Local Olympian inspires Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 students to run farther

e-Connections Post Martin Luther King, Jr.
Olympian Conley

Athlete Kim Conley, who represented the United States in the 2012 London Summer Olympics, asked students at Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School on Wednesday morning to guess how many miles she ran in the previous week.

Hands shot up. “Nine?” one student guessed. “Ten?” offered another.

When Conley told them the answer — she ran 105 miles in one week — the gasps could be heard throughout the multi-purpose room. Then applause broke out.

Conley, who made it to the semi-finals in the women’s 5,000-meter event in London, was one of several speakers who addressed the students as part of a Sacramento Running Association (SRA) assembly. The event was covered by KCRA’s Brian Hickey, who interviewed two students.

Martin Luther King has both an after-school running club sponsored by SRA and weekly “all school” runs on certain mornings. Both activities are organized by teacher Kirsten Van Tuyl, who will take students to the California International Marathon’s maraFUNrun this Sunday.

Van Tuyl records the number of miles the student body has run on a map in the cafeteria. So far, the school has collectively run from Sacramento to Seattle and are now heading toward Flagstaff, Arizona.