“I’ve struggled to run,” she said. “It doesn’t feel good to my body.”
Yet LeDoyen’s sons, Porter, 8, and Davis, 10, will drag her into a new level of competition March 23.
“They tell me they’re going to run the 5K,” she said about the annual VanderDash, in which they did the 1-mile event in 2012. “That means I have to run the 5K.”
The race does have benefits, LeDoyen said.
“It’s an easy way to plug into the community because it’s so early in the day,” she said. “You can support a great cause, meet the community and be done by 8:30 a.m.”
The cause is the school’s future science lab, for which LeDoyen said the school needs to raise about $10,000.
“At this point, we’re trying to get things that are super-obvious — chairs, tables, paint, storage for the materials and resources for the teachers,” she said.
Paint will appear in odd places during Crazy Hair Day, one of the pre-event festivities.
“It’s just fun,” LeDoyen said. “It’s a way to inject some levity in the school day. The kids get excited about VanderDash. They love seeing their teachers and administrators outside the classroom.”
Also running the 5K will be Olivia Matulich, 9, daughter of event co-chair Carolyn Matulich.
The mom said the event doubled in size since its 2009 inception.
“Last year we had over 1,200 and we expect the same number this year,” Matulich said. “Our first year, it was just for the school. Now it’s community-wide.”
She and her co-chair Leslie Frohman hurdled over obstacles, which were few, and garnered city support at the same time.
“The biggest challenge was creating a fun but safe course,” Matulich said. “We close the streets down. We hire off-duty police officers. Mayor Mike Davis comes out.”
The fun run starts and ends at the school, she said.
The 5K route includes Vermack Road and Vermack Court.
Even the LeDoyens may enjoy it.
"It's a very friendly course," Matulich said.
If you go
When: March 23 at 7:30 a.m.
Where: Vanderlyn Elementary, 1877 Vanderlyn Drive
Cost: $20 registration
Information: (678) 874-9002 or visit www.vanderlyn.com