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Students Racking Up Miles For New RLA Running Club
These three RLA students have completed over 100 miles in their Running Club and were awarded medals for their accomplishment. Photo Contributed


Three students from Riverbank Language Academy (RLA) were recognized for being the first students to each run over 100 miles. Fourth grader Julian Soriano with 134 miles, second grader Luke Walton with 114 miles, and second grader Owen Hauselmann with 103 miles were awarded medals at the school’s monthly assembly this past Friday, Jan. 29.

In September, the school started a running club to inspire and promote running as a healthy activity. Students run before school, during PE, and Friday afternoons. The progress is tracked with a barcode on each student’s identification card that is scanned after completing each lap on a course around the playground. A software application, Stride Track created specifically for school running clubs, generates a report on the miles of each student, each class, and the overall miles run by all the students at school. Parents and students can monitor their progress daily via the application.

“The students enjoy the competitive spirit seeing how many miles they can run,” stated Lisette Soriano, RLA PTO President. “The school’s goal was to run across the United States (approximately 2,900 miles).

“Since September, the students have cumulatively run a total of 5,920 miles.

“They not only have run enough miles to go across the United States and back, but will be adding more miles for their second trip across America,” said Soriano.

With the ultimate goal of daily physical activity, club organizers also hope to instill a love for running that the students will take with them into their adult life.

“For any student to complete 100 miles within a school year is impressive,” added Melissa Hanson, RLA Run Club Coordinator. “These three runners have managed to complete 100 miles in less than five months.

“It is important to note that these three boys are not the oldest, tallest, strongest or fastest students at the school, they have simply committed to running on a consistent basis. This commitment to running will not only pay off for them physically but will also help them achieve other goals as they get older.”

Hanson explained that the Running Club has made a positive difference in many ways like students working together towards a common goal of running across the USA.

All students at RLA can participate in the Running Club. Currently there are approximately 300 runners participating regularly.

“Parents report that their students want to show up early for school to get a couple laps in,” stated Hanson. “Students are taking a personal interest in their progress.”

RLA is an English/Spanish immersion K-8 Charter School with 565 students in the Riverbank Unified School District.