The Tulsa Run is one of green Country’s biggest races of the year. Among the race’s youngest competitors are members of the Jenks America Track Club.
Made up of student runners, from elementary to college – the track-and-field and cross country club meets four times a week to train.
Training for the Tulsa Run began about two months ago.
“We’ve just been running really hard, pushing each other and having a great time,” Chelsea Jones, Jenks America runner, said.
Jones has been running with Jenks America since fourth grade. Fourteen years later, she is a med student at the University of Oklahoma and still returns to Jenks to run.
“It’s just fun to be in the Jenks America Track Club environment. You have older people, younger people, everyone just running together.”
Ariel Soap is in fourth grade and has been running with the track club for seven years. He’s preparing for the 5K.
“(I run) six miles every night, except for Tuesdays I only do five, Soap said.”
Dozens of students show up each practice, not because they have to, but simply because they want to.
“There's no pressure to race. It's just come out and if you want to race great, and we are in shape and get after it," said Jenks America Head Coach Mike Barber.
Barber says Jenks America is not about how fast you cross the finish line; it is about the lessons learned along the way.
“It’s take whole lot of commitment; it’s take a whole lot of courage to challenge your body. It takes a lot of camaraderie,” Barber said.
“To me winning and losing is small part of the equation of our life. Those races are very small but if you can get in that good habit for life, it’s pretty cool. That’s what we are out here to teach.”
And with the race only hours away, runners are ready to see the hard work pay off.
It’s going to be really fun, and I am really anticipating it because we have been training for so long and it will be great if we have a good show,” said Adrena Mazzei, Jenks America runner.
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