IPS students run Monumental Marathon 5K to jumpstart healthy lifestyle

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Thousands of runners filled the streets downtown to compete in Indiana's largest and fastest marathon.

For a select group of the youngest runners this morning, the Monumental Marathon wasn't about winning the race. It was about setting a healthy goal and finishing it.

"C'mon! Make some noise for these IPS students," said the race announcer.

There was a sea of orange crossing the finish line this morning at the Monumental Marathon. They represent the hundreds of Indianapolis Public School students from fifteen schools participating in this year's 5K portion of the event for the first time.

It's a journey that's been twelve weeks in the making.

We caught up with these students at IPS School #34 during one of their early morning training sessions.

"When you're running for a long period of time, you need to have a pace so you don't start walking," said one student.

"That's right, pace is how fast or how slow you run," said Kate Sitzman.

Sitzman is the 5K coordinator here.

"Words cannot describe how proud I am of these kids. Some have come to every single training session and they're so excited and I can't wait to see their faces the day of the race," said Sitzman.

Alexis McIntosh is a 4th grader completing her first 5K.

"I feel perfect and I feel fantastic," said Alexis Clebe.

"This is her first time I'm so excited! That's my baby! I'm so excited," screamed Anna McIntosh, Alexis' mother.

The hope is with these children getting that first taste of running the 5K will lead to a lifetime of running and going that extra mile.

"We do have testimonials from the teachers who say the kids are more attentive when they're active before school," said Kathy Langdon, Physical Education Director for IPS Schools.

And now these setting new goals to push and motivate themselves and others.

The students say they've also learned how to eat better choosing healthier snacks. New IPS superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee kicked off this morning's marathon and also ran the 5K. Monumental Marathon has given more than $400,000 to local schools and educational programs.