More than 300 students at Durand Elementary School participated in the Durand Run on Thursday, May 23, the 41st year the event has been held. Finishing first in the 2.5-mile race was the fifth grader David Hendrix. The top female finisher was Grace Dougherty, a fourth-grade student and first-time runner of the event.
A considerable crowd of cheering parents and spectators lined the course, boosting the spirits of the energetic students. Kindergarten and first-grade students watched from strategic spots, waving pom-poms and signs as their classmates passed. Of course, they had their fair share of running too, competing in their very own mini-run against their classmates the day before the big event. A tradition for first-grade students, but a first for those in kindergarten.
To ensure the safety of the participants, Vineland Police diverted traffic along the Forest Grove Road route. Teachers were present throughout the course to assist, and also to record the order of finish and make sure students followed proper cool-down procedures and received plenty of bottled water.
The race started in 1978 after William Maenner, the school’s principal at the time, and George Fuentes, then a physical education teacher, literally scraped the original 500-meter track out of the dirt behind the school with a borrowed tractor.
Students in grades two through five who complete four laps of the school's track in 20 minutes or less are eligible for the 3,000-meter event, according to Jim Appleby, the school's gym teacher.
The top three finishers from each grade level included: 5th grade - David Hendrix, first, Aiden Rosado, second and Kaiden Villa, third. 4th grade - Jordan Chandler, first, Grace Dougherty, second, and Nais Perez, third. 3rd grade - Julius Rodriguez, first, Erick Romero Hernandez, second, and Ronald Saunders, third. 2nd grade - Junior Matias Cano, first, Scott Guinup, second, and Julia Bilyk, third.
Top male and female runners. David Hendrix and Grace Dougherty
Top 15 – 5th grade
Top 15 – 4th grade
Top 15 – 3rd grade
Top 15 – 2nd grade
Click the following link for a gallery of photos from the race