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New Club at SWRMS Is "Up and Running"

Hard work and dedication paid off as athletes from Southwestern Randolph Middle School’s running club completed their first GO FAR 5K on Saturday, Nov. 14. GO FAR, an acronym for Go Out for a Run, is a comprehensive fitness program designed to get kids active and teach healthy lifestyles.

Twenty students and staff members wearing gold team shirts braved the cold temperatures to run the 3.1 mile course. Eighth grader Cameron Ebanks was the first SWR finisher at 24:14, followed closely by Christian Simpson. Ashton Allred sprinted across the finish line at 26:42, just ahead of SWR student advocate and coach Jane Braswell and eighth grader Lori Proctor.

Principal Mike Crider, who ran with the students, brought the running program to SWRMS after seeing the organization in action at his previous school. “GO FAR not only addresses the need for exercise, but promotes good nutrition, positive attitudes and camaraderie among teammates,” Crider said. “Mrs. (Erin) Guistiza has done an amazing job, and I am proud of every runner who ran, as well as the parents who came out to support us.”

Head coach Giustizia praised her runners and said she hoped they served as an inspiration when they wore their T-shirts and race medallions to school on Monday. ”There was definitely a lot of interest from the other students."  She designed the club shirts with the slogan “Don’t ask me why I run – ask yourself why you don’t,” adding that the team is still open to more participants.

"It was rewarding to see staff and students improve, and a lot of fun for everyone," she said.

Other SWRMS runners in order of finish were Justin Gillispie, Nayeli Garcia, Dalia Rodriguez, Kara Caudill, Malee Sanders, Brianna Mabe, Michael Lucas, Paige Davis, Michelle Pacheco Lopez, Jeylin Cortes Reyez, teachers Coach Giustizia, Coach Lorraine Ridge and Jessica Latham, and Kaylee Maness.

The club was back at it on Monday as practice continued for the next group 5K, the Reindeer Run and Dash on Dec. 12 at Central Methodist Church in Asheboro. Race proceeds benefit Operation Red Sleigh, which provides Christmas gifts to underprivileged children in Randolph County.

“We encourage everyone in the SWRMS family to come out to run or walk with us,” Crider said. “You can do something good for others while doing something good for yourself.”

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