By Josh Havard
A fun run for one Diboll student has turned into much more as the Little ’Jack Running Club, which started out just as an idea, is wrapping up its first full year.
It all started with Ray Williams, a Diboll third-grader, attending a local fun run where many area grade-schoolers were attending. After seeing students from another local school participate in the event, his top question was why Diboll didn’t have a running club of its own.
He brought that question to the Diboll ISD staff and got a positive response.
Ray said of the idea, “On a scale of 1-10, it was an eight. I saw what other schools were doing with their kids and I wanted me and my friends to do it too.”
That set the wheels in motion for what is now known as the Little ’Jack Running Club.
The group started with 12 third-graders competing at a local fun run. When the group attended the Crime Stoppers Run, a few second-graders joined in on the fun.
There are currently 14 members of the running club with several other inquiries also being taken.
“The races are usually early Saturday mornings and some were pretty cold,” club sponsor and elementary counselor Stacy Williams said, “but they were all fun.”
They have participated in races including Miles for Missions, Crime Stoppers, Shamrock Sprint, Sprint into Spring and CASA SuperHero Race.
“I want to say thank you to Mrs. (Melinda) Dover (Temple Elementary principal) and Mrs. (Stacy) Williams for making it happen,” Ray said. “It’s been an awesome year. I look forward to running for the Lumberjacks and still running when I’m old … like in my 40s.”
The group usually has two practices per week and a half-mile route is currently marked off on the campus. They also use the stairs in the new elementary building and parts of the playground equipment as an obstacle course.
“Even though it’s practice to become a better runner, we still make it fun,” Williams said.
The group will also race at the Diboll PTSA SUNsational Summer Fun run at Lumberjack Stadium. Cost is $15, which includes a T-shirt, finisher medal and a goodie bag.
The race will start at 6:15 p.m.
It will be an event that can be a culmination for the Little ’Jack Running Club, which plans to continue to build.
We get to run together and talk about stuff,” Ray said. “It’s fun to be with friends and see all the different races.”