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Bobby Marble

LAFAYETTE — Seldom has everyone been so ambitious to run at Centaurus High School. 
   
All those circling the track on Saturday at Warrior Stadium were doing so with pride, because the cause hit close to home. 
   
In October, junior track athlete Bobby Marble fell ill. It first appeared to be a severe case of the flu, but within the span of only a few days, acute myeloid leukemia set in. Marble had been in the hospital until finally being released Thursday. 
   
His track and field teammates took initiative by attempting to raise $10,000 in Saturday’s Warrior Marble Relay, in which students, coaches, teachers and community members ran around the track from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  CHS boys track coach Devin Rourke said at least $15,000 had been raised by the end of the day Saturday, and donations toward Marble’s recovery may still be made at www.centaurustrack.org.
   
“I think it’s a blessing and I’m happy people are supporting me,” Marble said. “It’s just wonderful.” 
   
Marble and his family made it to the stadium Saturday evening for the Bell Lap as participants escorted the family around the track for the final lap.  
   
“We’re all getting together as a community to rally around Bobby and it’s been an awesome event,” Rourke said. “It’s not only the track team. We had the lacrosse team out here earlier. … It really has been the entire community.”
   
Temperatures in the 60s provided a pleasant backdrop for endurance running, warm — but not hot — with a scattered sun-cloud mix. 
   
Runners varied in seriousness, with some using it as a genuine opportunity to train while others towed friends in wheelbarrows and shopping carts. 
   
Then there was Warriors junior distance runner Sam Patzer, who ran the 26.2-mile length of a marathon, beginning mid-morning and finishing about 1:45 p.m.  In case you’re wondering, that’s 105 laps.
   
“Everything’s for Bobby today,” Patzer said. “It’s not what I ran, it’s what we’ve raised for him.” 
   
Marble still has a long road in his recuperation but has already talked to Rourke about visiting track practice. His body is far from recovered, but his spirits seem to be getting there.
   
“I’m feeling fantastic now that I’m home,” Marble said.