Sembach Marathoners run for their lives

***image1***Linda Steil

Twice a week, anywhere from 10 to 35 students, parents and faculty members meet to take part in the Sembach Marathoners.

The Sembach Marathoners is a unique club started by Sembach Middle School nurse Thomas Panzlau who was looking for a way to show kids that exercise can be fun. Membership now includes students, parents and faculty.

In its first year, the club started with only four or five students, Mr. Panzlau said. Now, the club is growing in membership.

The goal is to have each student complete a “marathon” over time by jogging, running and walking at their own pace.

The club members meet for 90 minutes and keep moving the entire time. Students log their own distances and calories measured by pedometers supplied by the Sembach Parent Teacher Organization.

The club meets throughout the school year and its members run outside, rain or shine. Once students complete the distance of 26 miles, 385 yards, they are awarded a certificate and their own pedometer. The goal is to get kids active, which seems to be working, as all the kids who have completed the distance continue to take part in the club year after year and continue to recruit fellow students, parents and teachers, Mr. Panzlau said.