VBCPS English teacher gets students moving

Ocean Lakes senior Peyton Hewlitt will not be sleeping in the morning of March 17. She’s running her very first half marathon during the Shamrock Marathon weekend.

Her inspiration to take up running was English teacher Tasha Hurst, an active member of the Virginia Beach J&A Racing public relations crew, which sponsors the popular fitness-focused weekend at the Oceanfront. Hurst encourages her students to stay active, even when school is not in session.

“Ms. Hurst had asked some of her students if they were interested in going to a workout at 5:30 every morning for something called the November Project,” Hewlett recalled. “One of my closest friends and I jumped at the opportunity solely because of how much we looked up to Ms. Hurst, and I am so glad that we did. It was so amazing to wake up early and be welcomed into a fun group of people and to have my teacher there cheering me on and pushing me to keep going.”

Hurst said she’s just hoping to give students something she missed out on during her school years. “I wish someone would have given me the courage and confidence to explore fitness, especially running, earlier in my teenage years. I love inviting my students to run and achieve goals they might never have tried.”

Hewlett and Hurst look forward to running together during the Sunday morning half marathon, which starts at 7:30 at 42nd Street and Atlantic Avenue.

About 25,000 runners from all over the world, including many students, teachers and staff from our school division, are expected to participate in the various fitness events during the Shamrock Marathon weekend, March 15-17.

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