By Valencia Wickervwicker@abcnews4.com
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - The Meeting Street Academy Running Club started off small, but excitement helped it grow.
"I started the running club maybe five months ago with just eight kids in the running club. And, then everybody was so excited about it, I decided to open it up to the rest of the school," said Lori Lafevre, the director of special programs for Meeting Street Academy.
Before long, the club included 62 Kindergarten, first-, second- and third-grade students.
"I really had no idea, when I started this, how much you can really touch by just running," said Lafevre. "And, these kids love it. They have no idea that they are exercising."
The second- and third-grade runners were given an incentive: Run well, win a pair of new running shoes.The shoes were gifted for free by Fleet Feet, a Mount Pleasant sports store.
"It was maybe one of the kindest things that could have ever happened," said Lefevre.
When each child received their shoes, Lefevre called each student's name and the group gave them a round of applause.
"There's nothing better than to see a kid get that excited, especially about something that's going to benefit them," said Amy Minkel, the owner of Fleet Feet Mount Pleasant.
Each girl got a pink pair of sneakers; each boy got a black pair.
"I feel lucky to have running shoes that are made specifically for us," said Toni Walker, a third grader who won a pair of shoes.
"It made me feel happy because we got new shoes," said Jon Medina-Valencia.
Now that the club has new shoes, the club will keep running and also volunteer at local races.