Running Down Adolescence

April 26th, 2017 | Posted by Lisa Perks in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Adolescence is a tough time—socially, physically, you name it. I wore what my mom referred to as a “lemon face” for about 2 years. (We can now diagnose it properly as an admirable case of RBF.) Family members would tell my mom (in front of me), “She’ll grow out of it.”

I had friends, but I felt socially awkward and did not enjoy being me as much as I could have. A few years later, I exited adolescence much more sociable and confident. So what intervened? As I raise two girls and think about how to help them cultivate a positive self-concept, I’ve already exposed them to the two experiences that helped me most: running and attending overnight camp at Wa Wa Segowea.

Most kids or adolescents do not decide to run because of the scientifically-proven benefits, but those benefits certainly exist. A 2012 study in The Journal of Adolescent Health found that participants who ran for 30 minutes a day for three weeks had improved mood, sleep quality, and concentration. This Runners World article also captures how the confidence cultivated through running can extend to other areas of life—such as entering a school poetry contest or running for student government.

My lifelong friends Sarah Perks and Jennifer Richardson trail running in the late 90s.

I learned in 8th grade that one of my running friends, Sarah, went to this awesome camp called WA WA Segowea. It was (and is) on a beautiful private lake in the Berkshires, just over an hour from Poughkeepsie and Albany. I had to give it a try.

I learned to push myself physically through running, but camp had its own challenges. In the “senior village” my first year, I joined a dozen adolescent girls and two counselors on a 3-day Appalachian Trail hike. We covered 20+ miles with 25-pound packs on our backs. We coached each other up literal mountains and picked each other up after falling backwards on our packs, like upside down turtles with legs and arms waving helplessly in the air.

When we were not on the trail, we joined the full slate of camp activities. We overcame stage fright to participate in skit night. We learned to build a fire and cook on it. We boated around the pristine lake on the lookout for beavers and turtles. Through it all, we became more independent, we flexed our leadership skills, and we felt what it meant to be part of a community.

CITs in togas, 1995 or 1996: Lisa Perks, Jessica Moore, Sarah Perks, Georgia LoPresti Meckes, Boo Van Alstyne, Nerissa Steel.

Research affirms that overnight camping experiences can help kids be more resilient. Furthermore, parents report their that their kids are more independent and have improved peer relationships after experiencing summer camp. These findings all make sense. At camp, we weren’t turned inward, thinking only of ourselves and how others perceive us. We didn’t spend our time checking our phones, straightening our hair, or coveting our friends’ fashions. We were looking outward, getting to know others in our community– and getting to know ourselves better in the process.

The WA WA Wally Waddle 5K and free kids races bring together these two formative experiences: running and WA WA. The Poughkeepsie, NY race is a fundraiser and a friend-raiser for WA WA Segowea. Click here to register for the race, selecting Wally Waddle from the drop-down menu of races. All proceeds will go toward camper scholarships for local kids.

The free kids races are a great way to introduce kids of all ages to running, to encourage them to set goals and work toward achieving those goals. The 5K is also a great opportunity for people of all ages to maintain fitness and a sense of community connection. Come for the race, enjoy a spring day at Vassar Farm, get your face painted, and maybe you’ll be rewarded with a home-baked pie prize at the end.

Dozens of alumni will be at the race, including our inspiring camp director, Lily Mercogliano Easton. At the race, you can speak to Lily, to current campers, to parents, and to former campers about WA WA. You can also learn more and register online.

It’s hard to pinpoint the magic of Camp WA WA Segowea, but ask alumni and we’ll try. Some say it’s in the lake. I say it’s in the people.

8th Annual Wa Wa Wally Waddle 5k

January 10th, 2017 | Posted by joshua in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

It may not feel like it right now, but spring is on the way, and with it the 8th Annual Wa Wa Wally Waddle 5k and kids run. This Mother’s Day tradition will once again take place at Vassar Farms and features 3 races: a 100 yard dash with Wally for kids 6 and younger, a 1 mile race for kids 13 and younger and a 5k for anyone who can run/walk/hop 3.1 miles. Preregistration ends at midnight Friday May 12th.

