Big 5K Race Turnout Raises $3800 For Luther Middle PE Program

By On December 9, 2013

On Saturday, December 7, Luther Burbank Middle School held its inaugural 5K Running In The Halls race, raising funds for the school’s Physical Education program. Almost 150 runners and walkers paid the $25 entry fee, including parents, students, teachers, administrators, staff and even some cross-country team members from Burbank and Burroughs High Schools. People from throughout Burbank and other BUSD schools participated as well and others made outright donations to the cause.

Members of the Hawks Track Club and Luther students: Luke Kvarda, Sam Mokracek, Emily Virtue, Sophie Birnbaum and Alexander Hirsch. (Photo Courtesy of Nicole Kvarda)

Members of the Hawks Track Club and Luther students: Luke Kvarda, Sam Mokracek, Emily Virtue, Sophie Birnbaum and Alexander Hirsch. (Photo Courtesy of Nicole Kvarda)

“We used to do a PTSA Jog-A-Thon and kids would get pledges to do laps to raise funds,” commented race coordinator Traci Fellman, a counselor at Luther Middle. “That was okay, but it gets a little boring doing the same lap over and over.”

Joe "Horse" Marando. (Photo Courtesy of Luther Middle School.)

Joe “Horse” Marando. (Photo Courtesy of Luther Middle School.)

“I am a runner and take part in the Santa Monica 10K every year. It’s a great course, but more importantly, it raises funds for the Santa Monica Schools’ athletic departments. It started out as a very small event, but has grown every year,” explained Ms. Fellman. “I thought it would be a great idea to try that out on a smaller scale to raise funds for our PE department… they could really use new equipment for track and field this spring.”

Ms. Fellman points out that community sponsors Buddy’s All-Stars, Fleet Feet Burbank, The Burn Studio, Ralph’s and Western Bagel were instrumental in helping present the race. The race raised $3800, far more than organizers had hoped, and will pay for the sorely-needed new track and field equipment.

“It was a great event in spite of soggy weather,” added Ms. Fellman. “It was really terrific seeing our families out together for fun and fitness!”

The course began in front of the Luther cafeteria and went around the athletic field, through the bungalows out to Allen St., past the Adult School to Maple St., then along Maple to Jeffries Ave. in front of the middle school. At the office, the course turned back onto campus and wove up and down the hallways all throughout the campus and back out to the field. A second loop completed the 5K course, with the finish line on the field.

Running In The Halls 5K winners are:

Adult Women: 1st: Terri Van Houten (parent), 2nd: Laurie Harmon (Luther teacher), and 3rd: Heidi Soto (Bret Harte teacher)

Adult Men: 1st: Mark McKeighan (parent), 2nd: Scott Ravine (parent), and 3rd: Joe “Horse” Marando (parent, dressed as a USC Trojan horse)

Youth Girls: 1st: Emily Virtue (8th grade), 2nd: Sophie Birnbaum (7th grade), and 3rd: Lakely Nealis (7th grade)

Youth Boys: 1st: Alex Hirsch (8th grade, with a blistering course time of 18:02 and first place overall finisher), 2nd: Asif Chowdhury (8th grade), and 3rd: Cole Workman (6th grade)

Students start the 5K race at Luther Burbank Middle School. (Photo Courtesy of Nicole Kvarda)

Students start the 5K race at Luther Burbank Middle School. (Photo Courtesy of Nicole Kvarda)