FRONTENAC — Caroline Capehart is a runner. It has been part of her life for a long time, and she’s even encouraged students at Frank Layden Elementary to get involved. Now she is headed to Boston to take part in one of running’s most prestigious events.

Capehart flew to Boston Friday in preparation for her entry into the Boston Marathon. The marathon takes place Monday, and Capehart is the only female qualifier from the area.

“For each age group, there are certain races and certain times you have to meet to qualify for Boston,” Capehart said. “I ran in the Garmin Marathon in Olathe and was able to qualify.”

The Garmin Marathon took place April 16 last year and was only the second marathon Capehart had ever run. Making one of the biggest events in running just her third.

“Shortly after my first marathon I found out I was pregnant with my third son,” she said. “So I had to take some time off and then get back to running after he was born.”

Training for the Boston Marathon takes three months, and while she’s been training, Capehart encouraged her students to begin running as well. She set up the Raider Runners program at Frank Layden where she teaches second grade, and students of all ages began running September 19.

The voluntary program gets students to run a mile on Tuesdays or Thursdays before school until they reach 26.2 miles — the length of a marathon. Aside from the health benefits, Capehart said it helps her connect with students.

“It’s something they can relate to,” she said. “When I talk about the marathon, they know they are running too. They call me their running teacher.”

The students will finish their marathon the second week in May.

If it doesn’t already seem as though Capehart can’t get enough of running, she is also took part in the Boston 5k run on Saturday before the marathon.

She said she is excited to finally take part in the Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day.

“It’s the most prestigious race for all runners,” she said. “It’s something I wanted to be able to qualify for and run, and I just put my mind to it.”

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.