On Memorial Day, Longwood Drive was home to many Mustangs runners—from both St. Rita High School and John Marsh Elementary—for their 2nd annual “Running Mustangs” Club.
The partnership, which pairs up St. Rita students with 5th & 6th grade boys from John Marsh Elementary School on Chicago’s east side, was started by Beverly resident, Margie Leiser, a teacher at John Marsh.
Ms. Leiser, a runner at Mother McAuley, started the running club for her students and enlisted the help of St. Rita High School to send her “running buddies” for her runners. The big brother, little brother program has been strong for two years now, and the Marsh students have been amazed at the large crowds and strong support from the residents of Beverly. Despite colder, rainier temperatures this year, the Mustangs from both schools had an amazing experience.
The St. Rita Mustangs, which came from St. John Fisher, St. Barnabas, St. Cajetan, Christ the King, Queen of Martyrs, and Sutherland schools, each received a running buddy to run the 5K race with. It was the Rita students’ job to run with their new friend, encouraging them along the way, and helping to set a good running pace for them. In many cases, the John Marsh 5th and 6th graders ended up setting the pace for the Rita students and in some cases, even beat their Rita Mustang buddy.
For both Mustang groups, it was a chance to participate in a fun event and meet a new friend along the way. Next year’s Ridge Run will be another great day for St. Rita Mustangs and the great runners from John Marsh Elementary School!