June Robbins, Eglin ES PE Coach, Inspires Her Students By Completing the New York City Marathon

June Robbins, Eglin Elementary School’s PE coach and a retired military veteran of 30 years, became the ultimate fitness example for her students as she completed the New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 2, 2014.

Adhering to an active health and fitness lifestyle, the NYC Marathon had been one of Robbins’ long time goals.

“I try to find ways to stay fit and to set a good example for all my students, so I thought, what better way to challenge myself than to run the world’s greatest marathon,” said Robbins.  “Once I received my acceptance letter in August, I began my training in earnest.  Each day I would tell the students we had to get in shape for my upcoming marathon which got them excited because they felt like they were sharing the experience with me.”

The day before Robbins left, all of the students wished her luck and some had even made cards of encouragement which she read on the airplane to New York City.  

“I was so amazed how the students were now motivating me the way I motivate them every day,” said an emotional Robbins.  “Some drew a picture of me running across the bridge and said things like ‘Coach, this is good for your heart and lungs’….some drew me running across the finish line saying ‘don’t quit’….’do your best’…and the one that really stuck with me the entire race was ‘we are all proud of you and can’t wait to see that medal!’”  

When Robbins was on mile 20 and ready to quit, she kept thinking about all their words of encouragement and knew she had to finish! 

“Finally, after 5 hours and 15 minutes, I made it across the unbelievable fan filled finish line in Central Park,” said Robbins.  “As soon as I made it through the finish line area, a race volunteer placed an awesome medal around my neck.”

Last year, Robbins had been a race volunteer in the finish line area and that encouraged her to apply for entrance to this year’s race and accomplish the goal herself.

Upon returning to school on Tuesday, the first thing she saw was a congratulatory message on the outdoor sign and then another one on the teacher sign-in board.

“The first day back at PE was awesome as the students saw me wearing my medal and they all cheered as if they had finished the marathon with me!” said Robbins. 

“A term that students are hearing often this year in the math curriculum is perseverance and Eglin’s students now have a shining example of the definition of perseverance,” said Eglin Elementary School Principal Dennis Samac.

Congratulations, Coach Robbins.