Running in the halls
It’s Saturday, and the halls of South Caldwell High School are quiet.
That is, until a shout of “No running in the halls!” echoes around the corners of shining lockers and squeaky floors as a blur of neon-clad runners whiz by.
It’s the fourth annual Hall Pass 5K at South Caldwell, a race that snakes through the entire school grounds, and the scolding teacher in the hall is only joking.
More than 200 runners started with a lap around the track at South’s football field, worked their way through the parking lot, around the perimeter of the school, through the halls, out around the baseball field, crossing home plate and making a beeline for the football field, finishing at the same place they started.
The race started just after 9 a.m., and as the herd of runners made their way off the football field, organizers Carla and Matt Ingram began transforming the starting line into the finish line, using hurdles to corral runners into a single-file line at the end.
Matt Ingram, a history and AP government teacher at South, came up with the idea of running through the halls, hoping to encourage people to get out and run more.
“There’s a lady running, it’s her third time,” Ingram explained. “She’d say, ‘Hey, I’ve never run this long or this far — that’s why we do it.”
The race has grown over its four years, and all the feedback from runners is positive, Ingram said. Each year he asks his organizers and volunteers how it went and whether he should change something. Everyone says no.
“We try to make it as school-themed as possible,” Ingram said — an attribute of the race that’s not hard to spot, with school-themed music blaring from the football field during the race like “Be True to Your School” by The Beach Boys and “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd.
Keeping with the theme, winners were given a bobble-head trophy and a diploma, noting their completion of the race, and participants could take a pop quiz for prizes.
It was the first Hall Pass 5K for first-place women’s finisher Brittany Winebarger, who finished with a time of 21:53. She said the route of the race through the school was fun. “It switches the terrain up a little bit,” she said. “It’s interesting, you get to see the gym on one side, the cafeteria on one side.”
Rhyan Stone, junior at South and member of the track team finished first overall on his home turf, running the 5K in 18:47 — his fastest ever — even after taking a wrong turn and having to correct. Stone said he has been running “a whole lot more” and working out with the track team, whose new distance coach has helped Stone’s running.
Behind Stone among men were Chris Hiatt with a time of 19:26, and Jason Childers with a time of 20:07.
Finishing behind Winebarger among women were Sydney Davis with a time of 22:53, and Ailsa Carlson with a time of 22:55.
The final results in their totality will be posted on the Hall Pass 5K website by Monday, at sites.google.com/a/caldwellschools.com/hallpass5k/.