Cheetah Run Takes Off Jan. 8

Sarah Pacheco
Wednesday - December 22, 2010
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Running comes naturally to Kelsey Painter. The cross country racer has been pounding the pavement since third grade and has no plans to slow down.

In fact, the 17-year-old is putting on a 5K race for her senior project.

The Cheetah 5K starts at 9 a.m. Jan. 8 at Central Oahu Regional Park and will follow the same one Painter and her Mililani High cross country team-mates run, beginning at the low end of the park and looping around the bottom three fields three times for a total distance of 3.1 miles.

It costs $15 (students) and $20 (adults), and proceeds will go to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, an international nonprofit dedicated to the conservation of cheetahs and their ecosystems.

“Since my sophomore year, I wanted to plan a race for my senior project that will benefit a charity,“said Painter. “I did some research and found out that the cheetahs, the fastest land mammal, are going extinct. Since cheetahs and running go hand in hand, I decided to donate all proceeds to the (fund).”

Painter had to get a permit from CORP to use its fields, approach businesses for donations and get the word out about this first-time race. She also conducted a clinic to teach her classmates proper running form.

“She is doing just about everything,” said her coach and project adviser Nathan Aragaki, a history and geography teacher at Pearl City High School.“She wanted to do something that would be worthwhile, not only just a credit.”

“I hope to gather as many participants and volunteers as possible,” added Painter, who will be too busy making sure all things run smoothly to run in it herself.

“The more participants, the more we can assist the Cheetah Conservation Fund in saving the cheetahs from extinction.”

To register online, go to by Jan. 6. For more information, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call Painter at 343-7593.

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