Fort Smith offers varied private and public activities and programs which can enhance an individual's physical fitness. Similarly during non-school and non event/curricular hours some Fort Smith public school campuses offer fitness tracks and courses which can be used by the public to boost physical fitness.
Article: Training Insight from Star Athletes
FORT SMITH PUBLIC SCHOOLS Team 13.1
In the late spring of 2013 the School Nutrition Physical Activity Advisory Committee endorsed a physical fitness goal to Fort Smith Public School certified and classified staff - “Give Us 4 by Labor Day and We’ll Get You 13.1 by Christmas!” From this call to advance personal fitness 37 employees picked up the challenge and FSPS Team 13.1 was born. For 32 of our team this would be their first half-marathon.
Beginning the weekend of September 14-15, 2013 we undertook a 14 week training program to prepare for the December 15, 2013 Fayetteville Half Marathon. Our runners were supported during this journey by 5 dedicated runners Bridget Borges (Bonneville Elementary), Holly Craig (Tilles Elementary), Susan Coon (Service Center), Michael Farrell (Service Center), Cynthia Russell (Euper Lane) and each other.
Each participant received:
· A weekly training schedule
· Accessibility to a mid-week run–with the support of Western Arkansas Runners (WAR)
· Two options for a weekly group long run (Saturday a.m., Sunday a.m.)
· Tips on training
· Tips on nutrition
· Tips on what wear while running
· The option to run 5K and 10K race during the 14 week training
· The option to purchase a Team 13.1 T shirt
· Upon completion a 13.1 oval “sticker” magnet for their car–marking their accomplishment.
Unfortunately, as we came close to race time severe winter weather impacted the event. Our runners had endured training in 100º temperature as well as mid 20º’s, yet the ice on Fayetteville streets caused the race director to cancel the race our Team had been preparing for since September. A few runners found an alternative race in Tulsa on December 14 and seized the opportunity to run. In response to the weather the Fayetteville race gave runners two options; 1. Run the race on the following weekend (December 21, 2013) or, 2. Roll over their registration to Nov 9, 2014. The weather for the first make-up date in Fayetteville was less than ideal. The runners contended with running in the rain on a cloudy dreary morning in temperatures which hovered around 32º. Yet, some of our runners drove north to finish their quest.
The cancellation of the race caused a major disruption for our goal to go up and run as Team 13.1. Some runners made the decision to look for a spring 2014 race or run in November 2014. In a 14 week training period life, weather, and injury has interfered reaching the finish line but Teddy Roosevelt spoke to the nature of our runners in his quote entitled “The Man in the Arena” delivered in 1910:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…
As our Team crosses the finish line their accomplishment will be noted here, we are proud of their tenacity and perseverance because they chose to step into the arena. We look forward to them leading and being a model to others in improving their physical fitness.
Tulsa Half and Half Marathon – December 14, 2013
Sara Fink – Nurse/Student Services
Laura Keener - Southside
Nicole Melendez – Adult Education
Christina Morris – Woods
Leilani Snow – Guest/Mercy Hospital
Amy White - Southside
Fayetteville Half Marathon – December 21, 2013
Tammy Irons – Trusty-Cook
Laura Keener – Southside (2nd Half in 2 weeks)
Nicole Melendez – Adult Education (2nd Half in 2 weeks)
Christina Morris – Woods (2nd Half in 2 weeks)
Little Rock Marathon (Half) - March 2, 2014
Susan Coon (Coach) - SPED
Christina Morris - Woods
Leilani Snow - Guest/Mercy Hospital
Sharla Whitson - Bonneville
Vike Hike Half: Poteau, OK - March 29, 2014
Jennifer Ryan - Sunnymede
RussVegas: Russellville, AR - April 29, 2014
Elizabeth Gately - Student Services
Soaring Wings Half Marathon: Conway, AR - Oct 25, 2014
Terri Jones - Ballman
Debra Lively - Orr
Tulsa Half and Half Marathon 12/14/2013
LR: Christina Morris, Sara Fink, Nicole Melendez
LR Amy White, Christina Morris, Nicole Melendez, Laura Keener
Sharla Whitson - Little Rock 3/2/2014
Jennifer Ryan - Vike Hike 3/29/14
Elizabeth Gately - RussVegas 4/29/14
L-R Terri Jones & Debra Lively - Soaring Wing 10/25/14
“It was a blast…thank you for putting this group/training together! I would have never trained for this on my own! I have returned to what I loved to do (and what I was good at as a kid)--running! I had "forgotten" this passion!” Amy White
“I started running to have some "me time.” I loved being able to go and decompress from the stressors of life and, well...just run. The added bonus of gaining some muscle was a great perk too. I felt very prepared for the Tulsa Half & Half. I guess all of this to say that even though running is a very individual sport, it also takes a team to carry you to the finish line. Go Team 13.1!” Sara Fink
“I woke up this morning and decided I'm going. Nicole has really been encouraging me, too, which helps.” Laura Keener (running in her second half in two week on December 21).
“I know it didn't work out the way everyone wished for. The good news is I think some of us have found a new hobby!! My 13.1 will be March 29. Thanks for your weekly emails which gave all of us something to reach for. “ Jennifer Ryan
“Look around, while training may be difficult in all kinds of weather, look around at your fellow runners – they will give you a shout out, a robust “how ya doing?” – this is a great group to a part of and all you have to do is… Just Run.” MFarrell