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Run Back to School gets kids outside

Story By Lilly Zoller
Local News Published 09/25/2021 3:53PM, Last Updated 09/27/2021 10:03AM
Rhinelander - "I just ran a 5K," said Lucy Eddy, a seventh grader.

Eddy and nearly 75 others participated in this year's Run Back to School event.

"It's been a pretty rough year for everyone with the pandemic and all that so just getting out here and being able to get that fresh air and get some exercise and have fun at an event really helps them, I think, with all aspects of their lives," said Mike Cheslock, the community education coordinator for the Rhinelander School District.

This is especially true for children as many of them have spent months attending school online. The run was an opportunity to get them back outside.

"It's great to have this outside, you know. Beautiful weather, you know, get away from screen time and Zoom so we can actually have an event in person and be outside and be safe and have it for not just our kiddos but for families and all of that social aspect and mental health and all of that for us," said Stephanie Dahlquist, the associate executive director for the YMCA of the Northwoods.

Dahlquist says the event brings the community together, giving students a chance to play together outdoors. This is a simple remedy for some of today's biggest issues.

"We live in a day and age where there's a lot of technology and a lot of screen time, which has it's time and place, but we also want to make sure kids are getting outside and moving around, getting some exercise, getting fresh air 'cause that's really healthy for them to have," said Cheslock.

"It makes me feel like I have like freedom and it makes me feel good," said Austen Slette, a sixth grader.

Organizers are eager to keep running this event for years to come, expanding ways to reap the benefits of running around outside.

"It feels pretty amazing to see all the nature out and see everybody happy and excited to run," said Eddy.

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