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Kelly Raine hopes that her success in the Boston Marathon will encourage her Widewater Elementary students to believe they can accomplish anything if they try hard enough.
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By LEE WOOLF
IT'S A SHAME that British writer George Bernard Shaw did not grow up in Stafford County and have a teacher like Kelly Raine.
If he had, Shaw probably would have been a more inspired student. And he certainly would not have made the statement attributed to him about education: "Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach."
You see, if young Shaw were a student at Widewater Elementary School this spring, he would have been cheering for Raine in her quest to complete the Boston Marathon.
That mission was accomplished last month when Raine finished the 26-mile, 385-yard course in under four hours and placed among the top 6,000 runners in a field of more than 20,000.
Raine is a 26-year-old physical education teacher at Widewater, and clearly she is someone who can do--and can teach. But that doesn't mean she is using her marathon adventure as a way of molding her students into the next generation of distance runners.
"As a teaching opportunity, it's not so much an exercise lesson as it is a life lesson," Raine said.
"I just hope one day that some of the kids will say, 'I had a P.E. teacher once who taught me that if I put my mind to it, I could do anything.'"
Raine said that if someone had told her three years ago that she would be running in the Boston Marathon, she would have had a good laugh.
Now, she hopes that Widewater students can view her marathon experience as a model for meeting challenges in their own lives.
"I want them to realize that everyone is different and has different goals," Raine said. "So, don't compare yourself to anyone else. Set your own goals. And then go for it!"
Raine, who describes herself as "anything but a 'look-at-me' type of person," said she didn't attempt to make a big deal at school about her marathon quest.
But as usually happens in any school pipeline, word got around.
Raine was touched by the support she received from both colleagues and students as she competed in the Richmond Marathon last October and then the legendary Boston race on April 19.