Students from several schools in Wilson County recently celebrated their season participating in the Tennessee State Parks Run Club.
The State Parks Run Club coordinator, Emily Stevenson, and the Wilson County Run Club coach, Kristi Brooks, helped young runners from Tuckers Crossroads, Southside, Carroll Oakland and other schools participate in races at Cedars of Lebanon, Cummins Falls, and Cumberland Mountain State Parks.
Students held mid-week practices at their schools and weekend practices at Cedars of Lebanon State Park.
TXR students celebrated their season and the runners' accomplishments during a celebration with USA 24-hour Running Team Member and Friendship Christian Teacher and Coach Greg Armstrong as their special guest.
Armstrong shared his passion for running with the kindergarten through eighth grade students. He shared that although he had been running since he was young, he did not win his first race until the age of 36, coincidentally, just one week after starting his foundation, Run4Water, which promotes healthy drinking water for children all over the world.
"Every 22 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness," Armstrong said. "That's 4,000 children a day that die from drinking dirty water."
He urged the students to run for yourself, not for awards, and to "run for a purpose, whatever that may be."
Armstrong is a testament to perseverance, completing and winning many endurance races of 24 hours and the Vol State 500K, a 314-mile race last summer he completed in 3 days, 17 hours and 50 minutes. He said he plans to compete in the 500K again this summer, which takes place in July, with the goal to break three days. The race begins in Missouri, winds through Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and ends in Georgia.
Runners were awarded with prizes for their accomplishments and free passes to Lebanon's Sports Village.
Organizers are already planning for next year's season with events coordinating with Armstrong and Run4Water's 24-hour Run Around the World and Marathon in 26 Days events.
For more information about Run4Water and events, visit www.Run4Water.net.