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5 Questions: Gilford principal organizing marathon for Sandy Hook victims

A girl sits on a Newtown bus leaving the new Sandy Hook Elementary School after the first day of classes in Monroe, Conn., Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013.  The Sandy Hook students started today in a new school, formerly called Chalk Hill School in Monroe.  It was renamed Sandy Hook Elementary and overhauled especially for the students from the Sandy Hook School shooting. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

A girl sits on a Newtown bus leaving the new Sandy Hook Elementary School after the first day of classes in Monroe, Conn., Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. The Sandy Hook students started today in a new school, formerly called Chalk Hill School in Monroe. It was renamed Sandy Hook Elementary and overhauled especially for the students from the Sandy Hook School shooting. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

Gilford Elementary School Principal Danielle Bolduc is organizing a marathon to benefit Sandy Hook Elementary School after the mass shooting Dec. 14 that killed 20 students and six teachers.

The marathon is scheduled for April 14 and can be run in teams or as individuals. A group of teachers from one grade level, for example, could split up the 26 miles and each run a shorter leg. Bolduc initially came up with the idea, then heard about 26.4.26, a charitable foundation recently set up by a man from Tennessee to raise money for the school through marathons. Each runner will be asked to donate to that foundation.

Each mile of the race, which will be twice around a 13-mile loop, will be dedicated to a victim. More information on registration is available by contacting Bolduc at dbolduc@gilford.k12.nh.us.

How did this idea come together? I’m a runner and I was thinking you know 26 victims there and 26 miles (in a marathon).

Do you already have interest? I’ve contacted educators in Maine, New Hampshire, everywhere. . . . (There are) 26 different schools right now that are ready to go.

How can people who don’t want to run help? What I would love is for people to help us with the water stops and providing food at the end, so there’s plenty of ways that people can help volunteer.

Why did you decide to partner with 26.4.26? His mission is pretty cool. It’s about reaching out to the families of the victims, supporting teacher heroes and making safe schools.

As an educator, how did you feel when you heard about this tragedy? As educators we were just heartbroken and just so taken aback by how courageous these educators were. . . . We’re all do-ers, we just want to do something, so this is a way to really channel all those feelings and all those energies into something positive. It’s really part of our healing process, just getting some energy around this event.

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