8th Annual Wa Wa Wally Waddle 5k and Kids Runs.
Benefiting Camp Wa Wa Segowea Camper Scholarship Fund 
    • Vassar Farms corner of Raymond and Hooker Ave.  Map
    • Sunday May 14th, 2017 (Mother’s Day)
    • Race Day registration 7:30-9:00 am
    • Kids 1 mile 9:00 am (free if you preregister $5 on race day)
    • Kids Rugby Field Rush 100 yards 9:15 am (free)
    • 5K Run/Walk 9:30 am ($20 preregistration $25 race day)
    • Awarding of the Pies around 10:30 am
    • T-shirts to the 1st 150 Registered 5k runners
    • Free games, face painting and balloon animals for the kids

Register online here

2016 Results

May 8th, 2016 | Posted by joshua in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

winners

The full results from the 2o16 Wally Waddle 5k and 1 mile kids run are available on the Results Page. Below are the winners for each race.

Overall 5k Winners
Mike Insler (5 time winner)
Melissa Guckian

Overall 1 Mile Winners
Frank Vanzillotta (2nd year in a row)
Olivia Serrano
Family Teams
Mother/Daughter
The Millennium Falcons: Natalie Cartwright and Isabelle Serrano
Mother/Son
Southview Sprinters: Traci Meyer and Brendan Meyer

Nominate a Pie

April 22nd, 2016 | Posted by joshua in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

In the Wa Wa Wally Waddle’s first year (2010), you had to beat a Camp Wa Wa Segowea alumni relay team to receive a pie. In the second year, we settled on our permanent formula: pies to all female and male age group winners, with extra pies raffled off.

pies-blackberry-l-150x150

Pies have been the Waddle’s “special” from the start, the feature that makes the race memorable and unique. Sure, we have a great race date, a fast course in a serene setting, and other “extras” that make it an exciting morning, but we are known for being the pie race.

For eight years, our wonderful volunteers have baked chocolate silk pies, apple pies, cherry pies, coconut cream pies, whoopee pies, berry pies, s’mores pies, and an assortment of other confections. We recently added gluten- and dairy-free pies to the mix.

Here’s my question for you all to answer below: What pies would you like to see at the 2017 Waddle? We’ll draw from the list and make some new ones to motivate our runners and walkers.

One of our goals this year is to announce our winners about an hour after the 5K starts. This means we’ll stay on target to get you home in time to have pie for brunch.

Thank you to everyone who has already registered for the kids mile or 5K. And for those of you who haven’t yet attended a Waddle: Give us a try. You might win a pie!

2016 Wally Waddle 5k

March 2nd, 2016 | Posted by joshua in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)
7th Annual Wa Wa Wally Waddle 5k and Kids Runs.
Benefiting Camp Wa Wa Segowea Camper Scholarship Fund
    • Vassar Farms corner of Raymond and Hooker Ave.  Map
    • Sunday May 8th, 2016 (Mother’s Day)
    • Race Day registration 7:30-9:00 am
    • Kids 1 mile 9:00 am (free if you preregister $5 on race day)
    • Kids Rugby Field Rush 100 yards 9:15 am (free)
    • 5K Run/Walk 9:30 am ($20 preregistration $25 race day)
    • Awarding of the Pies around 10:30 am
    • T-shirts to the 1st 200 Registered 5k runners
    • Free games, face painting and balloon animals for the kids

Please note the 1 mile kids run and 5k run start 30 minutes earlier this year. We have moved the times up in an effort to get people on with their Mother’s Day celebrations more quickly.

Register online here

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Happy Pie Winner.

Happy Pie Winner.

Every year after the Wally Waddle my wife Lisa and I spend much of the 5+ hour drive back to Rochester, NY discussing the race. We talk about what went well and what we can improve. After 6 years we still find little details that need tweaking and some big ones that’ll I’ll get to later. It is the nature of race directors to worry about all the things that didn’t go as planned. But it’s also important to remember the successes.

