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Oklahoma City Memorial Kids Marathon connects students, shared history

More than 120 students at Monroe Elementary School will finish the last 1.2 miles of their Kids Marathon this Sunday, and Kimray Inc. has paid their entry fee. Thomas Hill, president of Kimray, is one of the founders of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Modified: April 27, 2012 at 9:28 am •  Published: April 27, 2012

More than 120 students from Monroe Elementary School will run the last 1.2 miles of their marathon Sunday morning at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

All of them were born after the Oklahoma City bombing, but they've learned why they're running.

“It's always so important for kids to learn a sense of community and being a part of something bigger than themselves, and that's really, really hard sometimes to get across to young children,” Monroe Principal Angee Allen said.

“This is what we do as Oklahomans ... to remember those people and honor those people that died.”

Participants in the Oklahoma City Memorial Kids Marathon run 25 of the 26.2 miles on their own before the Saturday event.

They run the last 1.2 miles on a special course after the adult racers head across the starting line at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. When the kids cross the finish line, they get a medal just like the adult runners do.

The Kids Marathon is open to students in sixth grade and younger.

At Monroe Elementary, students have been logging their miles around the school track during recess, said Jennifer Kremeier, a first-grade teacher who's coordinating the school's group. Four laps around the track is 1 mile. Students have been marking their progress with stickers.

About twice as many Monroe students are participating in the Kids Marathon this year compared to last year, Kremeier said.

The reason: a sponsorship from Kimray, an Oklahoma City company that manufactures oil and gas equipment.

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