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November 25, 2005

Mini Marathoners

Nothing to do with English, just a surprising story! Of the thirteen who entered, eleven kindergarten kids recently ran a full marathon in Shijonawate City in Osaka. They took short 5-10 minute breaks along the way but completed the full 42.195km course within the regulation eight hours. All are 5 or 6-year-olds attending the Seishi Kindergarten, run by a former long-distance runner. The children start every day with a run, and while the younger kids walk some of the way or stop to play on the swings, the older ones run 4 or 5 kilometers around the kindergarten grounds. The 68-year old principal also takes the children hiking or mountain climbing about 20 times a year. He started the running program 30 years ago to counter what he saw as young children's lack of strength and tendency to tumble for no apparent reason.
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