Hard to believe, but it’s been 10 years since a group of parents and teachers organized the first schoolwide running program at Davidson Elementary School. The 10th season of Tigers on the Prowl kicked off Thursday with waves of students circling a baseball field at McEver Fields off South Street, across from the school.
The popular running and walking program encourages students to be fit and healthy by accumulating laps all year long around a school field during recess. Teachers and volunteers keep track of their efforts, and many kids aim for completing the equivalent of a marathon – 26.2 miles – or more during the school year.
“How many completed a marathon last year?” physical education teacher Walter Rabb yelled to one group of kneeling kids Thursday afternoon. A handful of hands shot up. “And how many plan to do a marathon this year?” he asked. Lots of hands raised again.
Students who hit their goals earn awards, such as a Tigers on the Prowl marathon T-shirt.
Organizers said this week that 100 percent of the student body participated last year, running or walking more than 35,000 miles total. Ninety percent of students reached the marathon mark, and some students ran the equivalent of several marathons.
Thursday’s kickoff included appearances by a variety of local luminaries, from the Davidson Elementary Tiger mascot to Davidson College athletes and coaches, Davidson police and firefighters and elected officials, as well as a horde of as family and friends who came to run with students. And Principal Dana Jarrett was out there as well.
Tigers on the Prowl is funded by donations from Mary Lib & Jim Richards of Prudential Carolinas Realty, The Families of CrossFit Davidson, Artisan Custom Homes, Cashions, Interstate Cycle, and McIntosh Law Firm.
See an archive of coverage of Tigers on the Prowl over the years on DavidsonNews.net.