Arlington Heights run raises money to promote school wellness programs
About 1,700 students and adults joined in the Got2Run for Education run/walk Saturday in Arlington Heights, raising about $30,000 for school wellness programs.
Two teachers at Pleasant Hill Elementary School in Palatine brought 50 of the 70 members of the 3rd-6th grade girls running club they started eight years ago to promote a healthy lifestyle.
"We run twice a week after school," teacher Kathy Drake said of LACES (Lady Athletes Can Expect Success).
"We just like to run," said teacher Kyle Hickey.
The two said they use a variety of techniques, including slogans and T-shirts, to keep morale high and the girls interested.
Nicky Cozzi, a 5th grader at Edgar Allen Poe School in Arlington Heights, made his mother, Carla Cozzi, proud, finishing the 2.62-mile run in 5th place with a time of 16 minutes, 12 seconds, less than 2 minutes behind race winner Tom Henders, 29, who had a time of 14:49.
Cozzi, the youngest of three brothers, was more than 2 minutes ahead of the next person in his 9-10 age category, and 3 minutes faster than last year, when he also was first in his age group.
Cozzi said his inspiration is Buffalo Grove High School's Kevin Salvano, who won state and now runs for Notre Dame University. Cozzi, who gets his conditioning running up and down hills training for lacrosse, said he challenges himself to beat his best time in the mile, an even 6 minutes.
The event also included an 8K (4.97-mile) run and a 2.62-mile unassisted wheelchair event.
Got2Run is organized by Northwest Road Runners, Inc., a local running club that was established in 2011 for the purpose of organizing a yearly kids' running race.
Founding planning committee member and race director Jeff Chamberlin, a Mount Prospect dad, said the group's goal is to encourage kids and their parents to become interested in running as a healthy lifestyle choice for the rest of their lives. The effort has raised about $160,000 so far.
More information is at www.got2run.org.