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SAN DIEGO — A school day at Gage Elementary just isn’t complete without a good run … or two.

About 360 students in the East County school — from K-1 through 5th grade — are part of the Gage Running Club as they run together just before school begins and again at morning recess.

“We’re really trying to promote that healthy lifestyle with them and how good it is for their body and how it’s going to help them in the classroom to become a better learner,” said Cindi Elrod, who teaches Physical Education and runs the club.

The Gage Running Club is a 30 year tradition started by a teacher who started running with students.

It evolved into students running quarter-mile laps around a field as teachers track their distances.

Some kids end up running hundreds of miles during a single school year.  This year has been record-breaking.

“In 2003, we had a student that ran 453 miles, but I never thought anyone would break that,” said Elrod.

But three boys did just that.  After running neck-and-neck most of the year, 11 year-old Alec Ege pulled away with 504 miles.

“Last year I was so close – I had 429.  I thought, this year, I’m going to be able to break it,” said Ege, a fifth grader.

All students at Gage who ran at least 150 miles were recognized as “Top Runners” during a school assembly.

For the school, the numbers were even more staggering.  Combined, students ran for more than 32,000 miles — also a new record.

“They’re all helping out each other, they get to know each other and it’s building our community,” said Elrod.