First Baptist students’ marathon effort

Students at First Baptist Christian School have been going to marathon lengths as part of a fitness program to promote youth fitness and health globally.

pace trek

Grade One students from First Baptist Christian School try to keep pace with ultra endurance athlete Paul Stasos journey across Alaska. Photo: Submitted

For the last three weeks, students at the school have been trying to keep pace with ultra endurance athlete Paul Staso as he runs 500 miles in Alaska to promote the children’s program called PACE.

PACE, an acronym for Promoting Active Children Everywhere, aims to raise awareness of the benefits of exercise and to reduce alarming rates of childhood obesity.

Mr. Staso’s journey takes him through rugged terrain, national parks and mountain passes. At the end of an average 25 mile day, he posts blogs, photos, heath tips and information about Alaska on his website;

90 First Baptist students logged a combined total over 200 miles in the first week of the program running or walking laps of the gym. They are one of 230 schools worldwide working towards a target of 500 miles.

As a team they only need to log two miles each per week, but some children have done as many as ten.

Students have been logging onto the website daily to see where Paul is; how many miles he has done; what the weather is like in Alaska; and what animals he has seen on the way. There are slideshows, webcams and lots of health and fitness information as well as some fun games for them to play. The students have also left messages in Paul’s guestbook.

When asked what she had learnt during the pace trek, Lauren Doud, 8, said: ‘to never give up,’ adding ‘Paul has been my inspiration and has never given up, even though he is doing the 500 miles by himself and we are doing it as a team.’

Chad Levy, 9, said he has learnt ‘that running and being active is very good for you,’ adding ‘it’s good so we don’t get diseases like diabetes.’

Physical Education teacher Claire Hughes said ‘it’s great for the children to have someone to admire and to realise that there is so much more to life than watching TV and playing computer games.

She said ‘we are looking forward to next year’s Pacetrek already and hope maybe more schools in Cayman will also take part next year.’