Marathon Challenge - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/24/05 - Nacogdoches

Marathon Challenge

by Donna McCollum

Avid runner Mike Kelly starts a pack of over 300 fifth graders off to their last and 26th mile of the Marathon Challenge. It's been a blast for the kids and the interim police chief. He joined them once a week for 26 weeks to be with them every step of the way. "Just getting to know them, visiting their schools has been fun. Also to let them get to know police as a good guy," said Kelly. Ask any runner and you'll hear, "He's fun and fun to run with. He would run with all of us."

The Marathon Challenge combined physical activity with lessons on making smart decisions. SFA professor Dr. Dawnella Rust wrote the curriculum. "If they have good refusal skills they don't smoke, they don't do drugs, they're active, they're not sexually active at an early age."

The program got kicked off and running with Nacogdoches Safe and Drug Free, businesses and even East Texas News personalities jumping on the band wagon.

All participants of the Marathon Challenge could walk or run. Finishing was the only thing encouraged. And whether you came in first or last, no matter. Everyone got the same medal and congratulations from their leader, Chief Kelly.

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