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Georgia teacher runs more than 80K to visit students

Bill McAllister missed his students, so he ran six to eight miles a day to visit them all, totalling more than 50 miles to see his whole class

School’s been out in Georgia since March 16, when the semester came to a premature finish due to the coronavirus outbreak. Bill McAllister, who teaches in Kennesaw, Ga., missed his students after not seeing them for two months, so he decided to run every day to visit them outside their homes. He planned a route and ran six to eight miles (9.5K to 13K) every day (for a total of over 80K) to stop by each of his students’ homes, check in on them and see how they’re coping with the pandemic.

McAllister told Fox 5 Atlanta that he had quadruple bypass surgery a few years ago, so he keeps his daily mileage between six and eight miles so as to not overdo it. He has an UltraSignup profile, and he has run several races, all in Georgia. His most recent race (according to UltraSignup) was a 5K last April. Although he hasn’t been able to race this spring, that hasn’t stopped him from getting his runs in.

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“I knew my kids were at home and they were missing school and everybody else,” McAllister said, “and I thought, ‘Well, why don’t I run through their neighbourhoods and see them, give them a smile, pick up their day a little bit?’”

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In addition to visiting his class, McAllister raised money for a local Georgia charity called MUST Ministries. This volunteer group helps people in need, providing them with meals, clothes, places to sleep and more. McAllister donated money for every mile he ran while visiting his students.

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“I have been thinking about all of you and worrying about all of you,” he told a student on one of his stops. “And getting to see you makes me a little bit calmer and a whole lot more happy.”