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Apache 5k breaks barriers

RUN: Wabash City Schools students walk toward the starting line for the Apache PE 5k.

by ANDREW MACIEJEWSKI - amaciejewski@wabashplaindealer.com

Wabash Middle School’s gymnasium slowly filled up with more than 400 Wabash City Schools students donning highlighter green shirts, as students of all ages registered for the fourth annual Apache PE 5k.

The event continues to grow each year, adding 75 students this year, with students from fifth through 12th grade, teachers and even WCS Superintendent Jason Callahan crossing the finish line.

While the course route has changed to include running around both school buildings and the Honeywell pool, the reason for the event has not changed.

“The goal of this is really to promote physical activity,” Wabash High School physical education teacher Carrie McClure said. “We want students to understand it doesn’t matter their athletic ability or age level, but that you can be physically active at all stages of life and it can be enjoyable.”

An anonymous donor gave enough money to the event to provide t-shirts and numbered bibs, allowing even more students to participate than in past years.

McClure said the idea behind a school-sanctioned 5k is to allow people the experience of being a part of a road race without denying anybody based on their background.

“We know that there are barriers,” McClure said. “There are 5k’s all over the place, but there’s many students that couldn’t afford the registration. This is something that we want them to enjoy without those financial barriers. The donations that we receive are greatly appreciated.

“The coolest moment for me was when the event started, there were 400 people on the track just moving all at once. I was in the press box at the time, and I had a bird’s-eye-view of that, and it was a cool moment to see everybody having fun and moving in a big green mass.”