Bedford junior high students to run 5K with teacher at Cowtown Marathon Posted Friday, Feb. 26, 2010 Comments (0) Recommend (0) Print Share Share Buzz up! Reprints

By SUSAN McFARLAND

Special to the Star-Telegram

BEDFORD -- Eighth-grade math teacher Marilyn Monroe wasn't sure what to expect when she asked Central Junior High School students to run with her in the Cowtown Marathon.

To her delight, 29 students, 10 teachers and a couple of parents will join her today in the Kids 5K.

The group, now known as the Spartan Elite Running Club, has trained for six weeks with Monroe and her colleague Jessica Henson, an eighth-grade history teacher.

We honestly didn't expect to get the turnout that we did, Monroe said.

Cross-country runner Martin Wright, an eighth-grader, hopes to run the 3.1-mile trek in 21 minutes.

I think I'll be able to do it, Martin said.

Training helped a lot.

It's a diverse group, Monroe said, and includes her mother, Mary Russo.

Russo said: I thought it would be kind of fun to do the race with her. She needed help with the kids. Plus it gets me off the couch.

Students raised money for transportation to the race and entry fees and had enough left over to make a donation to Children's Activities for Life and Fitness, a program to educate children about creating a healthy lifestyle through fitness and nutrition.

During lunch they would go around with a little piggy bank and ask for donations, Monroe said.

Monroe and Henson plan to expand the club next year and possibly enter the team in more than one event.

We will continue to allow the students to come after school to run, Monroe said. Track season just started and a lot of the students in the club are excited about competing in the long-distance races.