by KARLIE HAYES | special to 92127 Magazine

Running for Hope

Over the past winter, Del Norte junior Maggie Basinger started an after-school running program at Oak Valley Middle School (OVMS). Two days a week, from the end of the OVMS cross country season in the fall to the Finish Chelsea’s Run in March, middle schoolers worked hard to stay in shape for the March 5K.

Maggie started the program because she enjoyed doing a running program over the summer for middle school girls, and she became inspired to lead a similar program over the winter. “My siblings’ middle school cross country season was about to end in late fall, and I wanted to continue it because Oak Valley promotes Chelsea’s Run,” she added. Finish Chelsea’s Run is an annual race in Balboa Park to honor Chelsea King, a Poway High School student who lost her life while running at Lake Hodges. Money raised by the run supports the Sunflower Scholarship Fund, which provides academic and extracurricular scholarships for deserving teens. Every year, OVMS has put together a team to run at the 5K, so a great way to supplement this was to train as a team over the winter.

OVMS runners worked hard at their practices. The runners would meet on the blacktop, run two laps around the basketball courts as a warm up, and do active stretching drills together. Then, they would set off on a run. Afterwards, they would sometimes do a relay, which included sprints and other activities, and finish practice with team stretching.

When they finally crossed the finish line at the March 5K, the months of training helped the middle schoolers have a strong, fun race. The environment at the race was exciting because they had been working towards that moment since the fall, and everyone was glad to finish Chelsea’s run in a race for hope.

Karlie Hayes is a junior at Del Norte High School. She is participating in an internship program with 92127 Magazine.