The Decatur County Youth Running Club hosted its 7th annual running clinic in the Summer of 2018. It was the largest DCYRC Running Clinic to date with 111 youth from around the county participating in a variety of running games, dynamic stretches, and warm-ups led by over 30 volunteers of local high school runners, college athletes, and area coaches during the clinic. The young runners, grades 2nd to 8th, also received mini lessons in running from community members and successful runners & coaches from around the country.

The motto for the 2018 clinic was “Do Your B.E.S.T.!” Each letter of B.E.S.T. represented the topic for each day. We began with the letter B in the word B.E.S.T. Our topic was about “Being Positive”. We wanted our youth to realize that in running and in life, it is important to be optimistic and focus on the good things. The letter E represented “Energy” and we focused on the right nutrients and preparation you need for running. We stressed the importance of a healthy active lifestyle for not just running but also daily life. The letter S for “Strategy” was dedicated to how to approach racing and pacing. The last day of our clinic the youth competed in a one-mile race and ran their best with “Tenacity”.

Some of the speakers to emphasize these important points included Former Greensburg Track & Cross Country Coach Ed Diewert, UMBC college runner Miles Smith, White River Running Company owner Brandi Legge, DCMH nutritionist Kirstin Rowland, and IUPUI University runner Shelby Pake. At the conclusion of the clinic the DCYRC members participated in a mile race in their specific age groups. The top 3 girls and top 3 boys in each age group earned gold, silver, and bronze medals for their performances. Personal records of past participants were also celebrated. All the participants received daily healthy snacks, DCYRC drifit t-shirts, DCYRC waterbottles, DCYRC backpacks, and certificates at the end of the week for their successful completion of the clinic. The Decatur County Youth Running Club would like to thank their primary sponsor, the Decatur County Community Foundation, for supporting the event.

Each participant finished the running clinic with a wealth of knowledge about the importance of positivity, being active, eating healthy and was also empowered by their successful completion of the timed mile and achieving personal records. None of these intrinsic and extrinsic rewards for our youth would be possible with out the generous contribution from the DCCF.