In 2000 Lillian Larsen teacher and Athletic Director Eileen Rogers was searching for ways to fund the athletics program. School funding was at a minimum and she could envision how much the students would benefit with improved programs. She firmly believes a healthy body enhances the ability to learn. The answer was to host a marathon.
It was dubbed ‘Buzz Marathon’ for the Lillian Larsen School mascot, the hornet. Eileen approached officials at Camp Roberts who agreed to partner with the school and allowed a course to be laid out through the beautiful countryside and rolling hills of the base. It was decided to hold the event in February and they were off and running.
The Marathon has indeed brought many benefits to Lillian Larsen students in more than just sports but they are the driving force. Lillian Larsen School is a member of the Coast Valley Prep League which is comprised of eight junior high schools. Lillian Larsen has a football team, four volleyball teams, four basketball teams, two soccer teams, one cross-country team and one track and field team.
When student athletes participate in tournaments, community races, events and contests, Marathon proceeds pay for entry and referee fees, equipment and uniforms. At present it also pays $7.50 per mile towards transportation costs which amounted to about $4,000 last year. When the students graduate to high school sports they are awarded scholarships to pay for the require physicals. The fund also makes up shortfalls when necessary.
Children who grow up participating in school sports can continue playing sports all their lives. Adult leagues provide venues. Walking and running are great exercise and need no special equipment. It is good for both physical and mental health and fun at the same time. A lot of local runners run marathons. This event attracts runners from all over the world.
This year the Buzz Marathon will be held on Saturday, February 15 at Camp Roberts. The course was redesigned and recertified last year. Entrants may qualify for the Boston Marathon. All information and registration for the marathon, half-marathon and other races is online at www.buzzmarathon.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mailed information should be sent by February 1 to ensure it is received in time. Since the race is held on an active military base be sure to bring all required identification. Volunteers are needed at the aid stations and may also register online. Last year the aid stations received many good compliments. Donations are gratefully appreciated.