It’s a beautiful morning in Scottsdale, AZ, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School kicks off its Boosterthon Fun Run. With game faces on, students are ready to run laps and help their school.
But among the crowd of runners, there is one “student” who stands out from the rest. He’s 3 ½ years old, short, and loves books, because he basically lives in the school library.
We’d like to introduce you to Boosterthon’s slowest-moving, but most determined runner ever – “Turbo Tortilla,” an African Spur Thighed Tortoise.
Let’s meet this unassuming athlete. Ms. Jennifer Marshall, a library aide at OLPH, is Turbo’s primary caregiver and says students love him. In the past, students have been rewarded with "Turbo Time" outside and love reading on the grass while he wanders around grazing.
Because this little guy is such a huge part of the school community, Ms. Marshall came up with the idea to include Turbo in the Fun Run. All that was needed was a track, pledges, and one very determined tortoise – and OLPH had all three.
Ms. Marshall made Turbo his own Speedway out of black, red and blue presentation boards. The infield was decorated with the Boosterthon logo and motivational phrases like, “Go Turbo” and “Help Our School.”
Are you ready for this? Turbo raised $754 for his school and had 51 sponsors, including the principal, pastor, teachers, students, friends, and other employees of this parish community. It would have been difficult for some of these sponsors to pick just one OLPH student to sponsor, so Turbo provided a great way for them to support a “runner.”
Ms. Marshall says, “I’m not surprised that Turbo received as much support as he did – he really is the perfect athlete for this type of event because he loves to be outside in the Arizona sun and his humble and quiet demeanor has won the hearts of many in our community.”
Every runner needs a little motivation, so Ms. Marshall used lettuce on a string to guide Turbo around the track – and a few stops for eating helped reward him for his effort. This year, he ran an amazing 20 laps, beating his record of 11 laps last year. Apparently, his motto was “Slow and steady may be good for some, but I just like to run, run, run!” Last year Turbo raised about $500, but this year, he dusted his old record.
Keep training, Turbo. We’ll see you again next year!
Check out this “quick” video of Turbo in the heat of the race at the Boosterthon Fun Run.