Woodland Middle School’s running club to host 5K


Woodland Middle School’s new running club has announced its first Woodland Way 5K, which will take place on Saturday, March 25.

The students in the club, which includes kids in fifth through eighth grades, plan every element of the race including the course design, finding sponsors and the design of T-shirts. The students will also manage the 5K on race day, according to a news release from the district.

Clarissa Rinehart, an art teacher at Woodland Middle School, created the running club this year to encourage students to challenge themselves.

“I want kids to love running because it’s a great way to stay active and healthy,” Rinehart stated in the release. “Additionally, when you’re an adult, it can be challenging to find team sports or other activities that require multiple people. Running is something you can take part in where you don’t need anyone else to be successful at it.”

Some members utilize the club to keep in shape during their offseason from sports.

While younger students may feel intimidated to be in a club with students from higher grade levels, the release noted club members go out of their way to accept any interested members.

“It’s a bit unusual for a club to have all grade levels involved, but I really enjoy running because it gives me an opportunity to practice before softball season starts,” said fifth grader Addison Beauchene in the release. “Ms. Rinehart is incredibly nice and since she’s a good runner with a lot of experience, she’s an excellent coach for our club.”

Rinehart said the clubs she has formed, which includes the arts and crafts club, accommodate anyone with disabilities. The running club’s 5K course will be accessible to wheelchairs and others with accessibility needs.

“I really want to give back to the community that raised me and serve as a positive role model both during school and outside of school,” Rinehart stated in the release. “The Woodland Way 5K offers a family-friendly experience that also shows kids they can succeed at things that aren’t ‘kid things,’ like finishing a race.”

All of the proceeds raised from the inaugural Woodland Way 5K will benefit the Woodland Middle School running club. Rinehart hopes to provide support to nonprofits and charitable organizations in future years.

“The funds used to start a lot of this year’s clubs won’t be here next year so we need to become self-sustaining in order to offer this club year-after-year,” Rinehart stated in the release. “The club members are reaching out for donations. They’ve designed medals and T-shirts, and they’re planning the entire run.”

Those who want to participate in the 5K can register online at bit.ly/WoodlandWay5K-2023.

The run will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 25 at the Woodland Middle School’s gymnasium, which is located at 755 Park St.

Registration costs $15 for adults, $10 for children and it is free for children under 5 years of age. A family pass is also available for $50. Registration includes snacks and raffle entries.