The Van Alstyne High School Cross Country Program held an impressive 12-hour “Run-a-thon” from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Aug. 4. Runners from the Panther cross country teams ran all night long to raise funds that will help the team compete in this season. The night was full of fun events for the family, friends and supporters of the cross country program as one runner at a time circled the track.

“We made sure someone was running at all times so it was continuous with no stopping time,” Van Alstyne High School Cross Country Head Coach Rachel Sevarino said.

The event raised a total of $2,723.70. The Panther cross country team asked for donations of $1 for each lap for a total of 12 laps, per runner but donations of any dollar amount were accepted.

The participants included 24 middle and high school Panther runners and one Van Alstyne Cross Country coach collectively logged a total of 12 hours of running the track at Panther Stadium starting the night of Aug. 4 and concluding on the morning of Aug. 5.

Each of the Panther runners took as many laps around the track as they could while holding a baton decorated with the inscription ‘Road 2 State,’ a reminder of the state championship competitions the team is working towards this season in more ways than training. The Panther Cross Country runners participating in the fundraiser volunteered and showed their supporters how their team displayed true spirit and determination by keeping a representative running at all times.

“They ran as many laps as they could, as we had a board to sign up who wanted to go next,” Sevarino said. “Runners ran several times throughout the 12 hours.”

The family that is the Panther Cross Country team and its supporters look ahead to the next season as the runners push themselves to keep moving forward as the sun set and rose over their home track at Van Alstyne High School’s Panther Stadium.

“Everyone kept count of their laps and added it to the board,” Sevarino said, “We ran a total of 411 laps which is 102.75 miles.”

There was a wide selection of fun activities at the event for those who attended and supported the Panther Cross Country team through donation while enjoying the night.

“We had a projector set up and watched movies, another projector had Xbox One video games, karaoke, flag football, card games, board games, water mile challenge, sharks and minnows running game with of course a few pranks,” Sevarino said.

He said the evening was a major success for the team, not only because the funds raised will slightly lessen the financial strain but because of the sense of community the team gained through fun times together with the rest of their Panther family.

“We had plenty of snacks and a midnight pizza delivery,” Sevarino said. “Besides raising money the team got in a lot of great team bonding time. It was a great event.”

With no other upcoming fundraiser events planned, the Van Alstyne High School Cross Country program looks to start the new season as the team prepares for the first competition at the Flyin’ Hawk Early Bird Invitational on Aug. 17 at Tarrant County College North in Hurst, Texas.