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Anne Bente, a third-grade teacher at Field-Stevenson Elementary, once ran 10 miles, but it has been a while. She describes herself now as an occasional runner who pounds the pavement about three times a week.
On Sunday, though, Bente joined several of her fellow teachers and kicked her legs up and down the streets of Forest Park to help raise money for an educational charity. The 12th Annual Golden Apple 5K again featured hundreds of runners, and this year a group of District 91 teachers put their legs to the test.
“I’m going to run, but not very fast,” Bente said, before the race. “I’ve run 10 miles before, but that was years ago.”
The run acts as a fundraiser for the Golden Apple Foundation, created in 1985 to honor outstanding Chicago area teachers. Educators and their students are encouraged to run together as teams to show the value of school spirit and teamwork.
When the principle of Field Stevenson Elementary, Robert Giovannoni, heard the date was set for Nov. 2, he cheered his staff to participate.
“I encourage anything that supports quality teaching,” Giovannoni said. “When Martin Klodyke founded the Golden Apple Foundation many years ago, I thought it was an excellent idea.”
Several teachers from Field Stevenson Elementary ran as a team in this year’s race.
For Bente, it was her first time participating in the Golden Apple. On her own, Bente said she usually covers a distance of two or three miles. A 5-kilometer course is the equivalent of 3.1 miles.
“It sounded like something fun and healthy to do, plus I suppose I should get in shape because I’m getting married in April,” Bente said.
Sunday’s event was also the first time Paul Cushing, a reading teacher at Field Stevenson Elementary, laced up for the Golden Apple.
“I’m a runner, but not a great runner,” Cushing said.
Cushing said he tries to run a couple 5K and 10K races each year. In the past he has run the Frank Lloyd Wright race in Oak Park, among others. Cushing runs on a regular basis, about three times a week, he said.
“It will be nice to get together with a group of teachers,” Cushing said before the event. “I just hope it’s nice weather.”
The run kicked of at 9 a.m. at the corner of Madison and Marengo. All proceeds go to the Golden Apple Foundation, which hands out annual awards for teaching excellence, and offers training to help educators in their careers.