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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Despite Weather, WJ’s First-Ever Minithon is a Success

Participants endured the unpleasant weather to finish the minithon, ultimately having a good time.
Photo courtesy of WJ SGA
Participants endured the unpleasant weather to finish the minithon, ultimately having a good time.

With WJ trying to “reclaim the throne”, or become the #1 donating school for Pennies for Patients (and beat Whitman, another top fundraising school, in the process), the Leadership class has been planning numerous events to raise money for the charity. Several of these are new, having never been done before.

One of them is the Minithon, or a “marathon” of 2.62 miles around the school.

The event is based on a marathon, which would involve a group of volunteers running long-distance of, on average, 26 miles. Runners usually train for a couple months prior to running a marathon.

The minithon, however,  does not require training, thus making it easier to do and more appealing to participants. Leadership teacher, Rainer Kulenkampff said the Leadership students came up with the idea themselves.

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“They decided that it would be a great event for the community,” said Kulenkampff. He was at the race, and helped organize it, but did not run.

Before the event, senior and Leadership student Dani Vogel said that Leadership planed to raise thousands of dollars from the minithon.

“We expect to make, probably, over $3,000,” said Vogel.

Kulenkampff expected participants to ultimately enjoy the event.

“It’s a very engaging event,” said Kulenkampff. “It’s a great opportunity to bring some attention to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Pennies for Patients fundraising events.”

It’s not only students who ran in the marathon.

According to Kulenkampff, there were about 50 adults registered, or one third of the participants. To get the word out about the minithon, Leadership used its presence on social media to attract potential runners.

“We’ve used a couple of media sources, we have the [Mad Cows] Facebook page…. we have the SGA Instagram feed, the SGA Twitter… a couple of students leading the event have gone to local running groups,” said Kulenkampff.

Because of inclement weather, the minithon had to be rescheduled from Feb. 28 to Mar. 2. Junior Madison Moss, a runner in the event, described it as fun, albeit cold and slippery.

“It was pretty cold and icy, but it wasn’t too bad,” said Moss. She said that she would be willing to do it again, even in the same conditions.

In fact, the weather made it somewhat more interesting, according to Moss.

“Having [to run in the] cold just made it kind of more fun,” she said.

Not everyone thought so, however.

“It was a good amount [of people showing up] for the weather… a lot of people stayed inside because it was really icy [outside] and they didn’t want to get hurt,” said Moss. Still, a lot of people ended up running the minithon.

“People had a good time and were able to exercise while benefitting a great cause,” said Vogel.

According to Vogel, the event raised a total of a little bit over $2,000.

Though this was less than what Leadership expected to make, she is satisfied with the amount raised and would like to see the minithon be held again in the future.

“The weather didn’t cooperate too well, but overall I think the event was a great success… [I] know the amount the minithon raises will only continue to increase each year,” said Vogel.

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Leila Siegel, Online Feature Editor
This is senior Leila Siegel’s second year on The Pitch Online as the Online Feature Editor. Besides writing articles, Leila participates in the school’s symphonic orchestra and WJ S*T*A*G*E’s pit orchestra. She is also involved in the Black Student Union, Amnesty International club and the Read, Grow, Live Club. In her spare time, Leila enjoys sleeping and watching Netflix. She is excited to see what this year will bring to The Pitch Online. [email protected]
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