov/parkandrec/.
Some non-Tupelo schools have made arrangements to collect forms for Boatner. Students at those schools can turn forms in to their P.E. teacher. Other students can bring forms to the Tupelo Park and Recreation Department.
The packet pickup is at 8:15 a.m. on race day, and races begin at 9. Kindergarten to second-graders will run a half mile, and third- to sixth-graders will go one mile.
Prizes will be awarded to the top 10 boys and top 10 girls in each of three age divisions, K-2, 3-4 and 5-6.