Kara Lubin was a Special Education Specialist for the Corona-Norco Unified School District from 1991 through 2010 teaching elementary age children.
She began The 100 Mile Club® during the 1992-93 school year, her second year as a classroom teacher. Her students were EXTREMELY energetic and challenged with various learning disabilities. Many were uninspired and angry, and some just didn’t want to be at school at all. Kara asked herself, “How would I teach these amazing children? How could I calm, center, inspire, and energize them all at the same time?” The task was overwhelming. Not knowing what else to do, she started with what she knew best…horses. Kara had been riding horses since she was 8 years old. She understood to train a high-energy horse; you often begin with a process called lunging. It teaches the horse to calm down and simply pay attention and try to do what you want him to do. In general it helps them run off excess energy and it helps to develop a good relationship between you and your horse, and to help you work together…That was her A-ha moment. Maybe that could work for kids! It was worth a try.
It was an Olympic year, so the kids were excited about the idea of “Olympic Gold”. She asked herself,
“If we could help our students run to earn a gold medal of their very own, how cool would that be? What could these kids do? What would be a perfect balance between challenging and attainable?”
It was an easy number to remember, not too easy, not too hard and it could be broken down into 3 miles a week. The 100 Mile Club® was born at that very moment.
The 100 Mile Club® spent its first 9 years only in Kara’s classroom with her students. Before long she had 200 kids at her school site running and her home living room became central headquarters! Soon after word spread and in 2007 The 100 Mile Club® became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. At the same time, teachers and administrators at other schools became aware of The 100 Mile Club® and began calling and inquiring about implementing the program at their schools. Little by little, schools accepted the challenge of The 100 Mile Club®.
Today, she has over 30,000 students at nearly 200 schools in California and in several other states running and sharing the philosophies and ideals encouraged through The 100 Mile Club®. Kara remains involved in every aspect of her 100 Mile Club and is thrilled when schools, parents, students, and their teachers join up and accept the challenge of even trying to run or walk 100 miles at school.
Kara reflects, “Some individuals finish their 100 miles, some go far beyond 100 miles, and some students don’t quite get there. All of these individuals have one thing in common: They all give their personal best during this process, and they learn what their personal best looks (and feels) like.”
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A Dream Come True
Inspired by the 1992 Olympics, special education teacher Kara Lubin used the dream of becoming a gold medalist to inspire her hard-to-motivate students. That year, The 100 Mile Club® was born from a simple idea, run 100 miles and earn a medal. With incentives given along the way, including our unique milestone t-shirt, lessons in goal-setting, determination, and team spirit are delivered alongside exercise.