One 5K race. 12 and a half laps on a regular outdoor track- and also the distance of a cross country race. When ELHS history teacher got dared by a student, she joined a running club and ran her first 5K. Now, she has more than 169 of them under her belt. That is quite exactly the distance from East Lyme, Connecticut to Toronto, Canada.
“We’ll see how far I go,” said Jennifer Raub, regarding her journey.
Ms. Raub, a history teacher at ELHS, never ran in high school. She discovered a running club at a school that she taught at prior to ELHS. She challenged a student to join the club and surprisingly enough, the student rebutted. “We made the agreement that we’ll both sign up for the running club,” Ms. Raub said. “I was the one who actually followed through.”
Ms. Raub joined the “Run 169 Towns Society” and having finished her 5K run in Lisbon, CT in September 2019, she has run in all 169 towns of the state in two years and 11 months. In terms of pace, it works out as one race in six days.
“I might try to do a race per state and run in all 50 states, or I might start running in Rhode Island,” Ms. Raub said. Most of the time, Ms. Raub runs by herself, but sometimes she is accompanied by friends, including history teachers Aaron Maddux and Sara Griffith.
“I originally said no when she asked if I wanted to run at UConn with her, but then I agreed,” said Ms. Griffith about the race in Mansfield in April 2018. “I was very cold. It started snowing, but God bless we finished.”
Mr. Maddux, however, after running a race with Raub, joined the same group that she was part of in summer 2019 and having ran in 11 towns already, his goal is to complete all 169 of them. “I hated running at first, but as I was running more, I started loving it, and now it’s a challenge for me as well,” Mr. Maddux said.
Sometimes, it is something just as unexpected as a dare that becomes a new challenge or motivation.
“I think it is amazing that she was able to set a goal for herself and be able to accomplish it no matter how long it took,” said junior Danielle Zelesky, one of Raub’s former students.