Hitting the streets: Students prepare for 10th Reindeer Romp

Published Wednesday, November 8, 2017
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On Your Mark

ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO! – Northwest ISD students take off from the starting line at a previous Reindeer Romp. This year is the 10th annual event, and it will be held at Alliance Airport. Submitted photo

Every Friday morning, members of the Prairie View Elementary running club meet to run for 15 minutes.

“I have about 50 students that are part of my running club,” said Ricky King. “The students are really excited about running.”

The students will put their training to the test next month in the 10th annual Reindeer Romp at Alliance Airport. The 5K and one-mile fun run will be Dec. 9. The fun run starts at 8:30 a.m., and the 5K begins 30 minutes later.

It will be the second year for the event to be held at the location. It was previously held at Byron Nelson High School but outgrew the area.

Last year approximately 3,500 students, parents and community members turned out for the run.

“We get everyone out from elementary to middle to high school students,” said Northwest Assistant Athletic Director George Lutkenhaus. “We also get a lot of teachers and administrators involved. It’s a big Northwest ISD party.”

When the event started, the goal was to get students to work up to being able to finish a 5K.

“The goal was to get kids out and being active. Over the last 10 years, it’s grown little by little,” Lutkenhaus said. “Now there’s thousands of kids involved in running clubs at the elementaries that are running a couple miles with their coaches.”

He said they are using cards to track the miles of students, and over the years they have completed 54,000.

“It’s neat to think our students ran around the earth twice,” Lutkenhaus said.

Along with getting students running, the event is also a major fundraiser for the physical education program. Five dollars from each entry is returned to the district.

“Last year, $17,000 came back to us,” Lutkenhaus said.

That money is distributed to the elementary schools based on their number of entries. When participants sign up, they designate which program they are supporting.

“It goes straight to their PE programs,” Lutkenhaus said. “It’s money for the PE teachers to spend on new equipment.”

King, who is in his first year at Prairie View, said he was able to buy new footballs and volleyballs this year.

Amanda Grounds at Seven Hills is also in her first year. She said she has 64 runners already signed up for the Reindeer Romp.

“This is my first time to experience this, and I am extremely excited,” Grounds said.

Registration is available at www.nisdreindeerromp.com. It’s $20 for students and $25 for adults. Registration will remain open through race day.

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