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Kellogg Marsh fitness club turns out for Berry Run

MARYSVILLE — More than 30 students from Kellogg Marsh Elementary volunteered to take part in the Marysville Strawberry Festival Berry Run, at the Smokey Point Plant Farm June 13, but for those kids, the one-mile and 5K runs are nothing new.

Kellogg Marsh teachers Nancy Mullins and Todd Smith started a fitness club for the school at the end of February, after news stories circulated about Marysville being the "fattest city" in Snohomish County, and their recruiting drive drew 98 students from the third, fourth and fifth grades.

The Kellogg Marsh fitness club meets every Thursday after school, "come rain or shine," and alternates between laps, either walking or jogging, and other sports activities designed to give them a workout, such as relay-races on scooter-boards. Each lap that each student completes is recorded, and added up into total mileage, for both the individual students and the fitness club as a whole.

"Our 98 kids have traveled almost 2,000 miles," said Mullins, noting that this is the equivalent of walking to Dubuque, Iowa. "We have a great group of kids."

Daniel Guzman and Koby Nelson, both third-graders, are tied for the furthest distance traveled, with almost 50 miles each, while Carley Wika, one of Mullins' own fourth-grade students, has gone the furthest distance of all the girls in the group, almost 40 miles, in spite of being "laid up for a while" due to an injury.

"She's doing great," Mullins said of Wika. "I'm a lucky teacher."

Mullins also praised fifth-grade fitness club member Rayshante Williams as an "absolutely gifted athlete" and an "extremely talented person," who "really shows her skills in the activities we do," but Williams herself was more understated about her accomplishments.

"My friends talked about it, the teachers talked about it, and I wanted to do it, because I wanted to lose weight, and it's good exercise," Williams said. "It's great for talking to friends, and you can get lots of exercise without having to do hardly anything, beyond just walking."

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