Runners brave snow and ice in Polar Bear Running Club

Abby Miller | Staff Writer

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Eighth grader Bella Ranieri runs at practice. Photo by Abby Miller.

The Polar Bear Running Club has been at MMS for 10 years and is leaving its legacy on student athletes.

The Polar Bear Running Club is a club at MMS where any student has the opportunity to run in the snow and cold weather.  The goal is to build endurance, learn team-work skills, set goals, and get in better shape, according to coach John Benham.

“The club originated trying to entice people to go outside and run,”  Benham said. “It was originally to get you off of the couch. Maybe, get you in shape, prepared and ready for your upcoming season in the spring.”

According to Benham, anyone at Mason Middle School can participate in the club, you don’t have to be a track runner, or be great at running, you just need a drive to get better.

“It isn’t necessarily just track runners,”  Benham said. “A lot of people think it’s just track runners that are going to be running here.  It’s a lot of soccer players, that may not be doing track.  Could be some cheerleaders, could be some basketball, lacrosse players, people who just want to get off of the couch.”

At the end of the season, in past years, students got to show off all of their hard work at a 5k race.

“We go down and run a 5k race,”  Benham said. “And that was just to see how we progressed throughout our club.  See if we got in better shape, and set goals for ourselves.”

The Polar Bear Running Club, and especially the 5k race is an all around fun experience for everyone according to Benham.

“We’ve had different staff members that come out and run with us,” Benham said. “At the end, we’ve even had some parents encouraged to come out and run with their student, as I said in that 5k race. It’s motivated a lot of families to actually get out and run together as well.”

Running outside in the cold weather, may not sound too fun for you, but really, it’s a great experience, according to Benham.

“For some strange reason, the idea of going outside and running in the cold weather really enticed a lot of people,” Benham said. “Maybe it was because it was something they have never thought of.”

Polar Bear Running Club sets a great atmosphere for students, and is a very fun, positive club, according to Benham.

“Running together as a group and encouraging each other, setting some goals, was a real positive experience for everybody,” Benham said.

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