It was a race for gold and Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics fifth-graders Taylor Dahl, 11, and Dylan Black, 11, went for it and won.
The students were entrants in the school's grand finale Fun Run.
Elementary school physical education coach Bill Toler started the half-mile run last year to encourage students in grades 3 to 5 to enjoy running and be active. He added Grade 2 this year because he has that grade level in his after-school fitness club.
The students who competed in this final run of the year were first-place winners in the races held during physical education classes throughout the year — the Turkey Trot, the Reindeer Run, the Valentine Dash and the Recycling Run.
Once a student has come in first, he or she competes only against his or her own time, giving other students a chance to compete for first place. At last week's races, one each for girls and boys, all these first-place winners ran for gold, silver or bronze medals. All Fun Run participants received ribbons for having advanced to the final race.
Taylor's time for the half-mile was 3:06. The silver medal in the girl's race went to fifth-grader Reilley Bain, 11, 3:12. Bronze medal winner and fifth-grader Starla Mancil-Moore, 10, ran the half-mile in 3:13.
"I feel great," Taylor said. "I feel like I accomplished my goal." Taylor has plenty of running practice. She and Reilley play soccer with the Hernando Heat.
Dylan's time was 2:56 and he said he felt "great!" Silver medal winning fourth-grader Clark Day, 10, was so close his placement had to be determined by teachers reviewing a video of the finish.
Clark is a speed skater headed to Albuquerque, N.M., this summer for a USA Roller Sports competition. He was overall winner as a novice in a South Florida Speed League event.
The bronze medal winner was Dylan's twin, fifth-grader Preston Black, 11, who clocked a 3:05. He wasn't exactly thrilled to come in just seconds after his brother, but said he still felt "good."
Both Blacks could see the value in Toler's running competitions. It "keeps me running," said Dylan. "And others," his twin added.