Natalie Coughlin with students at Berkeley's King Middle School on Wednesday May 16. Photo: Nancy Rubin

On Monday, 11-time Olympic medallist Natalie Coughlin introduced First Lady Michelle Obama at a Let’s Move press conference in Dallas. Yesterday, the Cal grad and Lafayette resident took time out from her training schedule to join with students at Berkeley’s King Middle School at its annual runathon.

Coughlin participated in King Middle School's annual runathon. Photo: Nancy Rubin

All the students ran during their PE classes throughout the day, and the swimmer joined them in the afternoon. Coughlin also took the time to work on the rainbow chard planting beds in the school’s Edible Schoolyard. (And when @EdibleSchoolyrd asked  Coughlin on Twitter what recipe she’d make when the greens come up, her reply sounds scrumptious: “Swiss chard cooked w/ some Italian sausage, olive oil & chili flakes. Tossed with orecchiette, topped w/ Parmesan.”)

The runathon is held to promote fitness and raise money for King Middle School. Photo: Nancy Rubin

The runathon is held to promote fitness and raise money for King Middle School.

Coughlin became the first American female athlete in modern Olympic history to win six medals in one Olympics and the first woman ever to win a 100 m backstroke gold in two consecutive Olympics.

Contributing photographer Nancy Rubin, who shot the wonderful pictures for us shown here, reports it was fun to hang out with Coughlin. “She is so down to earth,” she said.

The 11-time Olympic medallist Natalie Coughlin is a Cal graduate and grew up in Lafayatte. Photo: Nancy Rubin

To see more of Nancy Rubin’s photographs of the day at King Middle School, visit this photo gallery.

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Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...