“There’s nothing easy about running,” said Healy, who played soccer in high school. “But the benefits are there emotionally, socially and physically … I just wanted to include everyone in something that was healthy and positive.”
So it comes as no surprise that the mother of three took her can-do attitude and brought it to the campus of Discovery Bay Elementary School in the form of the Discovery Bay Running Club. Now 100 members strong, the club comprises students in two groups – kindergarten through second grade and third through fifth grades – along with the occasional parent and teacher. Twice a week the group takes to the school track for 30 minutes of running, walking or both, to prepare for the club’s Spring Run on June 3.
Now six weeks into the club, Healy remains impressed by the caliber of commitment. “The ones who have really grasped the idea have been so impressive,” said Healy. “I have one group of boys that I thought might be a discipline problem when they came on, but have turned out to be great; they’ve done so well. It’s a neat thing to watch.”
Emma Lenfest, 9, admits the club can be daunting. “It’s harder than I thought it would be,” she said. “But I like that I’m getting exercise.”
Kasey Gunderson, 9, is a more a seasoned runner, having participated in competitions prior to joining the DB club. “I’ve run races before, so this isn’t that hard,” he said. “And I have lots of friends out here, so it’s fun.”
On a fairly mild day last week, students made their way around the track; some sprinting, some jogging and others walking, but all making the effort. With thumbs raised as they came around the track and cries of “I’m tired” and “this is awesome,” it’s clear that Healy’s efforts have begun to pay off.
“I think my hope is that they’ll find their ‘thing’ through all this and maybe it will be running,” she said. “Everyone needs a ‘thing,’ and for some, running will be it.”
For more information on the club or the upcoming Spring Run, call Discovery Bay Elementary School at 925-634-2159.