WILNO – It was a bittersweet day on September 26 as hundreds of elementary students flocked to the St. Mary’s Catholic School grounds for the 28th annual partridge run.
The run marked the last for St. Mary’s students, as the school will be officially closing at the end of June 2015. Any remaining students will transfer to either St. Andrews Catholic School or St. John Bosco in Barry’s Bay.
Despite the looming closure, students still had a blast running through the trails and claiming ribbons at the end of the route.
Phil Chester, the founder of the partridge runs and retired St. Mary’s teacher, was on hand to help with the day’s events.
He told the Gazette that the run originally started for St. Mary’s students as a way for physical education. The school does not have a gymnasium, so Chester had to get creative.
“It was my goal to get kids outdoors,” he said. “We had to improvise.”
Chester was introduced to the trails behind the school a couple of years after he started teaching at St. Mary’s.
“I saw the potential in it,” he explained. “It’s something special.”
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