Marathon miles no match for Old Rochester students

May 8, 2018

Fifteen Old Rochester Regional students conquered the Providence Marathon on Sunday, May 6.

Ten students ran the marathon, four ran the half-marathon, and one student ran the 5k.

"Each student who ran the half-marathon improved their time from the earlier New Bedford Half Marathon," said Growth While Running and Inspiring Together (GRIT) program manager Stephanie Vanasse.

One of the marathon runners, Georgi Battaglia, has run the full Providence Marathon each year that the running club has been in existence; on May 7, she wore all three of her medals into school, Vanasse said.

Battaglia's father Joe was proud of the group's progress. "The students who ran this past Sunday began their journey back in October...They all work together and encourage each other to reach their goal. In this day of instant gratification, this program teaches kids to work for what they want and the rewards of that hard work," he said.

"The determination this group has is amazing and inspiring. Every single person who ran today gave it their all, and I couldn't be prouder," raved Alex Wurl, a junior at Old Rochester Regional High School.

Fellow junior Mia Quinlan agreed, thanking the group. "This group has taught me so many valuable lessons ...a big thank you to all of the mentors who kept our spirits high and our legs running!"

The running club uses mentors, older adults who run beside students, helping them along. There were 16 mentors running alongside the students and cheering them on in the sun.

The mentors also found rewards in the run. “I went into this experience thinking I knew what the role of being a mentor would be...the students [taught] some valuable life lessons. I feel extremely grateful to have logged in countless steps and heard wonderful stories," explained mentor Raquel Powers.

The Providence Marathon might be the end of GRIT's running season, there's no reason not to stay in shape. " I can't wait until next year!" Wurl said.