Nearly 100 fourth- and fifth-graders at Sauk Trail jogged beside trees shedding their fall colors and a pond waiting to freeze during the school's annual Harvest Run on Friday afternoon.
The annual fun run is the culmination of weeks of gym classes practicing stretching and running increasingly longer distances as warm-up preparation for the final fall event.
"Getting ready for the run is part of our fitness initiative to encourage our kids to be active," gym teacher Kristen Braun said. "They get really excited for the big run. It's good motivation for them to achieve."
Added gym teacher Justin Haack: "So many of the kids say they don't like to run when we're doing it in the gym, but once we get outside and run through the woods, past the pond, and around our park-like school grounds they have a great time."
The run is optional, but about 90 percent of the students in fourth and fifth grade participate, as do a few teachers and even principal Chris Dahlk.
The entire school gathers along the course to shout words of encouragement and offer high-fives as the runners pass. The brightly colored crunchy leaves offered a perfect backdrop for the photo opp enjoyed by parents, grandparents, and staff.
To see more photos from the Harvest Run, please visit the District's Facebook page.
-- By Tom Kobinsky