As students filled the assembly room at Willow Elementary none had any idea why they were there. Not even the teachers.
And then the announcement came. After successfully finishing the Lansing Half Marathon and not receiving her medal, Kindergarten Teacher Amanda Sucher got recognized in a big way.
"We operate here as a family, as you see and we like to celebrate accomplishments and support each other in the goals that we all set, personally and academically," said Steven Lonszo, the Principal of Willow Elementary.
After the Boston Marathon Bombings, the Lansing Marathon experience increased enrollment resulting in 117 runners not getting their medals after finishing the race.
"I was very upset that she didn't get her medal on race day and just really wanted to come here today and honor her," said Owen Anderson, the Lansing Marathon Director.
This year was Sucher's first half marathon. The entry free was a Christmas gift from her sister -- a teacher in Los Angeles.
"I'm very proud of both of them," said Barbara House, Sucher's mother. They both set goals, they achieve their goals, they are both wonderful teachers and I couldn't ask for anything more than that."
"We did it. I walked most of the way, but I finished it," said Amanda Sucher, a Kindergarten Teacher at Willow Elementary School. "I still have blisters on the bottom of my feet, that are healing [laughing] but it was awesome!"
Sucher's been getting ready for the race for some time. In 2011, she ran a 5k every month, January through December, in the rain, sunshine and snow. The recognition means a lot.
"I was excited, emotional. It was a great surprise and I'm kind of hard to surprise so it was really nice," said Sucher.
She says exercising helps her be a better teacher, and she hopes it inspires her students, not just to exercise, but to achieve their goals and it appears she has.
"Ms. Sucher has been a good teacher," said one of her Kindergarten students.
"I love Miss Sucher. She's the greatest teacher ever," said another.
Sucher will be in the Lansing Half Marathon again next year. Her goal is to beat her previous time.