Photo by Kelli Bullock
Taylor Tamashiro, a special education teacher at Manana Elementary School in Pearl City, is one of the leaders and coaches of the school’s Manana Fit Club.
In addition to promoting the healthy, active, outdoors lifestyle – the club also encourages participation in a community events – and this they decided to focus on the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship.
“It appeals to us because it is something different being a trail run and with the two events of the 5k and 1.5 mile walk, our students are free to participate in that event that they (we) feels best suits them,” said Tamashiro. “Most importantly, they're outdoor being active. Plus, I'm from the windward side and I love that area, a lot of our kids don't get to that side of the island so it's a new experience for them as well.”
Kids have been a big part of the XTERRA Trail experience through the years, and there is even free runs for the smaller kids and an obstacle/adventure area for them to play at.
“We see so many kids these days glued to their tablets and TV that it really is great to see groups and clubs like this that push them to be active and outdoors,” said Dave Nicholas, XTERRA’s managing director. “It’s a step in the right direction, for sure, and we’re proud of Taylor and the kids at Manana for getting involved.”
The Manana Fit Club – comprised of 3rd and 4th grade students - started a training program (twice a week) in mid-September that involves a combination of cardio, full body workouts, and team sports.
“Our students are stoked to be a part of this,” said Tamashiro. “Since we announced this, we coaches get asked every day about practice as well as "when is our run/walk?" The students that we have running the 5k are excited to get out there and run!”
After the race, Tamashiro talked about the fit kids day at Kualoa Ranch...
"This was a great experience for our kids and the staff, both runners and walkers. We really enjoyed the event. The other participants were awesome to us! From the beginning of the race to the very end, our students received encouraging words and support from other participants and the XTERRA staff as well! They were stoked that so many adults were cheering them on. Our students who participated in the run did well in their age division! We had 2 of our boys tied for 3rd and our girls took the top 4 spots in the 0-9 divisions. Our other run participants finished the race admirably as well, the first "long" run for most of them. The finish at the chute was an exciting part for most students as this was their first times doing something like that. We look forward to participating in this event again!"