Happy Runner.

Happy Runner.

We had beautiful weather and a fantastic turnout. Every year the race draws more families as evidenced by the growing number of kids mile participants and family 5k teams. The best part of the Waddle for me is seeing kids, parents, and grandparents all taking part in the various races. Three generations of Perks were at the race. We had a Perks in each event as well several volunteering. My wife and my mom have both spent their last 6 Mother’s Days at the Wally Waddle helping make the day great for others.

First Camp Segowea Alumnus Zach Korzyk.

First Camp Segowea Alumnus Zach Korzyk.

One of the ways we measure success at the Wally Waddle is by how much money we raise to help send children to YMCA Camp Segowea. This year we raised $3000, all of which goes to helping kids in the Hudson Valley attend Camp Segowea. By running the Wally Waddle 5k you are helping kids have a camp experience in which they will learn, play, and grow. The kids and volunteers thank you for your support!

Connie and Mike our Waddle 5k Champions.

Connie and Mike our Waddle 5k Champions.

When Lisa and I do our postmortem on the race we typically find small issues that we want to correct: the food table needed more knives, we forgot the camp alumni prize mugs, we didn’t order enough XL shirts, etc. This year, however, we had a big glaring problem. Our timing tent blew over, all the computers crashed to the ground, and the chip timing system that normally spits results as soon as runners cross the finish line took hours to get sorted out (You can see all the results here). As a result many of you sat around in the hot sun for much longer than you should have to find out how you did.

As a runner there are only a few things I really need from a race. I want an accurately measured, easy to follow course and accurate, timely results. This year we failed to give you accurate,timely results and for that I am truly sorry. Although we had a manual backup system in place and we did eventually get the complete chip timed results, we made you wait far too long for awards. I appreciate the patience you showed sticking around for the awarding of the pies and promise we will do better next year. Next year we will award the pies just one hour after the 5k begins.

morepies

Pie!

We have some other changes in store for next year’s Waddle, the biggest of which is moving all the races up by 30 minutes. In an effort to get people out of the heat and on with their Mother’s Day, we will start the kids 1 mile race at 9:00 am, the kids 100 yard Wally dash at 9:20 and the 5k at 9:30. The awarding of the pies will begin at 10:30.

From me and the all the volunteers who help put on the Wally Waddle each year, thank you for your support. We hope to see you next spring at a more tightly-organized Waddle.

Ready for Race Day

May 5th, 2015 | Posted by joshua in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)
6th Annual Wa Wa Wally Waddle 5k and Kids Runs.
Benefiting Camp Wa Wa Segowea Camper Scholarship Fund
Time Sunday, May 10 · 9:00am – 12:00pm

  • Vassar Farms corner of Raymond and Hooker Ave.  Map
  • Race Day registration 7:30-9:30 am
  • Kids 1 mile 9:30 am (free if you preregister $5 on race day)
  • Kids Rugby Field Rush 100 yards 9:45 am (free)
  • 5K Run/Walk 10:00 am ($20 preregistration $25 race day)
  • Awarding of the Pies 11:00 am
  • T-shirts to the 1st 200 Registered 5k runners
  • Free games, face painting and balloon animals for the kids
Register online here.
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A huge Wa Wa thank you to all of this years race sponsors, we couldn’t do this without you.
Silver Sponsors.
Mid-Hudson Oral Surgeons
Tubby’s Bathroom Resurfacing
Morris Associates Engineering Consultants, PLLC
Adams Fairacre Farms
Mid-Hudson Road Runner’s Club
Justin Feldman Physical Therapy
The Derby
MVP Health Care
Caffe Aurora 
Sign Sponsors
Eric’s Fuel Service
WDST

Encouraging Lifelong Runners

May 1st, 2015 | Posted by joshua in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)
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Start of the kids 1 mile race.

I still remember doing my first road race. It was the Cary Arboretum 2 miler. That was 30 years and 20,000+ miles ago. I’m committed to training properly now, but I  didn’t train for that first race.  On second thought, it is more accurate to say I didn’t know I was training for the race.

