PHOTO BY JIM KNOWLES
San Leandro High students Alice Chin and Ashanti Hughey and 50 other runners will be in the fundraiser run with teacher Jack Nelson (at left) next Thursday.
By Jim Knowles • San Leandro Times
Jack Nelson is going for it one more time.
San Leandro High teacher and coach Jack “Iron Man” Nelson will run his final fundraising marathon on Thursday, Oct. 23. Nelson has been doing the runs to raise money for school sports, scholarships and other programs for 24 years.
Nelson and some of his students will start the 8.8-mile run at noon and return at 3 p.m. to San Leandro High. Along the way the runners stop at all the schools where Nelson has taught over his career – Roosevelt and Garfield elementary schools and John Muir Middle School.
This year’s run has so far raised $14,000 and Nelson thanks the San Leandro businesses and others for their donations.
“I’m lucky for that (the donations),” Nelson said. “Otherwise I would just be an old guy running.”
Nelson came up with the idea for the fundraising run in 1990 when he taught at Roosevelt to raise money for sports. He kept the annual run going through the years as he worked at Muir and now at San Leandro High.
Nelson welcomes any of his former students who ran in past years to join him for the final run. Next year will be Nelson’s final year teaching and he plans on doing another type of fundraising event.
This year’s run won’t be as tough as a few of Nelson’s marathons. One year he ran from Sacramento back to San Leandro, and another year he ran from Monterey. In 2010, he ran from AT&T Park in San Francisco to the Oakland Coliseum where he and the student runners attended an A’s game that night.
On both the Monterey runs and the run from the Giants ballpark to the A’s ballpark, Nelson was stopped by the Highway Patrol.
“They told me you can’t run along 101,” Nelson said.
Students in the high school’s Jefferson Service Club are getting the word out on campus. Alice Chin and Ashanti Hughey posted fliers, and messages on Facebook and Instagram, and hit the quad at lunch time – just talking to students the old-fashioned way.
“You have to go out and talk to people and just say, ‘Look...’” Hughey said.
So the students are learning something about organizing, too.
Over 50 people have signed up so far for next Thursday’s run. Donations for the run can be dropped off at the San Leandro High school bank in the office at 2200 Bancroft Ave.