NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – About 12 youngsters, all wearing bright orange T-shirts adorned with the words “Run Hard & Be Nice To People,” gathered at West End Creamery in Northbridge recently to celebrate a big accomplishment.
All of them, even one not quite 3, joined Club 262 and ran the equivalent of a marathon — 26.2 miles or more — during the summer.
The idea came from Brad Waterson, an ultra-marathoner who admits he takes running to an “insane level.’’
“After the success of the Northbridge PTA Kids Race, I was looking for ways to get kids interested in running and get families in town active in general,’’ Waterson said.
Through friends on Facebook, he found 100MileClub.com, a California organization that encourages children to run 100 miles in a school year. “I'm trying to drum up business with the schools,” he said, but it may not happen until next school year.
Through 100 Mile Club, however, “I found out about Club 262, the 100 Mile Club's summer challenge in which kids and families challenge themselves to run a marathon in June and July,” he said.
So he and other families with elementary school children took up that challenge, one that ended with a medal presentation ceremony at West End Creamery.
“I'm proud to these kids,’’ he said. “You started out with 0 mileage and ended up with 26.2 and more."