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Friday — April 30, 2004


Keep on walking

Youth completes record 100 laps in Walk-a-Thon

Express Staff Writer

Chaz Anderson is a kid on the move; at least he was last weekend. Anderson completed 100 laps around the Wood River Middle School track during the 4th Annual Blaine County Walk-a-Thon. His impressive athletic feat inspired those around him and helped to raise money for the Blaine County Senior Center.

Six-grade student Chaz Anderson completed 100 laps in the Walk-a-Thon. Express photo by Willy Cook

Anderson began walking on Friday, when he completed 30 laps, and continued on Saturday for another 70 laps to set a record of 100 laps around the track. In completing 100 laps around the track, Anderson ended up walking a total of 25 miles. The distance is an impressive feat for anyone, but especially for a sixth-grade student walking for charity.

Anderson isn’t the typical sixth-grader as evidenced by his contagious enthusiasm, maturity and motivation. Community School Relations Coordinator, Kate Lombardi recalled that "He was there at exactly 10 a.m., looking at his watch waiting for it to start and then walked from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m."

When asked about his motivation, Anderson exclaimed that on the day of the Walk-a-Thon he thought to himself: "I didn’t come out here for nothing!"

With the energy of an 11-year-old boy who participates in karate regularly, Anderson set out on a very long walk. "He impressed everyone as he walked and jogged—yes, jogged—around the track, only stopping to catch his breath and get water from volunteers," Lombardi said.

At the end of the event, his sister Breighanne and the local group, Girls on the Run, joined Anderson to complete his last few laps.

His mother Mary Anderson, who was out of town at the time, said Chaz called her with incredible enthusiasm exclaiming, "Guess how many I did? Guess how many I did?"

"I guessed about 30 laps," She said. "When he said 100, I almost fell out of my chair."

His mom won’t be the only one nearly falling out of chairs. Later this week, the youngster will venture to collect his money from sponsors who pledged a certain amount per lap. Originally Anderson said his goal was to do 26 laps. Friends and their pocketbooks will be shocked to hear their donations skyrocketed with Anderson’s feat. Hopefully, the sponsors will share the same enthusiasm of others at the event.

Anderson did take a few days to recover, a day and half to be exact. Luckily his grandmother was there to massage his legs, see that he drank a lot of water and Gatorade, and had enough to satisfy his insatiable appetite.

Anderson’s appetite for the extraordinary continues to motivate others, leaving a lasting impression on those who participated. According to Lombardi, "He did an incredible job and was the embodiment of the event—it’s not just about raising money—it is about going out and doing something to make a difference."


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