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When twelve-year-old Jimmy Penlesky of Bowling Green, Ohio, traveled to Indianapolis in 1993 to compete in the 1600-meter race for a college scholarship, he was prepared. He had been running since age seven, and he also had a strategy.

Jimmy decided to let the other runners set the pace for the race and just tag along right behind them. But at the end, he planned to sprint to the finish ahead of them.

"I figured I'd win it because I had a strategy," Jimmy recalled recently. "I thought, A strategy will win you anything."

And a good strategy it was. Jimmy won the race and a $1,000 college scholarship. This year Jimmy is using the scholarship to pay for part of his tuition at Bowling Green State University in his hometown. As a freshman, he has not decided on a major, but he is interested in electronic and computer technology and musical recording.

Another benefit from Jimmy's racing victory was the encouragement it gave him to keep on running. While attending Bowling Green High School, he ran both cross-country and track. Jimmy and his father also ran road races during the summertime, highlighted by their outstanding time of 3 hours, 55 minutes in the Detroit Marathon.

"I'm still running today," Jimmy declares. "Everyone should run. It's one of the best exercises anyone can do."

Jimmy Penlesky exemplifies what Children's Better Health Institute likes to see in kids--intelligence, fitness, and excellence. Are you a smart, athletic winner like Jimmy? If so, or even if you're not there yet, make plans to come to the Fitness Farm on April 29, 2000 to compete in the running races and the wide variety of other scholarship events to be held that day.

"It's a wonderful opportunity," Jimmy says, "and I had a great time. Even if you're not so good, just try it."
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Title Annotation:runner Jimmy Penlesky started when he was seven years old
Publication:Children's Digest
Geographic Code:1U3OH
Date:Dec 1, 1999

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