Kids take part in Flame of Hope Torch Run to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- On your mark. Get set. Go!

Dozens of students from Edison Elementary School in Phoenix woke up very early to go for a run. However, this wasn't just any jog. They were chosen to take part in the "Flame of Hope" Torch Run to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This is the six year the elementary school has been selected to participate. It's an honor, according to their P.E. teacher, Larry Weig.

"The students from Edison Elementary are very proud to be participating in the run again this year," he said. "Being from a very diverse community, this is an opportunity to expose them to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., learning about him and his commitment to help all people regardless of race."

Before the race the fourth, fifth and sixth graders met with new Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who more than happy to encourage them.

"This is a chance for them to give back to their community in honor of Dr. King's legacy," he was said.

After stretching and putting on their commemorative shirts, the torch was lit. According to student Alexis Ortiz, this caps their two months of training.

"We have been getting to school early and practicing running around and around for a long time," he said.

The students took off in the dark of morning, running 3.5 miles. They started at Phoenix City Hall, ran through the downtown streets to the State Capitol, past The US Airways Center and finished at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel.

Once they crossed the finish line, the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Awards Breakfast was started. The same students will lead the City of Phoenix annual Martin Luther King Day march.