On Friday, more than 150 elementary students, grades 3 to 6, from 16 San Diego schools, participated in the 8th Annual Chelsea King Invitational Mile at Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary School’s track.
This run is held in honor of Chelsea King, who was kidnapped and murdered while out on a run in 2010. She was an avid runner and an honors student at Poway High School who participated in a lot of community outreach and always showed good sportsmanship.
In order for students to participate in this run, they have to qualify by sharing the same characteristics as King. Teachers must sign off each student to confirm that they do all their homework and are good students.
Mary Lou Baranowski, a physical education teacher for the San Diego Unified School District and coordinator of this event, stated they have this annual run in order to keep King’s memory alive and share her love of running with children.
The first event is the 800-meter Buddy Run which symbolizes the importance of not running alone. This event is for kids who have good academics and sportsmanship but did not have a fast enough qualifying time to run the mile.
To participate in the mile, in addition to good academics and sportsmanship, boys must have a qualifying time of seven minutes and girls must have a qualifying time of eight minutes.
Brent and Kelly King run the Chelsea’s Light Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to their daughter that aims to support youth and spreading positive change in the community.