Kids Klub Afterschool Program members run in 5K

DeAngelo Mata leads the way for the North Platte Public Schools Kids Klub Afterschool Program 5K at Cody Park on Thursday morning.

Runners wound their way through Cody Park on Thursday morning for the third annual North Platte Public Schools Kids Klub Afterschool Program 5K.

Melanie O’Brien, community liaison, said there were 140 participants.

“Kids Klub has a 40-day summer program, which is really important to the families of North Platte because it helps do a number of things including stopping the ‘summer slide’ and also keeping the kids healthy, engaged and safe for the summer,” O’Brien said.

North Platte Recreation Center recreation leader Trudy Merritt was the children’s trainer and coach for the third year.

“She’s done an amazing job,” O’Brien said.

Kids Klub has partnered with area businesses and received a national grant to help with the expenses of the run.

“We received a grant for the second year in a row from the Road Runners Club of America, who provided the funding to purchase shoes for more than 150 kids so they could train and race today,” O’Brien said. “Without those shoes we probably couldn’t have the race, because many of the kids come in flip-flops.”

O’Brien said Great Plains Health, Bible Supplies and Eagle Communications contributed.

“We’re part of the Fit Kids series with the Platte River Fitness Series,” O’Brien said. “We also got the medals donated today by Bible Supplies in Westfield, and we have Eagle Communications here blaring their music and encouraging the kids as they run.”

The kids, in kindergarten through fifth grade, were sprayed with color each time they crossed the start/finish line for the color run.

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