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Keeping fit becomes a group effort at Rosemount High School

The members of the Rosemount High School Fun Run Club, from left to right above, are Jennifer Greenfield, Ashley Ritter, Brianna Gillespie and Michelle Betts.

The school day is over at Rosemount High School, and the building is shutting down. Most doors are locked, gates have been pulled down to close off hallways and for the most part things are quiet.

In a hallway in the northern part of the building, though, there is noise. Perched on a garbage can, a laptop computer pumps out tinny music as four young women sprint up a nearby staircase. When they reach the top, they jog back down and do it again. And again.

The women, two teachers and two students, are to this point the only members of the new RHS Fun Run Club. The group meets twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When the weather was warmer they would jog outside, usually following a route from the school south to County Road 42 and back. Now that winter is making its presence felt, they've moved their workouts indoors with stair runs and pushups in the hallway.

The group didn't start out as a club. It started because RHS science teachers Jennifer Greenfield and Michelle Betts decided they wanted to get some extra exercise.

"I'm getting married in April, and she's got a big spring break vacation planned," Greenfield said. "It's nice for us as teachers just to be able to let a little stress out at the end of the day."

So, Greenfield and Betts started running. Then seniors Brianna Gillespie and Ashley Ritter heard about their outings. Gillespie was in Greenfield's class when she was a freshman, and both girls were in Betts' class last year. Gillespie is currently a teaching assistant in Betts' class.

"We'll both say they're our two favorite teachers," Gillespie said.

Gillespie and Ritter were both looking for a way to get in shape. Gillespie wanted to prepare for a 5K run, and Ritter was trying to stay in shape for track season. They figured they'd be more motivated if they had people to exercise with, and a two-person group grew to four.

As they ran stairs last week, the members of the group encouraged each other. They talked about finals, and how school was going. When they met Thanksgiving week, they talked about what they were thankful for.

"It's really fun," Greenfield said. "It's definitely more motivating having the other teachers and then the other students there."

The group has opened itself up to more members. Betts advertises it on the wall in her classroom. They figure the more people they can get motivating each other to work out, the better off everyone will be. They set goals each week to improve their performance.

The group has had some interest from a few students, but nobody else has followed through yet.

"Nobody really is into it if they don't know the teachers," Gillespie said.

For now, then, it's just the four of them, running up those stairs and doing laps through the hallways of a quiet building. They get some funny looks every once in a while from the other teachers who are still around, but most people know by now what's going on. So they just keep running.