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The Boston Marathon run at East Point Academy in West Columbia

West Columbia, SC 10/11/2021 - Twenty six point two miles, two campuses, hundreds of cheering students, and one motivated teacher; East Point Academy Physical Education teacher Elease Anderson ran the Boston Marathon virtually at the school on October 8th. “Completing the Boston Marathon has always been a dream of mine since I was in middle school. Boston is a hard race to qualify for so when they did this one time opportunity of completing it virtually, I registered the minute it opened up,” explained Anderson. She charted routes at both campuses and even ran the distance between the two with Head of School, Mark A. Bounds, and Deputy Head of School, Andrew Hart. “Our Head of School and Deputy Head of School never turn down a challenge, or an opportunity to support their panda family,” noted East Point Academy Lead Nurse Temple Hart.

Boston Marathon Day was interactive for students and staff who had the chance to sign-up to run a lap with Anderson. The Middle Campus Cross Country Team and the Elementary Campus Run Hard Club were among the first to sign-up, but students across the school wanted to be a part of this accomplishment for Coach Anderson. Parent Kennedy Natvig’s three sons all signed up to run. “My boys love Coach Anderson and they were thrilled to support her and run alongside her.” Natvig explained. “Ms. Anderson encourages students everyday as a teacher and RunHard coach.”

Along with the option to run a portion of the marathon, classes lined the route around the school throughout the day to cheer and offer support. As Anderson crossed the 26.2 mile mark she was surrounded by cheering students and excited peers. “I hope that my students and staff know that they can dream, and dream big. It may take them a while to get there, but if they keep working hard, setting goals and persevere, they can also accomplish their dreams and goals,” shared Anderson as she reflected on her journey.

In celebration of the 125th Boston Marathon, the Boston Athletic Association offered a virtual race, which was open to the first 70,000 registrants ( The day ended up being another example of East Point’s encouraging community and family environment. When asked why she chose to run the marathon in front of students and peers, Anderson quickly responded that it’s important to “surround yourself with people who will encourage and support you.”


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