I had, like most kids, spent years running everywhere I went. I ran to my friends’ houses. I ran to get the mail. I ran playing tag, football, and kill the carrier. We had impromptu races on the play ground to see who was the fastest kid in the class.

Sign at my neighborhood elementary school playground.

Sign at my neighborhood elementary school playground.

As a runner, and a former kid, you can imagine my horror when I saw the above sign at my neighborhood elementary school playground. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I decided this must just be some sign that the playground manufacturers had to put up. Unfortunately that is not the case. My neighbor who has two kids at the school informed me that her kids complain daily about not being allowed to run during recess (although some teachers will occasionally turn a blind eye). No running during recess, because it is too dangerous!

Race Wally!

Race Wally!

 

While it saddens me that kids are growing up being told they aren’t allowed to run, I am all the more thankful I get to give kids a chance to become lifelong runners. For several years now the Mid-Hudson Road Runners club, has offered free preregistration for kids races at many of their events. For the past 7 years, the Wally Waddle has had both a 100 yard Wally Dash (for kids 6 and younger) and a 1 mile race (for kids 13 and younger). The 100 yard dash requires no registration and is held just before the start of the 5k on the rugby field at Vassar Farms. The 1 mile race is free if you preregister your child at www.mhrrc.org and only $5 on race day ($10 gets you registered and a great kids t-shirt).

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Finishing the 1 mile race.

So join us this Mother’s Day and set your child on the path to lifelong fitness!

8th Annual Wa Wa Wally Waddle 5k and Kids Runs.
Benefiting Camp Wa Wa Segowea Camper Scholarship Fund 
    • Vassar Farms corner of Raymond and Hooker Ave.  Map
    • Sunday May 14th, 2017 (Mother’s Day)
    • Race Day registration 7:30-9:00 am
    • Kids 1 mile 9:00 am (free if you preregister $5 on race day)
    • Kids Rugby Field Rush 100 yards 9:15 am (free)
    • 5K Run/Walk 9:30 am ($20 preregistration $25 race day)
    • Awarding of the Pies around 10:30 am
    • T-shirts to the 1st 150 Registered 5k runners
    • Free games, face painting and balloon animals for the kids

Register online here

Mother’s Day Tradition

April 30th, 2015 | Posted by joshua in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Once again we will be doing Wally Waddle 5k Mother’s Day Family Teams! What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than running as a family? There will be 2 categories for the family teams: Mother/Daughter and Mother/Son. Only one team per family (sorry Mom’s with multiple running kids you are going to have to pick your favorite.) Prizes will be award to the team in each category with the fastest combined time for the 5k.

Caffe Aurora is once again sponsoring the Mother’s team with gift certificates to each of the winning teams.

Caffe Aurora!

Caffe Aurora!


 Use the form below to sign up your team. You still need to register for the race individually either online at the MHRRC website or on race day.

A Prize Worth Running For

April 10th, 2015 | Posted by joshua in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

The Wally Waddle 5k always has a great variety of pies: cherry, apple, pumpkin, strawberry rhubarb, moon, s’mores, chocolate velvet, and blueberry have all been part of our offerings. The Waddle pie-makers are pleased to announce that our 2015 age-group prizes will once again include a gluten-free apple crumble and  a gluten- and dairy-free s’mores pie. We wanted to take this step to make our prizes more inclusive. Over 2 million Americans eat gluten-free diets because of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, including the person who maintains the gluten free runner blog. We modified her recipe for the s’mores pie to also make it dairy free. Each home-made pie will be properly marked but if you get a gluten and/or dairy free pie and you have no dietary restrictions, no worries: we promise they taste just as good as the “regular” pies!

Yum!

Yum!

 

As always home-made pies will be awarded to the male and female overall and age group winners in the following categories:

19 and younger
20-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60-69
70+

In addition to award pies, there will be a free pie raffle based on your bib number.  We normally have 7-10 pies to give away during the raffle so make sure you stick around for your chance to win!