When Gary Wartick came up with the idea to host a Butler Running Camp at Wartick Farms this summer he enlisted the help of a couple of coaches and expected about 30 youth to show up.
It only continued to grow from there.
“We had 60 kids from Circle, Augusta, El Dorado, Clearwater, Berean, Andover and Bluestem,” Wartick said. “We had kids from all over. It was a really good camp.”
In addition to the large response from youth, he also had eight coaches who got on board to help with the camp, which was held June 10 through 14.
“We had a lot of good supervision and guidance,” he said.
The day started out with warm-ups, led by the Butler Community College coach, then the youth went out for their runs which varied depending on the distance they were running. When they returned they had a speaker each day, then they had fun activities to conclude the morning, such as a scavenger hunt, balloon toss and more.
The speakers included coaches from Wichita State University and Friends University.
“We had a lot of good speakers,” Wartick said.
They also had other involvement through a sports drink company that donated sports drinks, Go Run Wichita donating t-shirts, Nike donating running socks and Friends University donating water bottles.
“We’re going to do it again next year,” Wartick said. “I would like to think we could have 60 to 80 next year, maybe more.”
He also hopes to bring in an Olympian runner next year to talk about his or her experiences.
“What we want to do is inspire the kids to run and continue running over the summer,” he said. “We gave lots of examples of why the more you run the better you get. When you’re going to reach the best is when you decide to run over the summer and put your time in.”