Cross Country raises money in Avondale Run-A-Thon


Julian Fortuna

Runners have their arms marked each time they complete a lap. Each mark earned more money for the Cross Country team.

The Decatur Cross Country program ran 1,419 laps in the Avondale-Run-A-Thon on Aug. 8. The fundraiser will be the first of many to help raise funds for equipment and team uniforms.

Julian Fortuna
Cross Country runners warm up with a variety of stretches on the field of Avondale stadium.

“This is the first year we have done this,” head coach Mary Souther said, “but we plan to make this a yearly event.”

This event was planned in response to what Souther described as, “A desperate need for new uniforms. You don’t think about Cross Country needing equipment, but we do.”

To raise the needed money, a total of 49 athletes collected pledges from friends, family and community members. A sponsor would sign up to donate a certain amount of money for each lap their athlete completed.

“Our goal is about $175 per person,” Souther said.

Parent volunteers marked each runner when he or she finished a lap. Collectively, the team ran over 350 miles in the 90 minutes, with each runner averaging 29 laps. The team has currently raised $10,600, surpassing their goal of $10,000.

Only half of the team participated in the event, due in part to a complication with bus schedules. Even so, Coach Souther was happy with the turnout at the event.

“I love that the kids showed up and are enthusiastic about it,” Souther said.

Julian Fortuna
Varsity runners Michael Johns (left), Sam Mahany (center), and Will Johns (right) show off the lap marks on their arms.

Sam Amick completed 48 laps, the most among all of the runners. The team’s effort excited him.

“It was a great experience to see some of the newer runners really trying to contribute to our team as a whole,” Amick said.

Already one meet into his senior year, Amick has his focus set on November.“The team is looking stronger than ever, Amick said, “And I think we are going to be able to go really far at state this year.”

Click here to view the teams Gofundme page.