Witter Field hosts Junior Run Club “Challenge Mile Race”

Andrew Hergott

The winning Wildwood team

The weather cooperated on March 6 as the Piedmont Junior Running Club held their second annual “Challenge Mile” at Witter Field. After having to deal with a mostly wet and cold winter season, the afternoon of the 6th was sunny and mild, ideal running conditions for the 40 girls and boys, who tested themselves in the four-lap race on the temporary asphalt surface of the track. This may well be the only competitive track event held at Witter Field this year, since the resurfacing of the track will not take place until a June timeframe. This race was the culmination of 7½ weeks of training for the run club members, running twice a week, often in the rain.

In order to balance out the numbers and provide competitive equity, three different heats were held with 14 youth runners in the first two heats and 12 in the final heat. The first three boys and girls in each heat received a handsome certificate acknowledging their placing. The fastest boy was Wildwood fifth-grader Max Centeno in a time of 6:31. Max was also the winner of the Dracena Park race held last fall.

The fastest girl in a time of 6:58 was Avery Azad, a fourth-grader at Havens. (Last year in this same race, Avery’s sister, Henley was the fastest girl, so speed runs in this family!) In order to also foster team competition among the schools, there was a team trophy awarded for the school with the five fastest combined times. Wildwood was the winner with a total time of 33:04 for an average pace of about 6:38 per runner. Wildwood now takes possession of the traveling trophy which will be displayed at the school.  Havens was second in the total time competition and Beach was third.

The Piedmont Junior Running Club is an introduction to running program for fourth and fifth graders who attend the Piedmont elementary schools.  Now in its 12th year, the run club is offered year-round and at the end of every season, a competition is held where all the runners come together and compete in a friendly but spirited contest. 

The next season of the run club starts Monday, March 25 and goes until May 22.  It meets right after school on Mondays and Wednesdays for 75 minutes.  

Registration is now open: Click HERE to sign up.  

The fee for the program is very affordable and a healthy snack is provided at every practice. The spring season will feature a track meet as the concluding event for this school year. The Piedmont Turkey Trot has been a generous donor to the club, providing funding for t-shirts and other items.

Any questions about the club, please contact Len Goldman at lgoldman@pacbell.net

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