FRONTENAC — Caroline Capehart returned from Boston to the faces of smiling students.

The Frank Layden second grade teacher returned to Frontenac Tuesday after running the Boston Marathon for the first time. She was the only woman from this region to qualify, and had a whole group of students — complete with “Team Caroline” shirts — cheering her on.

“The students were able to watch me finish online,” Capehart said. “And some were tracking me the whole race. They were all really excited and gave me hugs when I got back.”

Capehart has been a runner for a long time, but Boston was only her third marathon. Shortly after her first, she found out she was pregnant with her third son and took a break. Last April she ran the Garmin Marathon in Olathe to qualify for Boston.

“It was amazing,” she said. “I was happy with my time. It wasn’t my best, but not my worst, and I qualified for next year.”

Capehart was not planning to run any more full marathons, but said she may have to make an exception to return to Boston.

Last fall, Capehart began the Raider Runners program at Frank Layden. The voluntary program lets students run a mile on Tuesdays or Thursdays in the gymnasium until they reach a full 26.2 miles.

The Raider Runners will finish their “marathon” during the second week of May, and Capehart said she thinks her running in Boston was exciting for them.

“I think it helps them relate to me,” Capehart said. “It was exciting for them and is giving them a boost to want to finish.”

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