The Clear Falls JROTC Cadets complete a 200 Mile Relay:
Sunday, March 30th, 2014 the Clear Falls Mighty Knights JROTC running team completed the Texas Independence Relay.
The race boasts almost 150 teams, which is about 1,500 runners, most of which are composed of avid, lifelong runners. The Knights are the only team compiled mostly of High School students. The team is members are Senior; Sabrina Marmol, Juniors; Joe Spicer, Austin Anderson, Christian Fling and Connor Thompson, Abraham Hernandez and Peter Vourganas and one Freshman; Jared lade. Teachers Stephan Kohan, James Courtney and Army Texas National Guardsman Marical Sepulveda are the only adults on the team.
The Texas Independence Relay (TIR) is composed of 40 relay legs of various lengths, totaling 200 miles. The course starts in Gonzales, where the spark of the Texas Revolution took place, and finishes at the San Jacinto Monument, where Texas Independence was won! To tackle this formidable task team members run countless hours and traverse hundreds of miles to prepare their bodies for the experience.
The race route is steeped with momentous history. The theme for the race this year was “The line has been drawn” attributed to Colonel William Travis. According to the legend, Travis called the Alamo defenders together, explained that defeat was almost certain, and read a letter of surrender. Travis then reportedly pulled his battle sword, used it to draw a line in the ground of the Alamo, and asked for volunteers to cross over the line and join him. Though the commitment the cadets made in crossing their line to run the TIR was not life and death like the Texans', it definitely took courage.
This is the fifth time Courtney has taken a team and successfully completed the event as the only team with this many students, here is what he has to say about why he chooses to take on this challenging task and what keeps driving him to do so: “I believe the TIR presents an opportunity to help these young people to learn life lessons- lessons like what it takes to be committed to completing something you’re really not sure you can do, lessons like what it takes as an individual to be part of a team and how fitness can improve your lifestyle. Another great lesson is that the cadets learn it’s not always about those in the spotlight- like themselves as runners in the TIR- but that those that sacrifice behind the scenes are just as important!” “The adults that volunteer to drive for the team during the relay are paramount to the cadet’s success. Teachers Jerry Troutt and Kevin Reams don’t have a student or child in the race, but they volunteer their time to come out and help the team through the grueling two days of long hours and little sleep so the cadets can run the race. Cadets learn that without people making sacrifices, their victory would not be possible, that’s a life lesson that will be with them forever.”
As the team departed, worn and weary, with a successful 200 miles under their belt, they huddled together talking about the logistics of setting up next year's race.
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